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Woman regains use of hands after caring for rabbits

Credit: RSPCA

A woman who rescued two rabbits says they "gave her her life back" after she regained the use of her paralysed hands after caring for them.

Marley-Belle Quaid from Guildford rehomed Woodstock and Wilfred who were rescued by the RSPCA.

Marley-Belle was confined to a wheelchair and unable to move her hands after a series of painful operations but had movement back in her wrists after six months.

Despite attempting physiotherapy, nothing had worked for the 32 year old.

The rabbits now have their own bedroom and a room filled with play furniture, such as hides, tunnels to simulate warrens, jumps and a hay pit, to keep them stimulated and happy.

Credit: ITV Meridian

"The first time I saw them I knew I would do whatever it took to have them in my life. They had been found dumped in woods by a woman running a race, who found them matted and neglected. One of them, Woodstock, was tangled in a bramble bush."

"The pair were rescued by the RSPCA but spent a year in foster care because no-one wanted the hard work it takes to keep them groomed and tidy. Although I had help day-to-day, I didn't know how I was going to manage doing it myself when no-one was there because of my wrists but I wanted to make it work."

"Within six months, I had full, malleable wrists, I was grooming Wilfred and Woodstock by myself on my own lap and I could use scissors again. My surgeon was quite astounded I had the use that I had with my wrists again. These bunnies were a massive part of my recovery."

"Before I had to use my wheelchair all the time, because I couldn't use my hands to grip my crutches. That meant there were shops I couldn't go into or places I couldn't get to because I needed my crutches."

"Woodstock and Wilfred have given me so much more than love, they've given me independence and freedom."

– Marley-Belle Quaid, Owner

"Marley's story is a moving example of the power of pets to really change lives. When Marley adopted Wilfred and Woodstock she gave them the chance of a loving home and a happy future but these amazing rabbits have also given Marley her own life back. We know that the wonderful people who adopt rescue animals change the lives of those animals but pets have a real impact on our own health and wellbeing too, which is why the bond between owner and pet is so special."

– Dr Jane Tyson, RSPCA rabbit behaviour and welfare expert

VIDEO: Two men ride pony trap on wrong side of road

Two men have been seen riding a pony trap on the wrong side of the carriageway on Rheims Way in Canterbury.

Police approached them, but the pair failed to stop.

The men travelled on a pedestrian pathway into a residential estate making abusive gestures.

Officers are attempting to trace the men as they would like to speak to them in connection with possible furious riding and public order offences.


Police dogs play key role in solving crimes

The police dogs are helping to solve crimes in Sussex Credit: Sussex Police

A drug-dealer, a drink-driver and a suspected burglar were all located by police dogs - proving you can run, but you can’t hide.

The incidents in Brighton, Crawley and Broad Oak are among some of the latest call outs for PD Spike and PD Diesel and their handler PC Mark Tully, as well as PD Troy and his handler PC Will Hewson.

Officers from the Surrey and Sussex Police Dog Unit have a wide range of tools and technology at their disposal, but it is often their canine counterparts that provide the most effective means of detection.

The work of PD Diesel was typical. He led officers to a stash of drugs and cash.

VIDEO: Lion wins tug of war with football team

A football team has taken on a lion in Kent in a tug of war to raise awareness of World Lion Day.

Foots Cray Lions Juniors lost the challenge against Kasanga the African Lion from Smarden's Big Cat Sanctuary.

Lion Day aims to boost understanding and the plight of the world's most iconic hunter.

Credit: ITV Meridian

In the last two decades the population of wild African lions has dropped by over 40% with an estimated 20,000 remaining in the wild.

Lions were recognised as endangered and listed as 'Vulnerable' on the IUCN Redlist in 2015, just two years ago.

Lions could potentially disappear from the wild in the next 20-30 years.

The Big Cat Sanctuary aims to provide sanctuary for cats and a breeding programme.


Calls for tougher sentencing for animal cruelty

Jace was thrown from a van on a busy motorway Credit: Surrey Police

The RSPCA is calling for tougher sentencing for people found guilty of animal cruelty as new figures reveal many are not given a prison sentence.

The results from a study by the Centre for Crime Prevention found that out of 202 people convicted in Hampshire, only nine were jailed.

In Surrey one out of seven were jailed between 2011 and 2016.

Recent cases include that of Jace, the lurcher who was thrown from a van on a busy motorway and suffered two broken legs and a broken tail.

She was rescued by Surrey Police and has since been re-homed.

Jace has since been re-homed Credit: ITV Meridian

Live animal exports resume in Kent amid protests

  • Watch Derek Johnson's full report below
Credit: ITV Meridian

Live animal exports resumed today from Ramsgate despite demonstrations from activists.

It is the first time since last November that live animals have been transported though the port.

Activists blocked the route to the Continent Credit: ITV Meridian

Animal campaigners temporarily blocked lorries en route to the Continent.

Thanet District Council says it's a legal trade and more exports are expected between now and the autumn.

Derek spoke to Reg Bell from Kent Action Against Live Exports, Frank Langrish from the National Farmers Union and Ian Birchall from Kent Action Against Live Exports.

Playful rodents find new home after a year with RSPCA

The brothers came from a multi-animal home Credit: RSPCA

Two playful rodents have found a new home after a year in the care of the RSPCA.

Brothers Rocco and Cory, degus, came from a multi-animal home in Oxford where there were three gerbils, 24 hamsters and several other degus.

The pets were extremely overcrowded and so 12 hamsters and 12 degus were initially signed over to the RSPCA, then a further five hamsters and eight degus came into RSPCA care last year.

This left the centres in the area bursting with an influx of rodents who needed to be rehomed.

After more than a year at Block Fen Animal Centre in Wimblington, Rocco and Cory were the last of the bunch to find their forever homes.

The three-year-old degus were rehomed to Aga Clark who couldn’t bear to see them overlooked any longer and knew she could give them a loving home.

Terrier Lloyd has a new home after being ignored for a year

Around 9,000 visitors showed Lloyd little interest Credit: Dogs Trust

One of Dogs Trust Salisbury’s longest serving residents is homeward bound after spending a year in kennels.

Four-year-old Terrier, Lloyd, arrived at the Newton Tony-based rehoming centre in July 2016 and staff were baffled as to why he was being overlooked.

Approximately 9,000 visitors came through the doors and showed him little interest. But the terrific Terrier has been adopted by Jo Wild-Bridges from Shaftesbury, Dorset a year after he arrived at the rehoming centre.

We’re so excited to have Lloyd in our family – he has definitely found his forever home with us. We fell in love with him the first time we saw him and, after chatting to the staff and meeting him several more times, we were pleased to be able to finally bring him home. He’s settled in so well and I'm so proud of how he's doing.

Lloyd's an inquisitive little guy so has had his nose in everything! His character is coming out more and more each day and I can't stop laughing at his little quirks.

We know he was on a bespoke training plan at Dogs Trust and his behaviour and progress is testament to the hard work his carers put into him. He’s doing so well and he really has been the best thing to happen to us.

– Jo, Lloyd's new owner
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