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South's first cat cafe opens in Bournemouth

Welcome to the new cat cafe

The South's first ever cat cafe opens its doors on Friday. It's a concept that's popular in Far Eastern countries - the idea being that the stresses of urban life can be more easily forgotten if you spend some quality time in the company of cats.

Martin Dowse joined some specially invited customers for a sneak peak before the grand opening, to see what they, and the twelve resident rescue cats, would make of it..

Look at Islay! She's been reunited with her owners

Islay has been reunited with her owners Credit: Kent Police

A cocker spaniel, reported missing from a property in Staplehurst in Kent, has been reunited with her owners.

Seven-year-old Islay, chocolate brown, was discovered after a warrant was executed at a property in Bearsted. She was reported missing on 19 January.

Police were quickly able to locate Isla’s owners and she has since been returned.

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'Cruel' puppy farm fraudsters spared jail

Credit: RSPCA

Puppy farmers who kept dogs caged at a travellers' site in Essex have been spared jail.

Three women and a man from the site in Thurrock admitted handling around 750 puppies and a £100,000 fraud.

Teresa Wade, 57, Victoria Montgomery, 55, her daughter Roxanne Montgomery, 33, and Roxanne Montgomery's partner Tony Hammond, 35, were all handed suspended sentences and community service orders after pleading guilty to fraud.

The dogs were bred in poor conditions on the site, and sold online with claims they were home-bred.

Each of the four was given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £500 in costs. Two of the gang were given a 3 month curfew.

Video from the site [there is no sound as the court indicated the video must remain muted]:

Credit: RSPCA

This gang operated in an organised and professional way to dupe unsuspecting members of the public out of money.

They were using homes to sell the dogs from in order to con prospective puppy buyers into believing that they were getting dogs who had come from loving, family homes when, in fact, they were buying pets who had come from a puppy farm.

The dogs were being intensively bred on a commercial scale at a travellers’ site in Aveley where they were kept alongside dozens of other dogs and animals. Then, when it came time to sell the puppies for hundreds of pounds each, they were moved to a staged home in order to dupe the public into believing they had been brought up there as part of the family.

Our investigations also uncovered that some of the dogs were being imported from abroad, including some which we believe were coming from Welsh puppy farms.”

– RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport, who led the investigation
Credit: RSPCA

Foster a dog to help beat winter blues, says charity

Pets make people happier, according to a survey Credit: ITV

A Wiltshire charity has launched a new scheme to help people beat the winter blues.

The Dogs Trust in Salisbury is encouraging people to consider fostering a dog on a short-term basis, through its new Home from Home scheme.

It comes as a survey reveals 95% of dog owners said their pet made them happier.

Patrols stepped up after 12 swans are shot

Twelve swans have been shot on the River Thames in Berkshire in what's being described as a brutal bout of animal cruelty.

Two of the birds had to be put down after they were shot in the head on the River near Windsor Castle. Four others were shot in the eye

Police have now stepped up patrols along the river bank, as Martin Stew reports.

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