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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

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Couple find kittens dumped in box with message ‘Pls find us a good home’

Credit: RSPCA

Six tiny kittens have been found, abandoned and dumped in a cardboard box in a Kent car park over the weekend.

A couple had been walking their dog at Ranscombe Farm Nature Reserve, in Cuxton, on Sunday morning when they spotted a box with ‘Pls find us a good home’ written on the side. Inside they found six tiny kittens.

Credit: RSPCA

They took the animals to RSPCA Leybourne Animal Centre, in West Malling, where a vet checked them over. The kittens were found to be covered in fleas, but otherwise in good health.

The six-week-old tabby and white kittens - now named Arnold, Brittney, Charlie, Justin, Orlando and Sylvester, after film and music stars - are now being cared for in a foster home.

They’re only young so we’ve got them into special foster homes which should help their development.

Then, if they’re not claimed, we can start looking for new homes for all of them which I’m sure won’t be difficult.

– Jane Pook, RSPCA

Mystery surrounds deaths of several cats

Police are warning pet owners in Tonbridge, Kent, to be vigilant following a number of deaths of cats in the area.

At least four cats are reported to have died since 11 March, 2017 after appearing to have ingested a toxic substance. The cats were all from homes in the Lambs Bank area.

Owners are reminded not leave open containers of any hazardous or chemicals substances by their properties.

Sergeant Jo Mott said: "There is no evidence at this stage to suggest that these cats may have been deliberately poisoned. However, we would urge owners to be vigilant about what their animals are drinking."

The RSPCA has also been notified of the issue and confirmed there had also been anecdotal reports of several other cats dying in the same area over recent months.

We do not know for sure what is causing these deaths but it is concerning that there have been so many in such a short space of time. It seems likely that these deaths were caused by some kind of poisoning but we do not know from what, or whether it was deliberate or accidental.

In the meantime we would ask everyone in the area to check where they keep their pesticides and chemicals including antifreeze and make sure it is secure and out of the way of cats.

People should check their car radiators for leaks, too. Signs of poisoning can be seen anything from 30 minutes after a cat has ingested the chemical and can include one, or several of the following: vomiting, seeming depressed or sleepy, appearing drunk and uncoordinated, seizures, and difficulty breathing.

– RSPCA

Dumped to die: Animal welfare charity's concern about equine crisis

The original photograph is below - reader discretion is advised Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA has revealed concern about the increasing number of horses who have been neglected and ‘dumped to die’ in Kent this winter.

In what it describes as an 'equine crisis', the animal welfare charity said it has received a spate of calls about distressing equine incidents in the county in the past few months.

Officers have described "heartbreaking scenes" after finding horses - dead or dying - left in terrible conditions by the side of roads, in woodland and sometimes dumped under fly-tipped debris as if they were rubbish.

Of the 38 incidents they have been called to, 13 horses were found already dead, and 25 were collapsed and dying - six in such a poorly state that nothing could be done to save them and 19 able to be rescued, cared for and treated.

I have been called out again and again to horses who are either already dead - or they are so neglected and unwell it is just too late to save them.

The issue is particularly noticeable between November and spring because of winter-related problems like the lack of grazing and redworm and cold weather pushing animals who are already ill over the edge.

These issues should be easily treatable, but instead of being given the care they need, the horses are just being neglected and then dumped to die.

Horses can be very expensive to keep and we believe some people decide to callously abandon their poorly horses instead of pay for veterinary treatment. We urge owners who are struggling to care for their horses are urged to contact the RSPCA or other horse welfare charities for advice and assistance rather than dump their animals in a dying state.”

– Inspector Rosie Russon, RSPCA

The RSPCA is urging anyone who has information about people dumping and neglecting horses to call them on 0300 1234 999, in complete confidence.

WARNING Readers may find the following picture and details distressing:

Credit: RSPCA
  • A dead horse found dumped in Bull Hill, Horton Kirby, Dartford, on Tuesday, 21 February
  • The bodies of two horses found dumped on Beech Road, Kingshill in West Malling on Friday, 17 February - one a year-old dark Bay mare with white socks, wrapped in a blue horse rug in woodland
  • A dead horse was tied to a tree by the church in Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells on Friday, 17 February
  • Six dying horses found in the Dartford area on Thursday, 16 February. As this is an ongoing investigation, the RSPCA cannot provide further details.
  • A skewbald mare and her foal were found dumped in Wouldham Road, Rochester on Thursday, 16 February in an extremely poorly state. Both were emaciated and weak. The filly is still in RSPCA care, but sadly the mare died a few days later.
  • A piebald horse was found dead and dumped on the side of the road in Eglantine, Horton Kirby on Tuesday, 14 February
  • A young piebald pony was found collapsed and dying in Yalding, Maidstone on 28 January. She was so unwell she could not be saved and had to be put to sleep to end her suffering.
  • The body of a horse dumped underneath a pile of planks in a field in Horton Kirby, Dartford of wood on 2 January - next to a can of petrol container. We assume that the intention may have been to set the body on fire (pictured). A few days later six more horses were rescued from the same location - all still in RSPCA care.
  • The body of the dead pony was dumped on a woodland path is the Wateringbury, Maidstone, in the first week of January

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