Q?Is my home okay for a pet?

Carefully consider the kind of accommodation you will be able to provide your pet with before choosing one. Do you live in rented property – while some landlords allow pets, many do not and pet ownership may cause difficulties should you need to change rented accommodation.

Q?Can I afford a pet?

There are many costs  involved with pet ownership. Up front costs include vaccinations, micro-chipping and neutering. However, you must be prepared to pay for food, worming, animal health checks, net bills, training, boarding, toys and bedding for the life of the animal.

On average owning a pet dog could cost the owner in the region of £5,664 over a 12-year life.  To this add annual vet fees, insurance, bedding and the odd treat and that sum could rise to over £10,000 or £833 a year!

Q?How to reduce your pets fear of fireworks

The majority of animals do not like noisy fireworks.  Keep your pets inside on bonfire night and also when you think there is going to be a firework display.  Turn the radio or television on so some of the noise is masked.  Talk to your vet to see if they can make suggestions.  For more detailed help telephone the National Helpline tel:  0300 1234 999.

Q?What to do if I find or see a dead animal?

Local authorities are obliged to pick up any wild animals from highways and from the side of the roads, but not from private or residential property, for example gardens or houses.

Dead animals of any description which are obstructing the public highway (roads, pavements)  should be reported to the Highways Authority or to the local council’s Refuse Collection Department.  Please contact your local council – try the Directgov.online Local Authority locator or your local telephone directory for contact details.

Q?A cat stuck up a tree or telegraph pole

Cats often climb trees and usually make their way back down.  Sometimes it is best to leave them alone as an early rescue attempt could chase them higher or cause them to panic and fall..  You may find that the cat comes down from the tree on its own after a few hours.  For advice contact RSPCA 24hr Cruelty and Advice Line on tel: 0300 1234 999.

Q?Do I have time to care for a pet?

Exercise, grooming, training and play are important aspects of pet ownership. Puppies and kittens are a huge time investment – you will need to ensure that they settle into your house – they are fed, walked, house/litter trained and taken to the vet when necessary. Adult animals are no less work they require the same amount of time as a new puppy or kitten.

Q?Am I prepared to care for a pet for its lifetime?

The average lifespan of dogs and cats is around 12 years, with some dogs and cats living until 15 or even 20 years of age.  While puppies and kittens are absolutely adorable, you will need to be prepared to provide for an adult animal too and, in the case of some dog breeds, a much larger animal with considerable exercise and a large appetite.

Q?I’m concerned about cruelty to an animal

If you witness  cruelty to an animal then contact the RSPCA’s 24 hr cruelty help line on  0300 1234 999.  It is important to have ready the following details:

  • description of the animal(s) involved
  • the exact location of the animal(s)
  • the names and addresses of any other witnesses
  • the registration number of  any vehicle involved
  • the name and address of the suspect(s) if known

The Police also have powers to deal with cruelty to animals but the RSPCA  are the experts in the field and are better equipped to deal with it.

Q?What should I do about a trapped cat or dog?

Contact the National Helpline for advice Tel: 0300 1234 999.  More often than not they can be gently coaxed out.

Q?Arranging for a stray dog to be collected

Please see the section on Stray Dogs.  It is the responsibility of the Dog  Warden to collect stray dogs.

Q?What should I do if I find a stray horse or pony?

If the horse is sick or injured, please call our 24hr Cruelty and Advice line 0300 1234 999 to report your concerns and exact location of the horse/pony.   If the horse is not injured contact your local police station for additional advice and assistance.

Also, Farmkey tel: 0870 870 7107 – an organisation which tries to reunite strays with their owners.

Q?What should I do if I find a dog alone in a car?

In some situations, it may be easy for you to find the owner of a car.  For example, if the car is in a supermarket car park or at a public event, you could ask for a message to be broadcast asking the owner to return to their car immediately.

However, if it isn’t possible to trace the owner, please contact the police on 999 for assistance. If the police are unable to attend, please call our 24-hour cruelty line 0300 1234 999.

Q?Transporting dogs in cars

Under the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997, you must not transport an animal in a way that causes, or is likely to cause, injury or unnecessary suffering to that animal. It is also important that a dog is suitably restrained in a vehicle so that it doesn’t distract the driver or injure them if the vehicle stops quickly (UK Highway Code). The RSPCA therefore recommends that dogs are both secure and comfortable during transport.

Darlington & District Branch RSPCA © 2017