Archive | October, 2012

Theo receives Dickin medal

31 Oct

There’s a lovely story on the PDSA website about an Arms and Explosive Search Dog called Theo who has been awarded the 64th PDSA Dickin medal. Sadly, Theo died shortly after his handler Lance Corporal Liam Tasker was killed in Afghanistan in 2011 so his award was accepted in his honour by Sgt Matthew Jones and search dog Grace.

The medal is the highest honour an animal can receive for serving in military conflict and Theo has received his award in recognition of his brave actions in Afghanistan. It was Theo’s job to search out devices such as improvised explosive devices and bomb-making equipment, and he found more than any other search dog during his time in the war-zone.

Although this is a sad story, it is lovely to hear that Theo’s bravery and good work has been honoured in this special way.

You can read the full story here: http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards/dickin-medal-dogs/theo

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Wild About Britain Competition

30 Oct

A new wildlife-themed competition has been launched to give young people the chance to write a new children’s short story. The Wild About Britain competition is inspired by all-time favourite British stories such as Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.

The competition is open to two groups: 11 years or younger and 12 to 16 year-olds, with prizes for both categories. Entries must be no longer than 500 words long and should be on the subject of animals from British wildlife. Hedgehogs, foxes and badgers are all great animals to write about! The competition closes at midnight on Monday 10th December so there is plenty of time to get those stories written.

For full details of the competition, check out the following website: http://www.wildaboutbritain.org.uk/

Time to get creative!

Cute rabbit makes friends with Peter Rabbit

29 Oct

Time for another cute video courtesy of YouTube. I love this video of white rabbit Nelix who has become best friends with a Peter Rabbit toy! Uploaded by SuperPetTube, this is one of my favourite clips I’ve seen lately.

Take a look for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iKQqYCBQPs&feature=related

Best Wild Animal Photos of 2012

28 Oct

There are some amazing photos on the National Geographic website this week that have been deemed the ‘Best Wild Animal Photos of 2012’. The photos were all winners in various categories of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

The winning shot came from Paul Nicklen who won the overall prize in the contest. He captured a group of Emperor penguins exiting an ice hole in Antarctica, using his specialist polar survival skills to lower himself into a hole in the ice and wait for the penguins to swim past.

A personal favourite of mine is Steve Winter’s shot of a Sumatran tiger slipping through a fence in the Bandhavgarh National Park in India. Steve was the deserving winner of the Wildlife Photojournalist Award.

You can see all the best entries at a special exhibition at the National History Museum, or browse the photos online here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/10/pictures/121023-best-animal-pictures-wildlife-science-penguins-nicklen/#/veolia-environnement-best-wildlife-pictures-2012-penguins_60433_600x450.jpg

British Hedgehog Preservation Society

27 Oct

Today’s post is all about raising awareness of a brilliant charity which is dedicated to protecting hedgehogs here in the UK. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society works hard to help sick, injured, and orphaned hedgehogs. They advise members of the public on what to do if they find a hedgehog in need of help, and encourage children to respect wildlife. The society also funds research to determine the best ways to help hedgehogs to survive.

A wide variety of projects and fundraising activities are undertaken by the society. You can become a member of the charity, shop from their Hogalogue catalogue, become a hedgehog carer, take a look at the latest hedgehog research, or just find out more information. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society may be a relatively small charity compared to the likes of the RSPCA, but it is by no means any less worthy of recognition. It does great work for a species which has seen a 25% decrease in population over the last 10 years, and it needs our support to continue to help our spiky friends!

If you would like to find out more about the BHPS you can check out their website here: http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/. There is a wealth of information about the society and how you can get involved!

Controversial dog trainer appears on Titchmarsh show

26 Oct

Cesar Millan’s appearance on the The Alan Titchmarsh Show was met with mixed opinions this week. Titchmarsh confronted the controversial US dog trainer who uses collars with spikes, electric shocks and physical violence to train disobedient dogs. His methods have been referred to as ‘barbaric’ prompting Titchmarsh to question his work during the TV interview.

The production team received hundreds of calls and emails requesting that the show be cancelled, in addition to Facebook and Twitter campaigns from animal welfare protesters. However, Millan still appeared on the show and Titchmarsh confronted his guest about his harsh training techniques.

Some Twitter comments after the show suggested Titchmarsh was abusive to his guest, but many supported the grilling that  Millan received.

You can read the full story and watch a clip of the interview here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2222724/Titchmarsh-savages-dog-trainer-caused-TV-outcry-unconventional-techniques-rehabilitate-ill-disciplined-dogs.html

Fireworks and pets

25 Oct

As Bonfire Night fast approaches, pet experts are encouraging owners to prepare their pets for the firework season. Animals can become very stressed and frightened when they can hear fireworks going off around them. Each pet will react differently when they are scared, however common symptoms include hiding behind furniture, trying to run away, constantly trying to follow their owner, shaking, trembling, loss of appetite and soiling the house.

If you are worried about how your pet will react with this year’s fireworks, it is best to start creating a calming environment for them now so they will feel secure when the 5th November comes around. Here are a few ideas to help your pet deal with fireworks:

  • Create a little den for your pet where they will feel safe e.g behind a sofa or under a table. Setting this up now will ensure that they feel secure in this place by Bonfire Night
  • Try plug-in air adaptors such as Adaptil and Feliway which help dogs and cats to relax
  • If possible don’t leave your pets alone when there are fireworks going off outside
  • Stay calm as your pet will feel less stressed if they can sense that you are relaxed
  • Toys , food, treats and comfortable bedding will help to take your pets mind off what is going on outside
  • Try to walk your dog before it gets dark and the fireworks start
  • Make sure all windows and doors are shut (you may also want to block cat flaps to stop cats going outside in case they become injured by fireworks)

Preparing now will help to make your pet feel much more secure by the time Bonfire Night arrives. Remember also that fireworks are not only set off on that one night, people often set them off  before or after 5th November so being prepared is essential.