RSPCA Manchester & Salford Branch
REPTILE ROADSHOW 2010
Reptile welfare first came to the branch’s attention in late 2008/early 2009 when the RSPCA inspectorate working in the Manchester & Salford area investigated several cases involving reptiles.
The branch had by now established a programme of animal welfare promotion, mainly involving the delivery of free pet health clinics to communities that did not have easy access to veterinary services whether that be through geographical or financial restrictions. Rarely were reptiles seen at these clinics despite always having (and advertising) the presence of an exotic vet specialist.
When the branch secured a grant from the national RSPCA to deliver ten pet health clinics during 2010 the idea of trialling a Reptile Roadshow came to mind. The branch had long been running very successful specialist Rabbit and Guinea Pig Roadshows and so the hope was that an event specifically for reptiles might reach these creatures and their owners and offer a wealth of advice and support to all.
What We Hoped to Achieve
Each time we delver a free pet health clinic our goal is to:
· help animals whose owners may not be able to afford routine health care
· help as many people and animals stay together during this time of financial hardship
· offer affordable microchipping and treatment for fleas and worms
· help prevent or alleviate illness and/or suffering
· help raise awareness about welfare needs and best practices
· offer further financial assistance with veterinary treatment, subject to availability and means testing
The goal was no different on this occasion accept with one added hurdle – overcoming prejudices amongst reptile keepers toward the RSPCA. Unfortunately the RSPCA is not popular amongst all fractions of society and previously it was felt by many reptile keepers that the RSPCA had a limited and scant understanding and knowledge about reptile keeping. Whilst we were fully aware that the odds would be slightly stacked against us we have never been a branch to avoid a challenge.
How We Achieved It
The branch is fortunate to have some very good friends in the reptile world, namely leading environmentalist and conservationist Crocodile Joe ( tortoise expert and welfarist Debs Glanville, trainee exotic vet Sarah Pellet and one of the most prominent exotic vets in the country, Molly Varga. In fact, Molly is one of only four vets in private practice in the UK to hold the qualifications in exotic medicine that she has.
The team of experts provided invaluable help and support in setting up and running the roadshow and their credentials enabled us to approach reptile forums, tortoise charities and leading purveyors of reptile products with confidence and clarity of vision.
We received the most fantastic support from Practical Reptile Keeping magazine, Vet Ark and Bio-Care. The publicity achieved enabled us to reach a far wider audience than we could have hoped for whilst the product samples enabled us to offer free samples to animals in need and in the process educate owners about their availability and necessity.Outcomes
At each event Crocodile Joe held court; educating and advising visitors on best husbandry practices for their reptiles. He was able to easily demonstrate these practices with his exhibition vivariums and expert handling skills. Undoubtedly Joe stole the show each day and added a really vital dimension to the roadshow because we all -staff, volunteers and visitors alike - learnt so much from his infectious enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge and experience.
Debs Glanville worked tirelessly talking at length with tortoise owners; offering alternative husbandry ideas, dietary and care advice and never failed to ‘coo’ over each and every tortoise that came along! To be honest, we could have done with cloning Debs, such was the demand for her helpful hints and advice.
But of course the main draw was the free health checks and advice offered by the exotic vets. Over the two roadshow dates a total of 98 animals were health checked for free in just 8 hours! By far the most popular animals that attended were tortoises followed by bearded dragons. More unusual visitors included a chameleon, red headed aganas, a white tree frog and a pastel boa.
Microchipping was not so much in demand as we had thought, even though we charging just £3 a time, as only 14 animals in total were microchipped and all of these were tortoises.Reflections
Attendance at each event proved surprising; the Saturday date in Stretford, South Manchester saw just 32 animals attend. Whereas the event that took place in Eccles on a Sunday saw 66 animals attend. If the funds are available for us to repeat the roadshow in 2011 we will head back to the Eccles event on a Sunday again, but this time in the height of summer, as the cold days would have definitely have deterred people from bring their animals out of their cosy, warm vivs.
Super Pet Expo, Chantilly, Virginia 3/31 - 4/2
Yeap, the Super Pet Expo has come to Chantilly, Virginia this weekend. Make your plans to attend! I know I am. :D
Check out the pictures of previous events, list of vendors and the like.
Bring Muffy or Fluffy, bur remember, well behaved dogs are far more welcome than those that aren't. Leashes required!
Enjoy your weekend!!!!
Noodles, there's a wonderful group in MD that
May be able to help you.
Please check out the Mid-Atlantic Turtle and Tortoise Society. In April, I helped staff their booth at the Super Pet Expo in Chantilly, Virginia.
I was impressed by the knowledge, caring,kindess and compassion exhibited by the group. I suggest that you contact Katrina, she's amazing.
at their Petfinder site:
Pitbull awareness day
pitbull awareness day
Event Date: October 18, 2008
It is time to dispel the ignorance and realities around this breed and teach responsible pet ownership A pit needs an owner who is willing to show positive leadership and spend time training their pooch. A pit may not be the right dog for you, but ignorance is not a reason to not adopt or ban a breed. Education is the Key.
This is a huge event and will need teams of people to make this successful