Where’s Mum!

She has never felt a loving hand,

Nor grass beneath her feet

She lives alone and has never known,

A life that was complete.

 

She cowers at the man who passes by,

She’s hungry tired & cold,

Her life is brief and spent in grief,

For the puppies she has never known.

 

She has never lazed by a comfy fire,

Nor felt a summer breeze,

Or seen the sun as her days began,

Nor rummaged through the autumn leaves.

 

She has never had a special friend,

Or seen an owners loving smile,

It is today her pups are taken away,

She only nursed them for a while.

 

For her life is spent producing litters,

And is therefore very brief

He doesn’t care, to see her lying there,

He doesn’t feel her grief.

 

She has no choice but to endure a life,

Of solitude, filth & pain,

Even her babies die, as he passes by,

She doesn’t even have a name.

 

This is the plight of a puppy farmed dog,

Hidden from society,

Where cruelty reigns until the end of their days,

But it doesn’t have to be.

 

Next time that you are looking for puppy,

Please remember this poem,

Please try and adopt, but if you really want to shop,

Remember to ask ‘Where is mum’

 

By Nina Cole – Inspired by our ‘Adopt Don’t Shop’, campaign

www.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk

We LOVE To Care

2014 has been an extremely busy year and we have welcomed new Pet Sitters from the Dorset, Bedfordshire, Bristol, Sussex, Surrey & Essex areas.  We are still recruiting for live in pet sitters, so anyone who may be interested please visit our Become a Petsitter page.  

Christmas is almost upon us!  Yes, is currently only ten weeks away and we have decided to have Christmas Day afternoon with our family, so we will be informing our visiting clients this week to ensure that they book early this year.  For all new enquiries, PLEASE be aware that this year we will be unable to take last minute bookings!  Our Visiting page is awash with information, so when Aunty Betty has decided to spend the festive period in the Maldives and Nigel from next door is going to relatives 90 miles away, remember your cats, bunnies and little furries and PLEASE book early.

This year has been very exciting for us.  As huge supporters of Pupaid, we were delighted to see the petition we had been promoting surpass 100,000 signatures and forcing a debate in Parliament last week. So congratulations to Marc Abraham for bringing this to the public’s attention and forcing the Government to listen. 

In our seventeen years working in the pet care industry, we have seen too many puppies who have been unwittingly purchased from Puppy Farms and back yard breeders.  The lucky ones have survived, but can carry hereditary and acquired diseases, often as a result of inbreeding.  The parents of these poor pups live in the most unim,aginable cruelty, deprived of human contact and living in the most squalid of conditions and are often killed when they are no longer able to breed!

Breeding MUST be regulated and these barbaric puppy/kitten concentration camps, banned, so PLEASE stop buy responsibly, or better still adopt. 

As part of our ’Adopt Don’t Shop’ campaign, we offer 5% discounts.  We ask only for a copy of your pets adoption certificate and our 5% discount will be implemented to our visiting and agency fee.

This year also saw us win the Theo Paphitis small business award and we cannot wait to meet the man himself.  Our badge is proudly displayed on our home page, with our certificate of registration and our insurance badge.  Hence our motto, at Nina’s Nannies for Pets, WE LOVE TO CARE.

Nina’s Nannies for Pets gets a Twitter Boost from Theo Paphitis

On Sunday 29 June, I tweeted Theo about our pet sitting business during ‘Small Business Sunday’, an initiative set up by Theo that runs weekly.

To my utter delight, Theo re-tweeted my message to his 260,000 followers and as a result we are now profiled on a new website www.theopaphitissbs.com, that is exclusive to Small Business Sunday winners! 

I really hope that this recognition will help to promote animal welfare and encourage more people to adopt their pets, rather than buy. This is also why we now offer discounts to people who have re-homed their pets, along with senior citizens who would rather keep their pets at home while they are on holiday .

It is wonderful to have support from Theo and Doug (my business partner), and  I are ‘over the moon’, to be recognised  for our hard work and to help spread the word about what we do.

We cannot wait to meet Theo personally to collect our Small Business Award and a may even cheekily ask him to give his backing to Pupaid, a petition started by Marc Abraham to help ban the sale of young puppies and kittens unless their mother are present.

The Forgotten Rabit

During my eighteen years as a pet sitter, one animal in particular, seems to be the most forgotten – the humble rabbit.

You would think the film ‘Watership Down’, given its popularity, would have helped to educate people with regards to their living conditions and requirements, but sadly we continue to care for solitary rabbits, some living in cramped conditions and often overlooked in their garden hutches.

Rabbits are community animals that desperately need to live in groups.  In the wild a community can consist of up to a hundred individuals, living peacefully in their network of tunnels, so please do not deprive them from having company.

Hutches should incorporate outside space and be raised off the ground to allow air to circulate and prevent water logging.  It should also be secure and in the summer months, moved to shady position in your garden.

You should also be mindful that the winter can be perilously cold and your rabbits should be moved to a warmer area, where they will not be exposed to the elements.

A hutch can never be too big.  I have seen some ingenious living quarters, often designed and built by the owner.  Care should be taken however, to ensure that there are no sharp edges or escape routes and before attempting a ‘do it yourself hutch’, seek professional advice to ensure that the home is suitable, before the building commences.

It is essential that your hutch has both a living and sleeping area and large enough that your rabbits can hop around.  The outside space should be secure and safe from predators.

Frequent cleaning is an essential and a daily regime is extremely important. 

Any soiled hay/paper should be removed, and the toilet area cleaned. Beware of harmful cleaning products, so ensure that any products are rabbit friendly.

Dirty hutches can result in illness, such as sore feet and dirty bottoms, which can result in fly strike.  This is caused when the eggs of the fly are laid and then hatch into maggots, which unless caught quickly can be a killer.

For full details regarding animal care you can visit their website:-

http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/rabbits

Owning and caring for rabbits, requires exactly the same commitment as owning a kitten or puppy and they will delight their owners if you are well prepared.  So please do not allow yours, to be the forgotten rabbits!

Pet Theft

At Nina’s Nannies for Pets, pet and home security is paramount, therefore the increase in pet thefts are extremely worrying!

Contrary to popular belief, it is not just dogs that are at risk of being taken! Horses and cats are also vulnerable and while home thefts are widely reported, dogs are now also being taken from outside shops and even whilst being walked!

There have also been reports of gangs that prowl Britain’s streets, stealing dogs to order.  They are identifying their victims by daubing the letter ‘K’ on driveways. Police report that  so called ‘lookouts’ are leaving the ‘K’ code in crayon or spray paint after finding valuable dogs worth stealing and selling on from unwitting owners’ gardens, so is it vital that dog owners are continually vigilant.

It is not just the owners who are being targeted.  Having worked closely with local animal shelters it seems even they are not immune from the thieves, so what can we do to safe guard our pets!

Here are a few basic tips –

  • Microchip your pet, and keep their details up to date.
  • Keep your garden secure and padlock your gate.  Thieves are less likely to target a secured garden.
  • Keep your pets inside when you are not at home.
  • Supervise your dog even in the garden.
  • Do not exercise your dog in remote locations.
  • Spay and neuter your pet, for they are less likely to stray from home.
  • NEVER leave your dog unattended in a car, or outside of a shop.
  • Be vigilant. Thieves will take every opportunity to snatch dogs that are being exercised off leash.
  • Take a photograph of your pet and make a note of any distinguishing features.  It may be required should they go missing.
  • Keep photographs of yourself with your pet, since it will help to identify you as the owner.
  • Vary the times and route in which walk with your dog.  High value dogs such as gun dogs can be targeted and snatched by criminals!

Are you aware, that a dog collar and tag is a legal requirement in identifying your dog, if she/he goes missing?  Please refrain however, from including your dogs name, since this is an added bonus for anyone wishing to lure your dog away.

Lastly and importantly, please ensure that any company, or persons unknown to you, have been thoroughly vetted before leaving your pets in their care.  Are they registered and if so, with whom!  Do you carry public liability insurance and can they provide a police background check to verify that their details are correct.

If the worst does happen and you believe that your dog has been stolen, report it to the police and insist that it is recorded as stolen and not lost. There is no central database for lost or stolen pets, so report them to as many agencies as possible and alert your local dog warden.

Social networking sites can prove invaluable in reunited pets with their owners, so use them.  Put up posters and mail shot your neighbourhood and notify, veterinary establishments and local shelters.

Most importantly, keep your pets safe.

So you want to engage a pet sitter!

So you are going away and Great Aunt Maude, who promised to come in and care for Kitty each day, has suddenly discovered that she is due to have her hip operation on the first day of your holiday!

The neighbour has already expressed their dislike of cats and is forever chasing him out of their garden, so what do you do?

You have exhausted your contact book and someone suggests that you try a pet sitter.

Your first thought is shock horror. A stranger in your home is not what you had anticipated when you had booked your dream holiday to Barbados, but since you do not wish to expose little Kitty to the confines of a cattery, the option of a pet sitter suddenly seems very attractive.

Following your research you discover that not only do they provide extra home security, but they also take in the post, water the plants and even put bins out for collection. Perhaps the idea of a pet sitting service is quite attractive after all!

So now to the nitty gritty.

1. Is your pet sitter insured

2. Are they registered
3. Do they have a CRB check
4. Can they provide testimonials
5. Can you speak with their clients

If the answer is ‘Yes’ to all of the above, the chances are that you are employing a good, professional pet sitter to care for your pet(s) and provide home security while you are away.

With bags packed and passport in hand, you are now able to enjoy that well earned holiday, content in the knowledge that you will have happy pets, a well watered garden and secured home while you are away.

We are now able to cover the following areas for our live in service:-

http://cambridge.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

http://surrey.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

http://westsussex.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

http://hampshire.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

Bravo Working Dog Rescue

The Daily Mail has recently highlighted the growing numbers of retiring Police and Military dogs put to sleep at the end of their working lives.

Bravo Working Dog Rescue, run the only specialist working dog rehabilitation and retraining rescue in the UK.  They have had many successful cases over many years but the increasing numbers of failed and retiring working dogs that are not staying with handlers needed its own rescue. Bravo was created to offer this on a bigger scale.

They are currently fundraising to find enough money to set up one main base with kennels.  Their motto is “sometimes, even a hero needs help”. These dogs find our lost children, catch our burglars and keep our workplaces safe and protect us from drugs and explosives. They really deserve help.

Bravo Working Dog Rescue is the only rescue offering rehabilitation and retraining to failed and retiring working dogs. Whilst some dogs do get to retire with their handlers, everyone will have seen recent news reports about the amount of dogs put to sleep at the end of their career or sold on badly.  We  fight many in the industry to take dogs, often helped secretly by handlers who want to save their dog.

Sadly Bravo Rescue are now turning dogs away as their original kennels are being turned into something else.  Therefore they desperately need to raise £5,000 to enable them to move and set up a kennel base in the Midlands.

Anything you can do to help is much appreciated, for without this wonderful organisation, many of these dogs could be dead or worse.

Please help by sharing this link and donating if you can.
http://www.gofundme.com/BravoWorkingDogRescue

Pup Aid

When I received an invite from Marc Abraham to attend Pup Aid this year, I did so without hesitation. Many of our clients have unwittingly purchased dogs/kittens from puppy farms and I welcome any opportunity to raise awareness of these appalling concentration camps.
Being used to early starts, we set off for London at 6.15am, with our car piled high with the equipment,  required to set up our temporary camp on Primrose Hill. London has always filled me with horror, since my last encounter driving around the city . So lost was I, that I ended up with a police escort who had answered my frantic pleas of help. I was much younger then and have long since lost my ability to catch the eye of a passing policeman!   I was therefore reliant on my trusted Sat Nav, who thus far had always helped me to reach my destination.
The next hour was spent making friends and setting up our marquee – not an easy task and I would like to thank the two lovely gentlemen from Primrose Hill Bookshop, without whom our marquee would never have made it out of the bag!
As passionate animal welfare advocates, we are always keen to raise a little money on the day and Pup Aid was no exception. Our wonderful twitter friends had donated all manner of doggie toys, treats, training aids and even a doggie bed, which was carefully positioned in front of our stall to attract public attention. We had hoped to raise at least £100 for the pup aid cause and we were not disappointed. People were extremely generous in their donations and over £130 was raised at the end of the day, so a huge thank you to everyone from Primrose Hill who supported such a good cause.
The event was well attended by the general public and even the VIP’s came out in force. It was lovely to meet some of my twitter friends including the lovely Leean Pindar from http://lovesniffys.com/ and my favourite VIP Peter Egan, whom with his wife Myra, work tirelessly in their support of animal welfare.
The day was a resounding success and I would like to thank Marc Abraham on behalf of animal owners everywhere, for his efforts in bringing the misery of puppy farms to an end.
Marc and everyone from Pup Aid still need your support with their petition to close down these barbaric puppy farms, so PLEASE sign and share http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49528

Animal Cruelty

I honestly believe that introducing ‘animal welfare’ into the school curricula will undoubtedly see a decrease in animal cruelty. I would therefore please ask all visitors and clients to sign and share our petition to ‘Introduce Animal Welfare into the School Curriculum’.

Animals have encouraged the moral and personal development of children, bringing social benefits to their communities. Scientific research has also proved the health benefits as well as promoting a general feeling of wellbeing.

Animals also bring out the nurturing instinct of a child and help them to understand the responsibility of owning a pet.

Therapeutic and educational benefits have been identified, especially benefitting those children with special needs. Their calming affect can also help to reduce stress, improve concentration and help to boost self esteem.

There may not be a ‘quick fix’ for animal abuse, but educating our children how to better care for our animals is a start. I would therefore ask EVERY person who reads this article, to PLEASE sign our petition. We can force change and we CAN make a difference. It is easy to tut tut at the horrific images of animal abuse, or feel sickened by the puppy who has just been put to sleep having been thrown from a motorway bridge!

I am therefore asking people to put their pen where their mouth is and to force our government to make animal welfare education part of the school curricula. Together, we can and will make a difference.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38361

Nannies Expand for Dorset Dogs

A pet sitting business, formed after its founders recovered from serious illness, has expanded their workforce to cope with growing demand from their Dorset clients.

Nina Cole set up their enterprise in 1998 after recovering from a brain haemorrhage, which she suffered 6 months after her husband, had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Nina has worked with animals throughout the majority of her life, both as a volunteer fund raiser for animal charities and studying for her diploma in dog psychology, which was postponed indefinitely when her business, Nina’s Nannies for Pets took off.

Today business is flourishing, particularly in Dorset and the surrounding area, where she recently held interviews at The Sandbank Hotel in Poole.

The majority of Nina’s and Doug’s pet nannies are retired people or couples, who have undergone vigorous security checks before being accepted as part of their family team.

“We do occasionally take the odd prank call”.  Nina stated, recalling one potential client who requested care for his one eyed incontinent Anaconda!  “We always try to accommodate our client’s needs, even if it means sharing your bed with a St Bernard, or dealing with a burst pipe”, and we take these oddities in our stride”.

In 1997 the company were proud to reach the semi finals of the Barclays Small Business award, narrowing missing out on a place in the final and their certificate takes pride of place on the office wall.

Their website boasts glowing testimonials and their service is recommended by pet professionals and clients alike.  They are particularly keen to keep the ‘family’ feel to their business and this is reflected in their prices.  Nina states that it is important to offer an affordable service and clients such as the Cinnamon Trust are always given a discount.