In time-honoured tradition, as this is – officially – the first ManxSPCA article of 2016, we will look back at the highlights of last year as chosen by the staff at the society.
We will start with the small animals unit, which has looked after a diverse range of animals including a tarantula, a bearded dragon, snakes, terrapins and frogs, as well as ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits – with almost 50 rabbits rehomed during the year.
But it is a chinchilla called Charlie that stands out most.
He came to us because his owners had no time for him, and his enclosure was kept in the small animal unit office because he was blind and the staff wanted to monitor him closely.
He soon became known as ‘Cheeky Charlie’ because the staff fell in love with his mischievous ways, such as standing on his back legs to survey his surroundings when he was out of his enclosure. Then in June of this year two very special people came to the Manx SPCA and fell for him.
His new owners looked into whether he should have an operation to have his cataracts removed but it was decided that he was doing very well as he was.
It took him no time at all to settle into his ‘forever home’ and we’re told he is still as cheeky as ever!
And now to the aviary and a ‘love story’ between Gandalf and Gerty. In early January 2015 during the storms our welfare officer, Adrian Cannell, rescued a male goose from Richmond Hill that had been blown about in the wind and was in distress. He was brought to Ard Jerkyll for a few days rest and a check-up.
Within days of being here a female goose with one eye was brought in from a separate part of the island and they were paired up in the aviary. Some 10 days later they were released on a local farm with the hope that Gandalf would stay and guide Gerty. To date, they are still an item and live in the grounds of the farm with other geese.
The kennels staff have struggled to pick their highlight of the year because we have had so many amazing dogs to care for during 2015.
Keiko, the shar pei, eventually won out not just for having the wrinkliest face ever but because he went from a dog that tried to bite everyone to being ‘one of the nicest dogs ever’. The kennels staff spent hours with him, playing and walking, and they were able to build up his trust so that he didn’t need to show aggression anymore; and he found his ‘forever home’ within a few weeks.
Sadly Tasha and Suzi, our beautiful northern Inuits, have stayed with us all year and we don’t know why because they have wonderful temperaments and are super friendly and gentle.
However, they are classed as a ‘specialist breed’ because they are intelligent and can be challenging to handle for an inexperienced dog owner.
They need guidance and ‘leadership’ and someone who can spend time with them, both to continue with their training and to give them the amount of exercise they need every day.
A home with plenty of space, a fenced back garden and an owner who can be with them for much of the time would be ideal – could this be you? You will be given plenty of pre- and post- adoption advice by the kennels team, and ongoing support.
And finally to the cattery, which has rehomed literally hundreds of cats in 2015. The cattery team also found it difficult to pick just one highlight but settled on Colin, the most tolerant and resilient cat ever. He came to the society with horrific injuries inflicted by a collar that did not have a quick release mechanism.
It was caught underneath one of his front legs and had made a deep gash in his flesh. He was with us for five months and had several operations, ultimately involving a skin graft from his hip, to repair his wound. Colin’s amazing personality, always purring no matter what discomfort he was in, meant that he found a loving adoptive family who will now give him the life he deserves.
We would like to thank our supporters, volunteers, friends and sponsors for their generosity.