Hello NewsHounds, this week we feature the launch of the new StreetVet accredited hostel scheme, why we love to support British Brands, Tom Hunt MP, The People’s Choice Award in the National History Museums Wildlife Photography contest and a pupdate from Burly Bear Pom.
StreetVet – A Pet In Every Hostel
No one can deny 2020 has been quite a year, for many the companionship of our pets has been paramount to our wellbeing, none more so than those who don’t enjoy the comforts of a place to call home. On November 30th The Elms, a hostel providing emergency and short-term accommodation for single homeless adults, managed by the charity Dems became the first StreetVet accredited hostel in the UK. The accreditation scheme ensures that hostels are equipped to support pet-owning residents, including: having a variety of health, hygiene, and safety policies in place; e-training hostel team members to support the policies and the people and pets they are accommodating, and providing pet owners with access to vet care. In the UK, one in ten people experiencing homelessness has a pet and, whilst some hostels accept pets, the vast majority do not.
We spoke to Sean Fitzgerald, manager at the Elms, a pet friendly hostel, to congratulate him on the accreditation and find out what it means for him and his team. Sean told us he is very proud of what StreetVet have done for clients with pets and honoured to be the first StreetVet accredited hostel. The Elms has 44 residents and 17 staff, they currently have two dogs, Bluebell and Bow and one resident cat called Lucielle. Sean says, “we wanted to be part of this scheme because we see the benefits pets bring their owners every day with our residents.
The accreditation process is thorough but it’s also simple, with all the support you need provided by StreetVet. The scheme helped us improve our pet policies and we know StreetVet will be there whenever we need them in an emergency. . We would encourage as many hostels as possible to get involved.”
Resolutions anyone? Make it Lovely, British & Ethical
I look forward to a day when an article or conversation no longer refers to COVID or lockdowns. At PAAW House we are a glass more than half full lot, we like to focus on the positive lessons we have learned over the last 10 months. Something we all agree on is the importance of buying local products and supporting British businesses. We try to buy local whenever we can, it's not always possible and we’re not perfect, but at least it’s a topic that people are talking about.
The pet industry is booming right now with a leading UK pet retailer recently announcing a 15% rise in sales, and a 14% rise in profits since the start of lockdown. Recent data collected by OnBuy suggests that UK pet parents are set to spend £64 million pounds more on their pets than their partners this Christmas. A great time to be a pet business, a great time to support local.
One thing we are mindful of when supporting any business, large or small, is to know the source of the product. A small local business doesn’t always mean local, ethical products, food for thought! We love the variety of our independent community markets and shops in South London. Vinnie’s favourite spot is ‘Lovely and British’, on Bermondsey St, London, they have a small selection of pet related products, but mostly he loves the dog treats under the counter. Looking for online inspiration, we recently came across this Christmas gift guide of British made pet products at Make it British...
Pets In Parliament – Tom Hunt MP
Tom Hunt is Conservative MP for Ipswich, his priorities for his constituency include creating opportunities for young people and environmental issues. Tom is also an advocate for animal welfare and led the recent debate on Pet Theft Reform. Pet Theft Reform created by Dr Daniel Allen and the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance is a campaign to make pet theft a specific offence. Tom says “As an animal lover myself and previous owner of a crazy springer spaniel named Lucy, I’ve always been passionate about the protection of our pets.
Which is why I found it so concerning to learn about an increase in pet thefts throughout lockdown in Suffolk. This sickening crime is causing ever more anguish to victims and impacting their mental health at an already difficult time. So I’ve been working closely with pet theft reform campaigners to continuously raise this issue in Parliament, and in late October I was able to lead a Westminster Hall Debate on the topic. I’ve also been in discussions with the Justice Secretary about tougher sentencing for this cruel act and I’ll be continuing to fight for the protection of our much-loved pets.”
Cats Protection – Innovation & Collaboration in a crisis
Ten thousand cats have been successfully homed during the Covid-19 crisis, thanks to an innovative door-step delivery solution specifically tailored to overcome lockdown restrictions. Cats Protection is celebrating the commitment of its care teams and volunteers who delivered in trying times to make such a landmark success of its new Hands-Free Homing process.
When the UK went into lockdown, it became clear that the nation’s largest cat welfare charity would need to engineer new ways of working with centres closed to the public. The solution was simple; Hands-Free Homing matches prospective owners with cats in need using interactive video technology and safely delivers them to their new homes without need for human contact. As lockdown restrictions eased a Covid-safe collection service was also introduced following the online matching process.
After a successful trial, volunteers and staff were trained in Covid-safe protocols and the scheme was deployed across the network, forming a cornerstone of the charity’s commitment to remain #HereForTheCats. Mike Elliott, Cats Protection’s Director of Field Operations, said: “Everything changed overnight. Lockdown forced us to rethink how best to support the welfare of cats in need. We had to find new ways of working and fast. Hands-Free Homing has allowed us to find homes for more than ten thousand cats; that’s an achievement worth celebrating”.
Collaboration has been key to this success. Volunteers and fosterers from across the charity’s national network have supported staff at homing and adoption centres to match cats to new homes and find ways to deliver costly care and treatment for a number of emergency cases. To donate to the ongoing work of Cats Protection and ensure that thousands more cats can be homed and treated, please visit:
Burly In London
Hello Again Burlings, hope you have all had a good week? I’m super excited that I am allowed visit my local pet friendly venues again. I have just been to see my friends at Holly and Lil for a trim in anticipation of LOTS of outings! I’ve also been active checking some London sites and landmarks, sounding out the best photo opportunities for the festive season. I’ve been to see St Pauls Cathedral, The Millennium Wheel and got my photo taken with the new light feature at City Hall on the day it went up. My favourite recent photo adventure is however a phone box in South London, yep, you heard me correctly, a phone box.
There are several iconic red phone boxes across the UK which have been lovingly restored and turned into micro libraries, operating on a system of trust. The one I visited in South London was created by Seb Handley, he bought a run-down phone box from BT for £1 and used his own money to turn it into one of London’s smallest libraries. After I posted the picture on @burlyinlondon my Instagram friend @dinothedisableddog got in touch to say he has one in his local village in Hampshire, he went off with his humans and took a great photo which you will find on his Instagram.
Finally, BIG NEWS, as chief ambassador of PAAW House I have a new recruit joining the team, our first Feline ambassador, we hope you will give a warm welcome to Gremlin, who will be joining us to represent the cat community and ensure that his human @annawebbdogs gets Catcentric from time to time 😊 Love and woofs, Burly Bear Pom.
People’s Choice Award in National History Museum Wildlife Photography Contest
As a team we have many interests in addition to our love of animals, photography and art rank high on the list. The People’s Choice Award in the Natural History Museum’s wildlife photography contest gives the public the opportunity to vote for their favourite images. Fans of wildlife photography around the world can chose their favourite from 25 images, shortlisted by the Natural History Museum from over 49000 image entries across the world. This year’s selection of images includes two endangered Iberian lynx kittens making an abandoned hayloft their playground, a family of beavers in their favourite feeding spot, and a group of burrowing owls living in harmony with their human neighbours in Florida’s Ten Thousand Barrier Islands. Voting ends on 2 February 2021.
The winner will then be showcased in the popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum until 4 July 2021. The top five People’s Choice Award images will also be displayed online, joining the winners of the fifty-sixth Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition chosen by the esteemed panel of judges and announced earlier this year. Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum and offers a truly global platform for amateur and professional photographers alike. Using photography’s unique emotive power to engage and inspire audiences, the competition and exhibition shine a light on stories and species around the world and encourages a future of advocating for the planet.
Dr Tim Littlewood, Executive Director of Science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel, says, ‘The People’s Choice Award provides the public with an opportunity to select images and stories from the natural world that move and intrigue them. This year’s shortlist includes a wide diversity of wildlife photography from a fragile planet. Whether assessing human-animal relationships, highlighting the plight of captive species or animals thriving in their environments, the public are in for a difficult decision! Vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award here: