At the end of each month we take a look back at the animals that have made headlines in recent weeks, collecting stories from across the UK and around the globe. Sometimes happy, occasionally sad and always enlightening, here are the creatures that are making the news at the moment:
PDSA announces finalists of the 2016 Pet Fit Club
An annual event designed to help owners help their pets stay in shape, this year’s Pet Fit Club’s seven finalists include fat cat Mikey, whose love of crisps, popcorn and cornflakes led to him becoming unhealthy and overweight. There’s also Pebbles, a rotund rabbit, Tyty the Chihuahua, Kaspa the Labrador, Tia the bullmastiff and Entei the cat; each shedding impressive amounts of weight through the year – an incredible total of 4 stone 12 pounds overall! This year’s winner has been crowned as Oscar the spaniel, whose disabled owner struggled to walk him regularly and who was rather partial to a Sunday roast. Since losing weight, he’s regained his youthful vitality and is an inspiration to all podgy pets to shed the pounds!
Each of the finalists this year was classed as obese or morbidly obese, and desperately needed to lose weight to improve their quality of life. Pets carrying 20% or more of their ideal body weight are defined as obese, while pets with over 50% are deemed morbidly obese.
Downing Street dogs in hiding!
It has recently been reported that the Chancellor Philip Hammond has had to take desperate measures to keep his dogs safe from the unwanted attention of Larry, the resident Number 10 cat! The two Hammond family pets, a Welsh terrier called Rex and a dachshund named Oscar, are confined to quarters as feisty feline Larry rules the roost! It is well known that the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne also kept Lola, his Bichon Frise, away from Larry when he moved her into the building in 2013. Which just goes to prove what many of us already know – that unlike in the cartoons, cats are not remotely scared of dogs!
No presidential pets for Trump
Staying with political pets, it looks likely that for the first time in almost two hundred years, when Donald Trump takes office in the spring, the White House will have no four-legged pets in residence. When President Obama was elected to office, he kept a promise to his daughters Sasha and Malia that they could have a dog in the White House, welcoming a Portuguese water dog named Bo to the family, closely followed by a second, called Sunny. President George W Bush had two Scottish terriers, named Barney and Miss Beazley; whilst Bill Clinton had a chocolate Labrador Retriever named Buddy and a cat named Socks. And whilst most presidents opt for one or two canine companions, Ronald Reagan collected a whole menagerie, including Lucky, a Bouvier des Flandres, Rex, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Victory, a golden retriever, Peggy, an Irish setter, Taca, a Siberian husky and Fuzzy, a Belgian sheepdog!
As if being President of the United States wasn’t enough to keep him busy!
Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support