Yeah, this once a week thing isn't really working out? And no, even worse, I still haven't get the five minute interview and it is almost the end of May. But after the cruel overlords at Ashman Jones have stopped whipping me for my insubordination, I have finally got my feet behind the desk to give you some updates.
Lost & Found
This blog is going to be split into three parts but with a theme in the middle, and that is if your animal disappears. I know that this is quite a stressful and worrying theme so I will try and make it as clear, concise and non-sarcastic as possible.
If your animal chooses to go for a wander
When an animal goes and wanders off without telling you, it is an incredibly worrisome time. However this is also the time to be the most organised. There is no clear definition as to how long a pet is gone for it to be classed as missing, however long enough for you to get worried is classes as missing in my books. This is where you need to pop your clogs on. The first and best thing to do isn't to place a small ad in the paper or put posters up (though they both are good ideas for later on), but to start ringing round. The vet practices are good place to start as any (note I said vet practices, so the more practices in the area you contact, the more places you have knowing the situation), as every vet practice has a 'lost and found' book where we will take down all the details about said pet, including distinctive markings and the presence of a microchip, as well as your details so we can contact you if we find him. But other useful places include the dog warden (as pupster may already have been picked up), local pet charities (for instance Bath Cats and Dogs Home and HEART) and possibly most importantly, your microchip company. The reason for this is that they also send round a letter to every place even vaguely related to animals in your local area to let them know about the wanderer, so they have covered places you wouldn't have thought of. Then the small ads and classic American posters on lampposts are a good plan. Unfortunately, when critter is gone there really isn't much more you can do bar smother them with kisses and attention when they come back as if nothing has happened.
If you find an animal
Now, unfortunately, I am going to have two diverge into two further parts. Because it solely depends whether the animal is a pet or not.
For Pets: If you find an animal that looks like that it may be owned by someone else, and the owner looks like they aren't in sight, then bringing it in is a good plan. If you are trying to bring a cat in for it to be returned to its original owners, DO NOT FEED IT, as it will then associate your house with food and may decide to divert it path when next roaming. If it looks injured or malnourished, notify us or a local rescue that a stray has been found in your area. When you have got the animal, you need to check its details on collar or microchip. To check whether it has a microchip just head into any vet practice and they usually have a scanner behind the desk so we can cross reference numbers. We then have to keep hold of the animal if it discovered to be lost, so we can notify the owners and not put you out the way of your hectic schedule by look after another beastie. If you wish to hand it over to us anyway, we are more than willing to accept it (until the dog warden can come and pick it up), if it is dangerously roaming but the dog warden should be first port of call. Also take a bit of care with regards to dogs as they may not be as friendly as your critter, and may bite!
For Wildlife: If you find a baby animal on the side of the verge or on the path, LEAVE IT! I promise you. If it looks in sound condition, don't touch it for now, as it is likely bubba's mother is staring at you waiting for you to leave. Also, if you even move it, it then has the awful taint of human on it and may actually reject it. However, if you check back in an hour and the animal hasn't moved, there may be something more serious going on and so that is when you can bring it in to us. If the animal is clearly injured, bring it in straight away. I will warn you, unless we find an animal charity to cover for us whilst the wild one is being treated, you will be liable to all treatment costs incurred.
Finally, ways of preventing your animal taking itself for walkies
First way, neutering. Entire males are very willing to enlarge the gene pool in the their local area, so will go wandering if there is a female in season. Unfortunately there are only two ways of going about this: By keeping a very vigilant eye over them the WHOLE time, or by the big snip. Rather brilliantly, snipping them also brings along many health benefits too.
The second way is by microchipping. Though this doesn't actually stop them getting lost, it does however mean they are much more likely to be returned to you. Coz a collar can always fall off, however a microchip stays in for life. And rather conveniently, they are free with the dogs trust (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
The final two come under the same bracket and that is exercise and stimulation. Animals that are cooped up for long hours on end with not much to do then they will start to look to the big, bad world for inspiration. Therefore wearing animals out at the end of the day is always the best plan.
Just to let you know, we are usually open on the bank holiday (including the one coming up in the next couple of weeks) so unless it is Christmas Day or New Years, there is a guarantee that you will see an Ashman Jones vet and nurse every day of the calendar year.
Finally, the summer newsletter has been posted in time to suit this summery weather we are having, so be sure to pick it up to make sure you keep on top of all the seasonal worries for your animals.
If you have any questions about anything raised in this blog or feel you would like to contribute, either comment on the facebook post, drop us an email at email@example.com or even write us a letter and post it (no one writes letters anymore and if we have lots of post it makes us look popular).
Lastly (before this weeks pic), as you might have guessed by my lack of organization this past month, the blog may not be coming out as regularly as before. It is likely to be fortnightly instead. However, when it does finally make its way into cyberspace, I will make a big song and dance about it as usual on Ashman Jones Facebook and the website so you shouldn’t miss a post!
And for the picture, the reason why I am single.