As well as founding the Ealing Animal Charities Fair, Marion Garnett has also, since 2011, written a weekly Animal Rescue column which is published in the West London local paper, the Gazette. Columns published since January 2019 are now available online here.
If you would like to see any of the columns published before 2019, please contact Marion directly (see Contacts page).
Column 2nd March 2020
It’s usually useful to think ahead. Hounslow Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) are experts in this. For weeks now, they’ve been collecting items to sell at the Ealing Animal Charities Fair so that, on the day, their stall, is like a treasure trove. I’ve seen them, in previous years, before the Fair starts, looking at what they have brought to sell and thinking how are we going to fit all this on the stall. But they do.
Like many animal charities, HAWS are also experts in picking up the pieces from people
who don’t think ahead. Often this takes the form of someone getting a pet without
thinking what might happen in the future -
Sometimes a pet has to be given up because something unexpected has happened but sometimes it’s for a reason that was foreseeable in advance.
The animal rescue centre, Mayhew, (another brilliant charity who also has a stall at the Fair) has produced a list of questions for people to ask themselves before they get a pet. These include ‘Are you prepared to care for a pet for its whole life?’ When you adopt an animal, you’re committed to caring for it, for its entire life and, for a cat or dog, this could be for an average of 15 years. You need to think about what you might be doing over this time, such as moving house or changing work and, if so, how will you continue to care for your pet. Other questions to ask yourself include, can you afford a pet, have you time for a pet, do you live in suitable accommodation and, if you have a pet already, is it a good idea to introduce a new animal? These questions all have to be thought through carefully.
It was after a change in circumstances that the gorgeous Tia arrived into the care
of HAWS. Tia is 10 months old, sweet and friendly but a little shy initially with
people she doesn’t know. If you are interested in homing this beautiful girl, see
Meanwhile, don’t forget both HAWS and Mayhew are among the societies at the Ealing Animal Charities Fair which takes place on Saturday, March 7 (10.30am to 4pm) at Hanwell Methodist Church, Church Road, W7 1DJ. There is a fantastic programme of speakers plus 40 animal charity stalls. Admission is free. Details from ealinganimalsfair.london.
Column 9th March 2020
The last time I went to my wonderful hairdresser, I felt such a mess, I said to him, please don’t even look at me until I’ve had my hair done. Always quick off the mark, “That’s not going to work”, he said.
But it does mean I can identify, to some extent, with Arlo, an Old English Sheepdog, who arrived at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home with fur so long and matted it covered his eyes, meaning he’d regularly walk into walls and doors as he couldn’t see where he was going. Fancy arriving at the famous Battersea for rehoming looking a mess – just when you want to look your best.
Arlo’s knots were so bad, Battersea staff had no choice but to clip all Arlo’s hair off to make him feel more comfortable. It took three people, two hours to clip the two year old from head to toe, removing 1.8 kilograms of hair while he was under sedation.
Battersea said they wouldn’t normally clip a dog with such long hair but as Arlo was in such discomfort, they thought it was best for his welfare.
Because Arlo’s mats were so severe, they pulled at his skin, leaving him feeling uncomfortable and anxious when he was being handled. This means he’s now having lots of positive training to help show him that grooming and handling can be enjoyable.
Grooming is vital for all dogs especially those with long hair. If a dog’s fur gets too matted or long, it can cause discomfort and lead to infections in their eyes and ears.
And, of course, Arlo now looks stunning. His coat will eventually grow back which
means he is looking for new owners who will help him to stay the well-
Without a doubt, dogs taking part in this year’s Battersea Muddy Dog Challenge will need grooming afterwards. Taking place on Saturday June 6 and Sunday June 7 in the historic parkland of Windsor Great Park, humans and dogs can take part in a 2.5km or 5km obstacle run. Participants are asked to raise £100 for Battersea’s work plus there is a registration fee. This is a popular event and places are being snapped up fast. For details see battersea.org.uk.
Column 16th March 2020
The freezer’s empty, the fridge is bare. I feel like Old Mother Hubbard. I’d been storing food in the fridge for refreshments for yesterday’s Ealing Animal Charities Fair and now the Fair is over, the food has gone. Just when some people have a stockpile, I have empty shelves. But it was worth it. The Fair helped a wide range of animals either by raising funds to pay for their care or by raising awareness of their plight. Thank you to those who attended and readers who said hello. It was wonderful to meet you.
But although Covid-
If you have a pet and are worried about their care during this virus outbreak, the
RSPCA has produced advice relating to what to do if you’re ill or have to self-
It’s difficult to believe that this beautiful Shar-
Column 23rd March 2020
For a cat who never left the house, Ollie was loved by a lot of people. Fans of Ricky
Gervais and his partner, best-
Ollie shows that, just because at this time of crisis, many people can’t leave the house, doesn’t mean our ability to interact with others has to stop. Innovative ways of doing this are rapidly evolving so that our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs are met. And, it’s not just people’s needs that have to be met. It’s also the needs of animals.
The RSPCA (rspca.org.uk) and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (battersea.org.uk) continue
to offer advice on how to care for our pets if we are ill with coronavirus or have
The virus is also having financial implications for animal rescue centres. Visitors
to the recent Ealing Animal Charities Fair who enjoyed Alison Cronin’s talk may be
interested to know the world-
For a completely different reason to Ollie, another cat who doesn’t go outside is Melvin. This beautiful boy was brought into a local vet after being found hiding in a garage with two others after a storm. He is a shy boy who has a very sweet side. He has feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and needs an indoor home. For details see rspca.org.uk or meet him at the RSPCA Cat Adoption Centre, Burket Close, Southall. But, please note that during this crisis, visits to view are by appointment only so call 0300 123 0746 first.
Column 30th March 2020
That was a busy day. I’ve just spoken to Jackie De Friez, Manager of the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) rehoming centre near Watford and she tells me that, yesterday, they took 22 animals to their new homes. These were all animals whose new owners had started the rehoming process before the coronavirus crisis escalated and rather than keep the animals at the rehoming centre for the duration of the crisis, they speeded up the process and got them into their new homes yesterday. That must have been a mammoth effort and all credit to the staff who carried this out. By all accounts, it was an emotional evacuation as throughout the day, 22 animals were loaded into NAWT vans and delivered to their new homes.
But this does not mean the centre is empty. There are still 30 dogs, 30 cats as well as rabbits, guinea pigs, degus, chickens, a pig and a tortoise at the centre waiting for a home. No new rehoming is taking place at present so dogs like Jimmy, a Terrier, who is one of those left behind, needs to settle in for the long haul. If, when restrictions are lifted, you are interested in homing Jimmy, you can see details at nawt.org.uk.
This crisis does focus our minds on the need to prepare ourselves, at all times (and
not just now), for what may happen in the future not only for ourselves but also
our pets. In order to help with this, several years ago, NAWT prepared a care pack
called Tails of the Unexpected which is a step-
Finally, remember the RSPCA (rspca.org.uk) and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (battersea.org.uk)
have advice on how to care for your pets if you are self-
|Participating groups 2020 ||
|Participating groups 2019|