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 newspaper, 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 the Contacts page).
Column 5th August 2019
Sitting in a beautiful country lane writing this, an adult and child have just cycled by. As they passed, the child could be clearly heard saying “I’m never doing this ride again, never in my whole, whole life”. Keeping children happy in the holidays can be an uphill struggle but there’s a brand new event taking place in London this weekend that could help parents out.
The first London Wildlife Festival brings together a whole host of activities for
people of all ages interested in wildlife and conservation. There will be the opportunity
to go on a wildlife safari and learn about wildlife gardening for families. You
will be able to find out about crafts such as wildlife photography, birdwatching,
pottery, floristry, landscape drawing and creative writing. The Festival also includes
If that is too far for you to go, the National Animal Welfare Trust is organising two competitions you can enter from home. Firstly, they are asking people to design the programme cover for their Open Day which takes place on September 7. The closing date for entries is August 22. Secondly, they are organising a children’s colouring competition. For details of both these competitions, see nawt.org.uk.
If two months old Scrabble, Othello and Risk entered a competition for cuteness, it would be impossible to decide the winner. This tiny trio arrived at the animal rehoming centre, Mayhew, as unweaned kittens with their mother who had been living as a stray. Once they were weaned, the kittens were vaccinated, neutered and given flea and worm treatment before being ready for adoption. Because socialisation of kittens at this early age is so important, in order to facilitate them growing up into happy confident cats, Mayhew have ensured that, since their arrival, staff have interacted with the kittens several times a day. It’s important that during socialisation new experiences are positive.
The kittens are looking for a family with older children who have time to spend with them to continue their socialisation. If this could be you, see themayhew.org or meet them at Mayhew, Trenmar Gardens, Kensal Green.
Column 12th August 2019
Coincidences do happen. What are the chances of never having been to the Derbyshire
We were camping at another Derbyshire Reservoir, Carsington Water -
But Carsington Water, with its abundant wildlife, also highlights the effects of
climate change on people, the environment and animals particularly wildlife. Over
the last 100 years the earth’s temperature has risen by 0.7°C. We are already seeing
the highest temperatures ever experienced and increasingly extreme weather. We went
on holiday on one of the hottest days ever recorded and, just a few days later, visited
Climate change is caused by a rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases, including
carbon dioxide, in the earth’s atmosphere, primarily due to human activities. In
order to minimise climate change, we need to reduce our damaging emissions and increase
renewable energy production. As individuals, ways we can help include by eating
less meat, flying less often and, as Carsington Water points out, by not wasting
Column 19th August 2019
On average Battersea Dogs and Cats Home take in 13 dogs and 9 cats a day – 365 days
a year. Each cat or dog that goes through Battersea’s gates is cared for according
to five quality standards. Firstly, subject to space, Battersea aims never to turn
away a dog or cat in need of their help. So, when Larry the Jack Russell Terrier,
arrived as a stray at Battersea’s door, he was accepted as a needy boy and taken
into their care. Battersea has a non-
The second standard is that Battersea aims to ensure every dog or cat receives the
highest standards of care. Since Larry arrived, he will, for example, have been
cared for by those skilled and trained in canine behaviour. Thirdly, Battersea aims
to keep all their animals as healthy as possible -
The fourth Battersea standard is that they ensure dogs and cats pass through Battersea as safely and quickly as possible with the best possible outcome for each of them – Larry arrived at Battersea on August 4 and is now ready for rehoming. For some animals, it may take longer but Battersea never put a time limit on how long an animal waiting to be rehomed can stay.
The fifth standard is that Battersea provide advice and support to new owners to maximise the chances of successful rehoming. If you would like to talk to Battersea about becoming Larry’s new owner, he is currently at Battersea’s Old Windsor site, call 01784 494443 or see details at battersea.org.uk.
In order to raise funds to maintain these standards and have a great day out at the same time, Battersea is organising Battersea’s Big Day Out on Saturday September 7 (10am – 5pm) at Stoke Park, Guildford. There will be a dog show, agility, Ambassadog Parade, games and lots more. Admission is free.
Finally, the RSPCA clinic at Burket Close, Southall is organising more free cat neutering
days. The next day is Wednesday August 28 for female cats and Thursday September
5 for male cats. No appointment is needed. The cat must be starved from 8pm the night
before. Owners need to arrive no later than 8.45am-
Column 26th August 2019
It would have been JoJo’s idea of a nightmare. I was on my way back from Dogs Trust after meeting the wonderful French Bulldog, JoJo, when I stopped off at a supermarket. JoJo doesn’t like the sound of a baby crying. There ahead of me, in the queue, perched high in the shopping trolley were twin babies. JoJo’s hair would have stood on end – two of them.
Mind you, when she had her own babies three years ago, JoJo was a fantastic Mum. She was pregnant when she first came to Dogs Trust in May 2016. She delivered six puppies who she looked after brilliantly and they were quickly homed. JoJo herself was homed soon afterwards but, three years later, a new baby arrived and, since last month, JoJo has found herself back at Dogs Trust looking for a new home.
When I met her in Dog Trust’s courtyard, she raced over to meet me – a gorgeous chunky girl who quickly steals your heart. She likes meeting new people and loves cuddles. She can be worried by other dogs. If you’d like to meet her, she’s waiting at Dogs Trust, Harvil Road, Uxbridge or see dogstrust.org.uk.
Just one of the responsibilities that comes with the many benefits of dog ownership is making sure that when you go away, if you are not taking your dog with you, suitable arrangements are made for your dog. Readers who normally put their dogs in kennels may like to know the animal rescue charity, National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) has started a pet boarding service. At present, the Hertfordshire centre (address below) accepts dogs and small animals but, in the Autumn, they will also board cats. Dogs are walked four times a day and given plenty of fuss and attention. Proceeds from the boarding supports the homeless animals who pass through the centre’s hands.
If you want to look round the boarding kennels before leaving your dog there, you
can visit between 10am -
If you’re interested in making a booking, see details at nawt.org.uk or call 020 8950 0177.
The NAWT centre is holding their major open day on Saturday September 7 (11am-
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