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 4th February 2019
I’ve just arrived at Trafalgar Square, it’s pouring icy rain and I’ve discovered my shoes leak. But how can I complain when it’s immediately clear that I’m in the midst of lots of other people with wet feet who, unlike me, have no home in which to dry them. More than 24,000 people are currently sleeping rough, in tents or on public transport in Britain and London has their share. I’m on my way to the weekly Sunday afternoon Dogs On The Streets (DOTS) station on The Strand where DOTS give care to the dogs of rough sleepers. I know I’m nearly there when I see two young people with dogs walking with purpose ahead of me. The bitter cold afternoon contrasts with the warmth of the welcome they receive at the dog station.
DOTS was founded in 2016 by Michelle Clark after she had been running a street outreach programme for six years. Already she has won several awards for her work. At the DOTS station, which is also a registered veterinary practice, services offered include health checks, training and grooming. DOTS now have dog care stations in several locations (see dogsonthestreets.org for a full list) with a new one opening soon in Wembley.
With frozen feet, I left the station, past the tents with echoes of Glastonbury to the warmth of Leicester Square underground – fully aware that all it takes is a few wrong decisions for many of us also to be in financial trouble.
I am delighted to say that Michelle is part of the fantastic programme of speakers
who will be giving a presentation at this year’s Ealing Animal Charities Fair (ealinganimalsfair.london)
on March 2 (10.30am-
Boo, an Old Tyme Bulldog, wants to get her four feet under someone’s table pretty quickly. Although she might be sleeping like a baby now, she knows what it’s like to be homeless as she was handed into Battersea Dogs and Cats Home after being found as a stray. Battersea think Boo may be a little hard of hearing so needs owners prepared to try alternative styles of training such as hand signals. If this could be you, see battersea.org.uk
Column 11th February 2019
It definitely seems as though the Ealing Animal Charities Fair is moving up a gear
this year. It might be the 41st Fair but it’s certainly not losing its momentum.
I’ve just had a twitter message from someone considering flying down from Scotland
to attend the day. Part of the attraction is the fantastic programme of speakers
at the Fair. These include Dr Alison Cronin, Director of the world-
As well as the speakers, there will also be over 35 animal charities/societies with stalls selling bargains and merchandise. These include Mayhew, Compassion in World Farming, Animals Asia, All Dogs Matter, Swan Lifeline and new to the Fair this year, the Dolphin Project.
And then there is the music. Live music is being provided by brilliant composer and musician Alastair Gavin. This year, as well as his keyboard, there’s going to be a couple of pianos around the Fair in different rooms, so visitors and stallholders will be able to enjoy Alastair’s music in a variety of places.
It’s also good news that the Mayor of Ealing and the Ealing MPs, Rupa Huq, Steve Pound and Virendra Sharma will be visiting the Fair.
The Ealing Animal Charities Fair (ealinganimalsfair.london) takes place at Hanwell
Methodist Church, Church Road, London W7 1DJ on Saturday March 2 (10.30am-
One of the stalls at the Fair that’s always laden with wonderful things to buy is
the popular Hounslow Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) stall. Their stall is usually
twelve feet of treasures. Pirate and Rambler are just two of the kittens currently
in HAWS care (and, with a name like Pirate, he’s probably interested in treasure
too). Their foster mum says these 21 week old boys will play with anyone but have
to know you before coming for cuddles. She says they miaow loudly when they want
food and miaow silently when they want a cuddle. If you can offer a home to this
communicative pair (who must be homed together), see haws-
Column 18th February 2019
Bears, dolphins, swans and monkeys don’t usually get a mention here but today it’s their turn. All these species (and more) will be represented at the Ealing Animal Charities Fair by people knowledgeable about these animals who feel passionately about their welfare.
For example, did you know a mute swan can fly at 50mph? Swan LifeLine certainly do.
Based on Cuckoo Weir Island at Eton, each year this charity rescues over 700 swans
and admits over 300 for treatment. Each of their outdoor pens contains a pond that
has a constant flow of river water. They rescue and treat sick and injured swans
with the aim of returning them to the wild as soon as possible. Swan LifeLine will
be at the Ealing Animal Charities Fair and you will be able to talk to them about
their work. They provide a 24 hour service for swans in trouble -
Dogs Trust are also amongst the stallholders at the Ealing Animal Charities Fair together with societies representing bears (Animals Asia), dolphins (the Dolphin Project) and monkeys (the Jim Cronin Memorial Fund).
Sometimes it’s easy to overlook events on our doorstep in favour of those farther
afield but don’t be fooled, this Fair, which includes great speakers such as Dr Alison
Cronin is a unique gem not to be missed. The Fair takes place on March 2 (10.30am-
Column 25th February 2019
Do you like secrets? I’m at the Magician’s Convention in Blackpool surrounded by people stuffed full of secrets. I’m particularly partial to the secrets of how magicians can take valuables from someone’s pockets without them noticing.
Looking out over the horizon at Blackpool’s seafront, I’m reminded the sea is another place awash with secrets – another place where valuables can be taken without anyone noticing.
That’s why we need organisations like Sea Shepherd to make sure activities, that
should be made public, don’t take place, un-
Campaigns in which they have been engaged include fighting illegal shark fishing
and defending whales and porpoises. If you have never heard anyone from Sea Shepherd
speak about their work, this Saturday could be your chance -
And they do want volunteers. They want passionate ocean defenders who aren’t afraid of hard work, dangerous conditions and extreme weather. They want people on their boats for a variety of roles such as mechanics, cooks and medics. Preference is given to volunteers who are available for the most time. Volunteers must be able to swim and be willing to be filmed. Their campaigns take place in oceans around the world including the Antarctic. Details from seashepherd.org.uk.
At the Ealing Animal Charities Fair (ealinganimalsfair.london), Sea Shepherd is part
of a fantastic programme of speakers including Dr Alison Cronin talking about the
rescue of monkeys, Duncan McNair talking about elephants and Michelle Clark from
Dogs on the Streets. There will also be stalls and music. The fair takes place on
2 March (10.30am-
Even if he was eligible, Bagheera couldn’t volunteer for Sea Shepherd. He doesn’t like being photographed. When I met him, he was very affectionate and enjoyed being stroked but the moment the camera appeared, he became camera shy. Bagheera came into RSPCA care after being found as a stray but he’s now waiting for his new home at the Cat Adoption Centre, Burket Close Southall.
|Participating groups 2020 ||
|Participating groups 2019|