Episode 14 Animal 24:7


Episode 14

Meg the springer spaniel is shut in a cage because she's too lively, a dog owner comes under the RSCPA's scrutiny, and Tom Heap searches for some of Britain's rarest sea birds.


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Transcript


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Britain's animals are under threat.

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All too often our wildlife and domestic pets

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are the victims of cruelty, persecution and neglect.

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Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people

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trying to protect and care for them right around the clock.

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This is Animal 24/7.

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In the air, on land and in the water Britain is a haven for animals.

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But when they come up against man their lives are often in danger.

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From our cramped inner cities to our fields and hedgerows,

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from the highest moorland to the coast and beyond,

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Animal 24/7 is with the people working around the clock

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to save endangered wildlife and protect vulnerable pets.

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These are their stories.

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Today on Animal 24/7.

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That dog, at the moment, should be ringing alarm bells with you.

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Meg the Springer Spaniel, shut in a cage because she's too lively.

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There's very few people that realise the amount of time and energy

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you have to put in to a Springer Spaniel.

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The search for the truth, a dog owner comes under scrutiny.

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Can you please be honest with me? Has that dog received flea treatment?

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He has received flea treatment.

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-Has the dog been to the vets?

-Yes, he's been to the vets.

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And I have to tread carefully while searching for some of Britain's rarest chicks.

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You can see how amazingly camouflaged they are with the sand.

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So terrifying!

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Keeping pets is a time consuming process, but some animals demand far more attention than others.

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Certain breeds of cats and dogs are quite happy to take things easy, while others need more exercise.

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When it's obvious the wrong animal is in the wrong home the RSPCA are called to step in.

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Selby, North Yorkshire,

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and inside this house RSPCA inspector Jill Corder

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is dealing with a complaint about two underweight dogs.

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The conditions that you are keeping these dogs in is unacceptable.

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It's dirty.

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Jill's most concerned about a spaniel called Meg.

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That dog, at the moment, should be ringing alarm bells with you,

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absolutely ringing alarm bells with you.

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Meg's not just thin, she's kept locked in a cage because she's too lively for the family to cope with.

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My advice to you is that there shouldn't be dogs at this property

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because I don't feel that you are meeting the standards required.

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Several minutes later, Jill emerges with Meg after persuading the family to sign her over.

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It's instantly clear why she's so concerned.

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I can feel the ribs on the dog.

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The backbone, it's just here.

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Without question if it is having the amount of food

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that they're saying it's having this dog needs a veterinary examination

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to find out why it isn't putting on weight.

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I think this is a diet problem.

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It's quite probable there will be some weight loss

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because she's so hyperactive,

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but this has gone beyond the point of being reasonable.

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And it's not just Meg's weight that has been troubling Jill.

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Because she's boisterous,

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Meg's been spending a lot of time locked in a cage

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and this is a breed of dog that needs plenty of space.

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And it's the right thing for this dog to come, you know, to us

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and be put right and given the chance of a really lovely home that's suitable for her.

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Springer Spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs and need lots of exercise.

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Jill thinks Meg hasn't been getting enough.

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Typically a spaniel, it's not because the dog is particularly wild,

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this is how Springer Spaniels are in houses, you know?

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They are a very, very hyperactive dog.

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You will occasionally get one that's more docile,

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but this is typical of what I see of people taking on a Springer Spaniel.

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They're just... They're just not good as a pet.

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There are very few people that realise the amount of time and energy

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that you have to put in to a Springer Spaniel.

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A few miles away is the RSPCA animal home

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where Meg is given a much needed meal.

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Come on then, pup.

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She's very, very hungry, as I suspected.

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After emptying her bowl, there's another treat for Meg.

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She settles into a comfortable bed.

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There we are.

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There we are. All right, darling?

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In the morning she'll see the vet, who'll give her a full health check

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and decide whether she can be found a new home.

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The dog literally just fell in the bowl of food tonight, you know,

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she's got a full tummy, a lovely bed there under that heat lamp,

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so she's going to have a nice, warm comfortable night.

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This is where it begins. This dog, as far as I'm concerned,

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will make a full recovery, get up to normal body weight

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and we'll find a home suitable for her.

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After a good night's sleep, Meg is eager to be out and about.

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Because she's so thin there's a concern that her problems may be more than just lack of food.

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Hey, sweetheart. Come on, darling.

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Vet Catherine Harris is going to give Meg a full examination.

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First she needs to check for any heart problems.

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Aww, good girl.

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Can you just hold your hand over her mouth so she breathes through her nose? That's it.

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That's fine, yeah.

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-What's she been like this morning, has she had food?

-Fine.

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-She's been... She's starving.

-Yeah.

-She's almost falling in her food.

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In a dog that's been brought in by an inspector the first thing

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you check is their weight and their body condition.

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You can see that she's quite underweight because you can actually see the outline of her ribs.

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It's quite normal to have a waist, but she is probably...

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She's what we call body condition score one out of five,

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if you're grading them, which mean that she's underweight

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compared to what a dog of her size should be.

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If you're looking for conditions that would actually cause weight loss,

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what we'd usually do is do a routine blood screen

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and make sure she's not got any signs of ill health on that,

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but we'll leave that for the moment and if she gains weight on being fed properly in here

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that's a sign that it's more just malnutrition and lack of feeding than actually a health problem.

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And as Catherine continues her check-up

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another problem comes to light, this time with Meg's ears.

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You can see she's got some kind of yellowy white areas

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that cast around the hair shafts and I think they're probably lice eggs.

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What we'll do is we'll take a hair sample and just check

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and I'll get the staff here to clip her ears, that we can clip that off,

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but again, that fits with fleas and being kept in an unhygienic environment.

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Right, let's pop you on the scales and see what you weigh.

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Meg has had a healthy appetite since she arrived here.

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By weighing her now the staff can keep a check on whether her new diet is working.

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Stand on all four feet.

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Right, she's about 12.7.

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Ideally, she should be between about 15 and 20 kilos

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for a dog of her size, so we need to try and get her weight up.

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Hopefully, in a few weeks, Meg will start to put on weight

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and her fleas will be treated,

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but staff will then have another challenge to overcome.

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Meg needs a special kind of owner who can give her the time and exercise she needs.

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The RSPCA won't let her go unless they're confident her next home is the right one.

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Still to come, Jill's concerns over a group of donkeys with neglected hooves.

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None of the feet are brilliant.

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There's four that I consider to be unacceptable.

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And I have a rare birds at my fingertips.

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This is one just in front of us. Do you want to pick it up, Tom?

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-Is that all right?

-Yeah, that's fine.

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So beautiful.

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So delicate.

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When an RSPCA inspector follows up a complaint

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they have to make decisions on the evidence in front of them.

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Usually it's quite simple.

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An underfed dog could look thin,

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a cat with fleas may be constantly scratching,

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but it's not always that clear cut.

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RSPCA inspector Vicky McDonald

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has been called to a house in Lancashire.

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Where there has been a complaint about a thin, flea-bitten dog.

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-Hello.

-Hiya.

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I've had a call concerned about your dog.

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-Can I come through?

-Yeah, you can, yeah.

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This is Liz Gibbons, she owns several pets.

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There's Guinness the cat,

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Lolly the parrot, who never leaves her shoulder,

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and a very itchy dog called Kolo.

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He's got a bit of fur loss on his back end, hasn't he?

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-Is that being treated?

-Yeah, I've been down to the vet's with him.

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Right. Come on, then.

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-What's his name?

-Kolo.

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Kolo. When was he at the vet?

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He was at the vet's about two weeks ago.

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Have you got the treatment that he was issued?

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I got him some stuff off the internet because it was a bit cheaper.

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So, can I just give the vet's a call to clarify that you were there?

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Yeah, you can give the...

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If you want.

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Which vet's was it that you went to? The one just down the road?

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-Ashdale.

-He's registered under your name, is he?

-Yes, he is.

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All vets hold records of any pets they've seen, so Liz should have nothing to worry about.

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Are you able to access some records for me just to...

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Right, right.

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Right, the vet is just on lunch at the moment so she's going to go back

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to the vet's for me and check the records.

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Before she does, has the dog definitely been there because...

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He's been to the vet's, yeah.

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I don't want to be wasting the vet's time and my time.

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No, he has been to the vet's.

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Where's the stuff you got on the internet?

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It's all gone now, because it was only one sachet I got.

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-What was it that you bought?

-The Frontline.

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And that just came as one individual...

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One individual sachet, a little droplet, yeah.

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-And where did you get that from?

-Is it Vet Med? Vet Med, I think.

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And they sold you just one individual sachet?

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Yeah, one individual sachet.

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Vicky's starting to doubt Liz's story.

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She knows these sachets aren't sold individually.

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-Two weeks ago the dog received treatment for fleas?

-Yes.

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Vicky can only take Liz's word for now.

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While waiting for the vet to call back she decides to check

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what Kolo's been eating to try and establish why he's underweight.

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So, when... When he has food put down he's ravenously eating it, is he?

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-Yeah.

-Has he been treated for worms?

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Yeah, but I only got them cheapie stuff from the supermarket

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-so I don't know if they've done anything.

-And when was that?

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About... I'd say about... About three weeks ago.

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And do you have the packet, you wouldn't have used a whole packet of them in one treatment?

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Holes are appearing in Liz's explanations.

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She tells Vicky she wormed Kolo three weeks ago

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and left the tablets at her old address,

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but Vicky knows that's impossible

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as she moved from that house five weeks ago.

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That doesn't quite make sense, does it?

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No, it must have been when I stopped there when I...

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-I'd rather you were just honest with me.

-No, he has been wormed.

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But do you see what I'm saying? Your story is a bit here, there and everywhere, isn't it?

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If the fact is he hasn't been wormed, that's fine.

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I can give you advice on that. If the fact is that he hasn't had treatment for fleas, which I'm highly doubting,

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I'd rather you just said that and I can give you advice on that. Has the dog been wormed?

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-He has been wormed, definitely.

-And has the dog received flea treatment?

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-He's received flea treatment.

-Has the dog been to the vet's?

-Yes, he's been to the vet's.

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Vicky has now been in the house for nearly 15 minutes and Liz is sticking to her story.

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Meanwhile, Kolo is still scratching.

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Vicky changes tack and turns her attention to Lolly the parrot.

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You've positioned your water bowl

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exactly where she's choosing to poo.

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-Yeah.

-So the only water she's got access to drinking there is full of old food and poo.

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Yeah, but it's cleaned every day. It's just I've not done it yet.

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Regardless of whether it's cleaned every day, that's in there

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-as it is at the moment and, to be honest, would you drink that?

-No.

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I certainly wouldn't drink that and I wouldn't expect anything else to drink that.

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Things are going rapidly downhill.

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Vicky decides to test whether the other animals have clean drinking water.

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-That dog is thirsty and had no access to water.

-Yeah.

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OK, that's a basic essential.

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40 minutes pass and nothing Liz has said or done has reassured Vicky

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that the animals are in good care, and now the vet has phoned back.

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Will he support Liz's story?

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-We're talking three weeks ago, are we?

-Yeah, around three weeks ago.

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Around three weeks ago. You would have records for that, wouldn't you?

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-They don't have records.

-Well, I did take him.

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Apparently she left without receiving any actual treatment and chose to buy products from the... Right.

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Okie-doke. All right, then.

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The vet's double check and confirm there's definitely no record for Kolo.

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Vicky gives Liz a golden opportunity to come clean.

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OK, thank you. Bye bye.

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Liz, you haven't been, have you?

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-I have been, honestly.

-Liz, they would have a record.

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Vets keep records.

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You're wasting everybody's time here.

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Can you please just be honest with me?

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You have not taken this dog to the vet, have you?

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I've took him to the vet. I've rung the vet's.

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The vet's have checked their records.

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A vet will not treat, advise, consult, have any consultation without having a record of that.

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Can you please just be straight with me and we'll deal with it from there?

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Well, he has been to the vet's.

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You are not in a unique situation where miraculously your records aren't there.

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-They do not have your dog's name, your surname or either of your addresses registered.

-I have been.

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-Why... Why are they saying they have no records then?

-I don't know.

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Despite all the evidence being stacked against her,

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Liz is refusing to change her story.

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Is there... Is there a reason that you don't want to say that you haven't been?

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No, there's no reason at all.

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I'm going to have to take the word of the vet.

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I would rather, if it is the case...

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I'm not here to come down on you like a ton of bricks.

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I'd rather just leave here having given you some advice,

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but I'd rather you were being honest with me in the first place

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if that is the case.

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There's no need to lie to me

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if the case is that the dog hasn't been to the vet.

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If it hasn't, that's fine, I can leave you with the advice now,

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but at least then I can be sure that you're being honest with me

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and I'm being honest with you.

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Liz has now insisted 12 times that Kolo has been to the vet's.

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Vicky tries for a lucky 13.

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So, what... What's the score?

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He hasn't been.

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-I think we both knew that in the first place, didn't we?

-Yeah.

-Right.

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After almost an hour, Vicky finally gets to the truth and at last she can now deal with the pet's problem.

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-OK, so, shall we start from scratch?

-Yeah.

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The dog's got a flea allergy, the dog's got fur loss.

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He has been treated for fleas, but not by the proper stuff.

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It's the cheapie, rubbishy stuff.

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-Which is why it's not working.

-Yeah.

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Right. Let's start from scratch then, OK?

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Is it just the dog and the bird and the cat that you've got here?

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There's nothing else here, no.

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Vicki spells out exactly what she wants to see done.

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Proper flea treatment will help that and make the fur return,

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but unless you get it treated by a vet

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you're not going to get on top of it, OK?

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Vicky will come back in a few weeks to check

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that Liz has finally taken Kolo to the vet's

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and she's just hoping it won't take so long

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to get to the truth next time.

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Coming up.

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Get in there now. Go on.

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Vicky's back and it's not a good start.

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Your dog's just run straight out into the road.

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The kids are out, that's why.

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Right, let's go in.

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And tackling an owner about the condition of his animals.

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There's a problem with the donkeys' overgrown feet. They are quite bad.

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Now, I'm off to see first hand the fight to protect one of our most beautiful and also rarest seabirds.

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Only a few hundred little terns still breed in Britain.

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Ironically, many choose to nest in the very spot

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where thousands of holidaymakers like to lie in the sun.

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A gorgeous summer day on the beach at Great Yarmouth

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and the migration of thousands of holidaymakers to the seaside

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has begun in earnest.

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Ice cream, fun rides and the chance to take in the sea air

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are what attracts visitors here year after year.

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But the sand and the ocean and the occasional seafood snack

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also draws another traveller here,

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one who's journeyed thousands of miles

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and is fiercely loyal, returning to the same spot year after year.

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This pebbled beach is the nesting ground of one of the country's rarest seabirds, the little tern.

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Helping to protect them is RSPB manager Mark Smart.

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-Surveying the site?

-Yes, yes. It's pretty spectacular, really.

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It is. And is that all that terns wheeling around above their nests?

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It is, yes. Yes, there's about 350 pairs.

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So, how unusual is this site, this species?

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This is probably somewhere between 10% and 15% of the...

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the UK population, so in its own right

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this is actually an amazingly important site for the little tern.

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The nesting birds are so precious that they're kept under 24 hour guard.

0:18:210:18:26

We're on our way to join other RSPB workers inside the colony

0:18:260:18:30

to find young birds and ring them.

0:18:300:18:32

En route, I get my first sight of a nest.

0:18:320:18:35

So this is a nest that we're talking about here,

0:18:350:18:37

-so you can see they're very, very similar to the stones themselves.

-God, they are, aren't they?

0:18:370:18:42

So, in fact you can actually see, if you look very carefully,

0:18:420:18:45

you can see the little hole is actually... just about to hatch.

0:18:450:18:49

So that those eggs will turn into chicks in the next 24 hours.

0:18:490:18:53

Looking like the pebbles around them may protect these eggs

0:18:530:18:56

from predators, but not from a size nine boot.

0:18:560:18:59

And this is exactly the problem or the reason why we have to be here

0:18:590:19:02

is because obviously members of the public

0:19:020:19:04

won't actually know that that's a nest.

0:19:040:19:06

They'll be walking around enjoying themselves on the beach

0:19:060:19:10

-and can easily stand on it.

-Tread carefully!

0:19:100:19:12

To limit the chances of damage,

0:19:150:19:17

this area of the beach is closed to the public

0:19:170:19:20

when these birds are nesting.

0:19:200:19:22

-So, I see you've got a few barriers here.

-Yes, we have.

0:19:260:19:29

We've the first one which is the rope fence which effectively keeps people

0:19:290:19:33

off what is an electrified fence on the inside.

0:19:330:19:36

And why the electric fence?

0:19:360:19:37

So, the electric fence is there really to keep foxes and things out

0:19:370:19:41

and if there is any stray dogs around

0:19:410:19:43

it actually helps protect the nests and things in the colony itself.

0:19:430:19:47

What kind of threat do you get from people, either deliberate or accidental?

0:19:470:19:51

Well, generally speaking, most people come across the colony

0:19:510:19:54

because they don't know it's here so we can talk to them about it,

0:19:540:19:57

but obviously there is also a certain number of people who...

0:19:570:19:59

Egg collectors and things like this. Now we do 24 hour watches.

0:19:590:20:02

Thankfully, the fence is switched off so we can step inside to find a nest.

0:20:020:20:08

It's not that easy, but Mark has a trained eye.

0:20:080:20:12

So, there's a little... A couple of little chicks there we have to be very, very careful of.

0:20:120:20:17

You can see how amazingly camouflaged they are with the sand

0:20:170:20:20

-so we have to be so careful where we put our feet.

-So terrifying!

0:20:200:20:23

Finally, we make it to the RSPB volunteers who are ringing the birds.

0:20:250:20:30

Keeping track of them this way means they're branded for life

0:20:300:20:33

and the experts can learn valuable lessons about their behaviour.

0:20:330:20:36

I'm lucky enough to be given the chance to ring one myself.

0:20:360:20:39

First, though, I have to find it.

0:20:390:20:42

There's one just in front of us.

0:20:440:20:46

-Where?

-Just down there.

0:20:460:20:48

You can just about see. Do you want to pick it up, Tom?

0:20:480:20:51

-Is that all right?

-Yeah, that's fine.

0:20:510:20:53

With such a rare creature at my fingertips,

0:20:560:20:59

I have to be extremely careful how to handle him.

0:20:590:21:03

So beautiful.

0:21:030:21:05

So delicate.

0:21:050:21:07

-Right.

-Well, what you need to do is you need to pass the ring

0:21:070:21:11

round the lower part of the leg between the knee and the claw.

0:21:110:21:14

Once the ring is in place,

0:21:140:21:16

gentle pressure with the pliers is needed to make sure it stays put.

0:21:160:21:20

It makes me nervous when I see other people doing this

0:21:200:21:23

-let alone when I'm doing it myself!

-Well, that's right. On the...

0:21:230:21:26

-There you go.

-That's very good.

-Just to close up that gap, yeah?

0:21:260:21:29

-Yeah. Gentle pressure, yeah.

-That's it. Very good.

0:21:290:21:31

What we do now is we do the tip of the bill.

0:21:310:21:34

With the ringing complete, the next stage is to measure the bird's beak.

0:21:340:21:38

12, I'd go for, would you?

0:21:380:21:40

-I would go for exactly 12.

-12 mil.

0:21:400:21:42

Followed by the weight.

0:21:420:21:44

39.2.

0:21:450:21:48

Before it's allowed back to its beachside home.

0:21:480:21:51

There we go.

0:21:530:21:56

Our time in the colony has to be kept brief.

0:21:570:22:00

While we're here the parent birds will stay away,

0:22:000:22:03

so Mark and I leave the ringers to their work

0:22:030:22:05

and head for a bird's eye view of the site.

0:22:050:22:08

Overall, can you put into context the importance of this colony

0:22:100:22:13

and the ringing work that goes on here?

0:22:130:22:15

Yeah, well, certainly the colony is massively important

0:22:150:22:18

not only for Great Yarmouth but also for little terns as a whole

0:22:180:22:22

because certainly we produce more little tern chicks here

0:22:220:22:25

than at pretty much all the other small colonies around the UK and Ireland put together,

0:22:250:22:30

so we're pretty certain that many of the chicks which actually fledge from here

0:22:300:22:34

will go and help support the population elsewhere.

0:22:340:22:36

Brilliant. Now, I'm just going to watch the display for a while if that's all right with you?

0:22:360:22:41

Yeah. No, absolutely. No problem at all.

0:22:410:22:43

Fantastic seeing them wheel about.

0:22:430:22:45

The RSPB's work here has helped little tern numbers rise

0:22:450:22:48

from 55 pairs to more than 300 in more in 20 years.

0:22:480:22:51

It's a project which is going a long way to ensuring

0:22:510:22:54

these beautiful birds are safe on these shores for many years to come.

0:22:540:22:58

Still to come, Lolly the parrot goes on the attack.

0:23:040:23:09

So do you want to do that today, then?

0:23:090:23:12

Cor, blimey O'Reilly!

0:23:120:23:14

Ow.

0:23:150:23:17

Now we're back on patrol with RSPCA Inspector Jill Corder in North Yorkshire.

0:23:200:23:26

Jill has already rescued a Springer Spaniel called Meg

0:23:260:23:30

who was underweight and not given enough room to exercise.

0:23:300:23:33

Meg is now at the vet's where staff are trying to build up her weight.

0:23:330:23:37

They will then have the challenge of finding her a new owner who can give her the attention she needs.

0:23:370:23:43

In the meantime, Jill has another problem to investigate.

0:23:430:23:47

Grazing by the side of a busy road junction,

0:23:540:23:57

a group of donkeys appear to be enjoying a peaceful existence,

0:23:570:24:01

but all may not be what it seems.

0:24:010:24:03

Jill has been told that some of these donkeys have overgrown hooves.

0:24:030:24:07

They appear to be in pain when they walk

0:24:070:24:09

and may be in need of urgent treatment.

0:24:090:24:12

Just taken a couple of photographs, you know?

0:24:120:24:15

I consider these have got beyond the point of reasonableness.

0:24:150:24:18

You know, these hooves are down and are starting to curl.

0:24:180:24:21

I just want to look at the movement on this donkey,

0:24:210:24:25

see whether it's causing lameness.

0:24:250:24:28

Donkeys are notoriously stubborn,

0:24:280:24:30

but Jill's worried this one may not want to move because it's in pain.

0:24:300:24:35

It's quite an old donkey.

0:24:350:24:38

The condition isn't that bad. It's starting to lose some weight here.

0:24:380:24:43

But the concern is with the feet, being reluctant to move,

0:24:440:24:49

that could be an age thing, arthritic,

0:24:490:24:51

or it could be the hooves causing it.

0:24:510:24:54

Almost every donkey Jill comes across in this field

0:24:540:24:58

seems to have overgrown hooves. Some are clearly struggling to walk.

0:24:580:25:03

None of the feet are brilliant.

0:25:040:25:06

There's four that I consider to be unacceptable.

0:25:060:25:09

You see, these front hooves aren't creating a problem,

0:25:090:25:13

although they could still do with a trim,

0:25:130:25:15

but these ones clearly are.

0:25:150:25:17

It was a passerby who first warned Jill that something might be wrong with these donkeys.

0:25:170:25:22

Now she's satisfied there is a problem, tackling the owner will be her next challenge.

0:25:220:25:28

If I'm to give him a warning notice,

0:25:280:25:29

I will insist that it's a farrier or a vet

0:25:290:25:31

that comes and trims the feet,

0:25:310:25:33

that he's not allowed to do the work himself.

0:25:330:25:35

He'd have to give me details of an expert that's come and done them

0:25:350:25:39

and that the donkeys aren't to move out of this situ,

0:25:390:25:41

because at the moment I would argue that the donkeys aren't fit to travel with their feet being overgrown.

0:25:410:25:46

While it's not unusual for owners to clip donkeys' hooves themselves,

0:25:460:25:50

it does require specialist knowledge.

0:25:500:25:52

Not everyone knows how to get it right.

0:25:520:25:55

You get people that continually take off the toes,

0:25:550:25:58

trimming the toe length of the hoof

0:25:580:26:00

and they're not doing any work on the heel at the back,

0:26:000:26:03

so consequently the heel keeps growing longer and does this...

0:26:030:26:06

This in that it starts tilting the animal

0:26:060:26:09

as opposed to it's stood square on its hooves,

0:26:090:26:12

and that's the problem that you get with people home trimming.

0:26:120:26:16

Jill needs to decide whether to take these donkeys away

0:26:160:26:19

to get their feet treated.

0:26:190:26:20

She calls a vet for a second opinion.

0:26:200:26:23

And there definitely is a problem with their feet being overgrown,

0:26:230:26:26

but I'm debating whether to go on a warning notice

0:26:260:26:29

or get you out and get your opinion.

0:26:290:26:30

The vet tells her the donkeys need to stay where they are.

0:26:300:26:34

Moving them would cause them more pain.

0:26:340:26:36

Any work on the feet needs to be carried out here.

0:26:360:26:39

The vet's quite happy to say, because of the lameness,

0:26:390:26:42

these donkeys aren't fit for travel until their feet are put right.

0:26:420:26:46

So, with that, I can put that to the owner in the advice that I give him

0:26:460:26:51

and push that they're done by a farrier or a vet

0:26:510:26:54

in the hope that these hooves get trimmed correctly,

0:26:540:26:58

but, you know, he'll be under no uncertain terms

0:26:580:27:01

that this job has to be dealt with, you know, promptly and correctly.

0:27:010:27:06

Jill is concerned the donkeys are suffering and if the owner

0:27:090:27:13

doesn't get the feet treated he could face prosecution.

0:27:130:27:16

She takes evidence which will be used if this case goes to court.

0:27:160:27:19

But after a few minutes the owner turns up

0:27:210:27:23

and he's someone Jill has dealt with before.

0:27:230:27:26

There's a problem with the donkeys' overgrown feet.

0:27:270:27:30

You've put me in a position where they are quite bad, all right?

0:27:300:27:34

I've rung a vet and I've got advice.

0:27:340:27:37

The owner tells Jill he knows these animals have overgrown hooves.

0:27:370:27:40

A farrier is booked to come and deal with them in just a few days' time.

0:27:400:27:44

-If it's a registered farrier or a vet that comes and does it, I don't have a problem.

-Right.

0:27:440:27:49

The fact that you've got them booked in is good, but I would just wonder

0:27:490:27:52

if you could get them done any sooner that would be helpful.

0:27:520:27:55

-Yeah, that's fine.

-Yeah?

0:27:550:27:56

It's now hoped the donkeys will soon be on the mend,

0:27:560:27:59

but Jill will need a return visit to check the work has really been done.

0:27:590:28:04

He's quite a reasonable owner.

0:28:040:28:06

It's the man that has just been down.

0:28:060:28:08

The farrier's coming out now on Wednesday afternoon.

0:28:080:28:11

Having chatted to the vet it's a unanimous decision

0:28:110:28:14

that there should be a warning notice

0:28:140:28:16

and obviously I'll be back to check on the donkeys

0:28:160:28:19

and check that everything I've asked to be done is done.

0:28:190:28:22

Later, Meg the springy spaniel finds her perfect partner.

0:28:280:28:33

You couldn't get a better dog than her.

0:28:350:28:37

She's really friendly and she likes to play.

0:28:370:28:39

Now, back to RSPCA inspector Vicky McDonald and the pet owner

0:28:430:28:47

who refused to come clean about the treatment her dog had received.

0:28:470:28:52

Liz Gibbons insisted time and time again she had taken Kolo to the vet's for his flea allergy,

0:28:520:28:58

but after persistent interrogation from Vicky she finally admitted

0:28:580:29:03

that, in fact, Kolo hadn't seen a vet.

0:29:030:29:06

Vicki warned Liz she must now take him, but will she have listened?

0:29:060:29:11

Three weeks after her first visit,

0:29:180:29:20

inspector Vicky McDonald is back to see Liz and her black mongrel Kolo.

0:29:200:29:25

But it's not a good start.

0:29:270:29:29

What are you doing coming out into the road, silly?

0:29:290:29:32

The door's wide open and Kolo's on the loose.

0:29:320:29:35

Come here. Get in there now. Go on.

0:29:350:29:40

Your dog's just run straight out into the road.

0:29:400:29:43

The kids are out, that's why.

0:29:430:29:45

Right, let's go in. Have you been to the vet's?

0:29:450:29:47

Liz fails to impress Vicky before she's even got through the door and it gets worse.

0:29:470:29:53

Despite her promises, Liz says she hasn't been able to afford to see the vet and Kolo's still itching.

0:29:530:30:00

-Can we shut the door, if he runs out again...

-Yeah.

0:30:000:30:02

He could get run over and that's going to cost you an even bigger vet bill.

0:30:020:30:05

Vicky's already asked Liz whether keeping three pets

0:30:050:30:08

is too much to cope with

0:30:080:30:09

and within five minutes of turning up today

0:30:090:30:12

her suspicions have been confirmed.

0:30:120:30:14

Come here, you. His fur loss has actually got worse, hasn't it?

0:30:140:30:17

Have you thought any more about whether it would be more appropriate to rehome him...

0:30:170:30:22

-That's what I was thinking.

-..if you can't afford him?

0:30:220:30:25

His... Like I said, the landlord's not happy with him messing.

0:30:250:30:29

I'm... I'm not happy with him not getting vet treatment, personally.

0:30:300:30:34

All right, poppet. I mean, is that a decision you want to make today?

0:30:350:30:39

-If it's for the best, yeah.

-Well, it's your decision.

0:30:390:30:42

I understand about him suffering, anyway, because he's suffering if he's nibbling his back.

0:30:420:30:47

Well, it's driving him crazy, isn't it, if he's constantly itching?

0:30:470:30:51

It looks like Kolo may soon be rescued

0:30:510:30:53

and free from his scratching,

0:30:530:30:55

but Lolly the parrot doesn't seem keen on the idea.

0:30:550:30:59

So do you want to do that today, then?

0:30:590:31:01

God, blimey O'Reilly!

0:31:010:31:03

Ow.

0:31:050:31:07

Liz quickly gets her loyal friend back under control.

0:31:070:31:12

So, what... What do you think today, then?

0:31:120:31:15

-I think it would be the best...

-Right.

0:31:150:31:17

She agrees to sign her dog over to the RSPCA and Vicky finds him a place at a rehoming centre,

0:31:170:31:23

but Kolo hasn't had his vaccinations and can't be admitted until he has.

0:31:230:31:29

Okie-doke. Well, I'll get it sorted and then I'll come back in five days

0:31:290:31:32

and pick him up for the kennels. All right, then. Thank you.

0:31:320:31:35

Cheers, bye, bye.

0:31:350:31:38

Right, we've got a space in the kennels,

0:31:380:31:40

so I will now give Victoria Vets a ring.

0:31:400:31:42

If I can't get him in now, I will book an appointment

0:31:420:31:45

where you will need to go down and get his first vaccination

0:31:450:31:48

and we will cover the cost of that

0:31:480:31:50

because obviously he's going to be coming to us for rehoming.

0:31:500:31:54

Leaving nothing to chance this time,

0:31:540:31:57

Vicky arranges the appointment at the local vet's

0:31:570:32:00

and she's now hoping Liz will finally take her advice on board.

0:32:000:32:04

I'm disappointed that she's... She's not been to the vets.

0:32:060:32:09

I mean, it's been several weeks now since...

0:32:090:32:11

Since I was here and she's made zero effort to get him treated,

0:32:110:32:15

but at least now today she's decided to sign him over

0:32:150:32:18

so he will get treatment now.

0:32:180:32:20

It's going to end up costing us,

0:32:200:32:22

but better that than he gets no treatment at all

0:32:220:32:25

and now we can rehome him to a more responsible owner.

0:32:250:32:28

Assuming he doesn't get out in the meantime!

0:32:280:32:31

Liz will soon have one less pet to care for,

0:32:310:32:34

and at least the normally wary Kolo is starting to warm to Vicky.

0:32:340:32:38

Hello. That's a good boy.

0:32:380:32:41

He's just very nervous, isn't he?

0:32:410:32:44

But we'll work with him on that.

0:32:440:32:47

And Vicky gives Liz some tips to stop this situation happening again.

0:32:470:32:51

-I mean, my advice would be just to keep down to a minimal...

-Yeah.

0:32:510:32:54

If you can't afford to have this many pets than don't have this many pets.

0:32:540:32:58

Stick to what you can afford and what you can cope with, all right?

0:32:580:33:02

But if you do get into a situation I would rather you were the one

0:33:020:33:05

that rang me for help than somebody puts in a complaint, OK?

0:33:050:33:08

Providing Kolo gets his jabs, Vicky will collect him in five days time.

0:33:080:33:13

And five days later Vicky is back

0:33:180:33:21

for what should be her final visit to Liz and her pets.

0:33:210:33:25

It's been a long haul,

0:33:250:33:26

but this could be the start of a new life for Kolo.

0:33:260:33:29

Hello.

0:33:320:33:33

Hiya. Did you get everything sorted at the vet's?

0:33:350:33:38

They've done the vaccination.

0:33:380:33:39

-Right.

-Flea stuff.

-Yeah.

0:33:390:33:41

I had to go buy that myself because they won't give it to you, RSPCA,

0:33:410:33:44

but they wouldn't do the kennel cough.

0:33:440:33:46

No kennel cough jab means another wasted journey for Vicky.

0:33:470:33:50

With her patience wearing thin, she heads to the vet's herself to ensure Kolo finally get the jabs he needs.

0:33:500:33:57

So he's going to need the kennel cough, so can I book her back in today, if possible?

0:33:570:34:01

An appointment's made and will hopefully allow Vicky to put an end to this frustrating job.

0:34:010:34:07

One week later, the fifth visit for Vicky,

0:34:110:34:14

after two vet appointments, 27 lies and one parrot attack,

0:34:140:34:18

will Vicky finally be in luck?

0:34:180:34:21

Hiya. Hello, poppet. Don't you go out.

0:34:210:34:23

-Are we all sorted, now?

-Yeah.

0:34:230:34:25

-Can I come through?

-Yeah.

-Cheers. In you go.

0:34:250:34:28

At last, Kolo's had all his vaccinations

0:34:280:34:31

and Liz has the paperwork to prove it.

0:34:310:34:33

Now it's time for the family to say goodbye and for Vicky

0:34:330:34:36

to give a reminder about the merits of telling the truth.

0:34:360:34:40

-If I do you ever need to speak to you again...

-Yeah.

0:34:430:34:46

I would just appreciate honesty from the outset

0:34:460:34:49

because it's so much easier for me to deal with things

0:34:490:34:52

if I know exactly where we stand

0:34:520:34:53

because all that did was just prolong a situation

0:34:530:34:56

that didn't need prolonging.

0:34:560:34:58

With everything that's gone on,

0:35:000:35:02

it's been easy to forget about Kolo and the treatment he needs.

0:35:020:35:05

He heads off to the local RSPCA kennels where his fleas and worms will finally be treated.

0:35:050:35:12

But as Kolo arrives he's clearly scared and unsure of his new surroundings.

0:35:150:35:19

Good boy. Come on, then.

0:35:190:35:21

It's all right.

0:35:210:35:24

He's shaking a bit, but he's not too bad. He's not backing away from me.

0:35:240:35:29

He's letting me handle him,

0:35:290:35:30

so I think with a bit of TLC and a bit of attention he'll...

0:35:300:35:34

He'll come out. We've got some brilliant members of the branch

0:35:340:35:37

that really work with them and bring them out of their shells

0:35:370:35:41

and I'm sure they'll be able to do the same with Kolo,

0:35:410:35:44

so I'm sure there will be family out there

0:35:440:35:46

that will be absolutely perfect for him and he should thrive.

0:35:460:35:49

It's a bewildering time for such a nervous dog,

0:35:490:35:53

but with the help of the staff here, this anxious but loving dog

0:35:530:35:57

will soon be itch free and on his way to a new home.

0:35:570:36:00

Finally today we're back with RSPCA inspector Jill Corder.

0:36:070:36:12

Earlier, Jill rescued an excitable Springer Spaniel called Meg.

0:36:120:36:16

She needed to put on weight, but also find an owner that could cope with giving her enough exercise.

0:36:160:36:22

Jill also visited a field full of donkeys whose overgrown feet were causing them distress.

0:36:220:36:28

Last time Jill was here, most of these donkeys' feet were in dire need of attention.

0:36:340:36:38

Today, she's checking to see if her demand to have them seen has been heeded.

0:36:380:36:44

We've come back today to do the revisit on these donkeys.

0:36:440:36:47

As we know the owner was given a warning notice

0:36:470:36:50

and asked to trim up all the feet

0:36:500:36:52

which, looking at these two donkeys, that's certainly been done.

0:36:520:36:56

The donkeys near the fence look good, but Jill needs to get into the field to check them all over.

0:36:560:37:01

This is the donkey that I was concerned about and she's actually looking greatly improved.

0:37:030:37:08

You can see on that one there, the hoof grows with a bit of a tilt.

0:37:080:37:12

These are deformities that grow

0:37:120:37:14

and they're quite hard to bring the hoof back to the normal shape.

0:37:140:37:18

When she was last here, many of the donkeys were lame.

0:37:180:37:22

Now, after having their feet trimmed, they seem to be moving much more freely.

0:37:240:37:29

That's another one there that we've checked

0:37:290:37:32

and her hooves are much improved, so I'm quite pleased about that.

0:37:320:37:35

This was the donkey that I couldn't get near last time

0:37:350:37:39

and she's clearly not going to let me approach her again

0:37:390:37:42

and, you know, she's got a youngster with her

0:37:420:37:44

so I'm not going to try and harass her.

0:37:440:37:46

She was displaying a bit of lameness last time,

0:37:460:37:49

but today she's completely sound, so, again, that's good.

0:37:490:37:53

Hopefully, there was something with the hoof

0:37:530:37:55

that the farrier's been able to correct,

0:37:550:37:58

but she's walking lovely today.

0:37:580:37:59

Jill's visit has been worthwhile.

0:37:590:38:03

The owner has done all that's asked of him,

0:38:030:38:05

but it's a case she'll continue to monitor.

0:38:050:38:08

I'm happy that there's been a real good effort made here

0:38:080:38:11

and all the donkeys are sound. It's not left any of them with lameness.

0:38:110:38:15

They're clearly vastly improved from my last visit,

0:38:150:38:18

so I'm going to have a word with the owner and, providing the revisit is booked for the donkeys,

0:38:180:38:23

then we'll be able to close this job.

0:38:230:38:26

Our advice has been followed and I think it has improved animal welfare here without any doubt.

0:38:260:38:31

It's been a successful outcome for the donkeys,

0:38:330:38:36

but now back to Meg, the spaniel Jill rescued a month ago.

0:38:360:38:40

Meg was underweight and living in cramped conditions.

0:38:400:38:44

Rehoming such an energetic dog was always going to be difficult.

0:38:440:38:48

Meg needed a special kind of owner that could give her all the walks she needed.

0:38:480:38:54

And now she has one.

0:38:570:38:59

She's living with a new family with plenty of space to run around.

0:38:590:39:03

Meg's new owner is Katarina Gill and she says it was love at first sight.

0:39:030:39:07

We've had Meg now for two weeks and she's been really, really good.

0:39:070:39:14

She was right at the back and we just saw her ears poke up

0:39:140:39:17

and I said, "Oh, she's nice,"

0:39:170:39:18

but the girl that was looking after her said that everybody loved her.

0:39:180:39:23

We didn't really have a close enough look at her first time,

0:39:230:39:26

but it was the second time we saw her close up,

0:39:260:39:28

so we decided to take her for a walk and that was it.

0:39:280:39:31

She's here now!

0:39:310:39:32

Meg was not used to much attention and took some time to adjust to her new surroundings.

0:39:320:39:38

Meg was really quiet when we first brought her home

0:39:380:39:41

and she was a bit wary of where she was,

0:39:410:39:44

but she's settled in quite well within a few days.

0:39:440:39:48

Quite a lot of people tried to put us off Meg

0:39:480:39:50

because of the breed being quite boisterous and they say that the dogs are quite mad,

0:39:500:39:56

but she's been fine.

0:39:560:39:57

And Meg's proving a big hit with Katarina's daughter, too.

0:39:570:40:02

I've always liked dogs when I was, like, little.

0:40:020:40:05

They're just like humans, they like to play and everything

0:40:050:40:09

and she just likes cuddling up to you and lying on the sofa.

0:40:090:40:13

With regular food and exercise Meg's now gaining strength every day.

0:40:150:40:19

When we brought Meg home

0:40:190:40:20

we could feel the bones showing at the back of her,

0:40:200:40:23

but she's put quite a lot of weight on

0:40:230:40:24

and I can't see the bones at all now and she feeds really good.

0:40:240:40:27

I can't believe how different she looks and everybody that's seen her

0:40:270:40:31

can't believe how different she looks.

0:40:310:40:33

She's had probably a little bit more than what she should,

0:40:330:40:36

but then the home told us to give her a little bit more to feed her up.

0:40:360:40:40

She's had a lot of treats from Nicole.

0:40:400:40:42

Meg is a dog who's full of running and whatever the weather,

0:40:460:40:50

come rain or shine, the Gill family never hesitate to take her out.

0:40:500:40:55

We usually take Meg for a walk about two or three times a day.

0:40:550:40:58

We have to bring her on the lead up to the top of the path

0:40:580:41:01

and then we let her go and she's fine, she's off.

0:41:010:41:04

She likes to go in the woods up there.

0:41:040:41:06

She's a bit strong for Nicole so I have to hold her at the moment,

0:41:060:41:09

but I'm sure she'll be fine when we take her for a few dog obedience classes, won't she?

0:41:090:41:14

We're going to take her to a few just to help you hold her

0:41:140:41:17

and then she'll be fine, because she comes back to us when she's off to lead.

0:41:170:41:21

Meg!

0:41:210:41:23

You couldn't get a better dog than her.

0:41:230:41:25

She's really friendly and she likes to play.

0:41:250:41:28

And it's not just Meg that's benefiting from the great outdoors.

0:41:290:41:32

I quite enjoy going for the walks now and definitely for Nicole

0:41:320:41:35

because she didn't like walking anywhere

0:41:350:41:38

and now she'll walk everywhere with the dog.

0:41:380:41:40

She hated walking anywhere,

0:41:400:41:42

she always wanted to go in the car, but she loves walking now.

0:41:420:41:45

So, yeah, I'm quite pleased we've got a dog and I don't think we could have chose a better dog.

0:41:450:41:50

Just four weeks ago Meg was a dog in the wrong place at the wrong time.

0:41:520:41:57

Now she's found her perfect family.

0:41:570:41:59

She can look forward to a future which should keep both her and her owners healthy for years to come.

0:41:590:42:06

If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime or a creature that needs immediate protection

0:42:130:42:19

remember there are dedicated professionals out there who will answer your call around the clock.

0:42:190:42:24

They are the people we meet on Animal 24/7.

0:42:240:42:28

Next time, the pooches' playground packed with danger.

0:42:310:42:35

Well, it was all clear, but it doesn't help with Lee's mates chucking cans out the window.

0:42:350:42:40

No, it doesn't. God, how much beer does he get through?

0:42:400:42:42

The race to save a beached whale.

0:42:420:42:44

-We're extremely worried at the moment, she's basically in the process of drowning.

-Drowning?

0:42:440:42:48

She's on her side, blowhole is going in and out of the water.

0:42:480:42:51

And I need the gentle touch to feed these baby mice.

0:42:510:42:54

-We're feeding these about every hour.

-Every hour?

-Yes.

0:42:540:42:58

I just love his little hands gripping the end of the syringe!

0:42:580:43:01

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:080:43:11

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:110:43:14

Series following people who protect and work closely with wildlife and domestic animals.

Meg the springer spaniel is shut in a cage because she's too lively, a dog owner comes under the RSCPA's scrutiny, and presenter Tom Heap searches for some of Britain's rarest sea birds.