Episode 16 Animal 24:7


Episode 16

Featuring Snowy, a temperamental terrier who needs anger management and a cliffhanger rescue for a mountain goat. Plus Tom Heap helps build a new home for three rescued badgers.


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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 are the victims

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of cruelty, persecution and neglect.

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Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people trying to protect and care for them 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 cramped inner cities to fields and hedgerows, 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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-All right, darling...

-'Anger management for Snowy, the temperamental terrier.'

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BARKS LOUDLY

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I assume her bark is worse than her bite, but I won't shove my hand in to find out.

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'A cliffhanger rescue for Gordon, the mountain goat.'

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He's been there for so long and he can't get off that ledge, so we've got to do something about it today.

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'And I help build a des-res for three rescued badgers.'

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This isn't a normal badger sett. They'll be under surveillance.

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Like the Big Brother house, this place is rigged with cameras. Hello!

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Stuck inside the same four walls for hours on end and most of us would go stir-crazy.

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And for our animals, it's just the same.

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The RSPCA are often called to situations where pets and people are struggling to get along.

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But the solution chosen by this next family came as something of a shock

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to the inspector who was called out to investigate.

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LOUD BARKING

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This may be a small garden shed, but there's plenty of noise coming from inside.

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It's this barking that has alerted neighbours that something is wrong.

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RSPCA inspector Sarah Keith is investigating.

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Hi, RSPCA. We've had a call about the dog in the shed.

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-Why is it in a shed?

-He lets it have a run in the morning and puts it in the shed in the afternoon.

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-Does he walk it again of an evening?

-Yeah.

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A shed is not a suitable environment for a dog to be kept in. Is it OK to have a look at him?

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The dog is called Snowy and spends most of her time locked up.

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It's no surprise she's angry.

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-Hello, sweetheart. All right, darling...

-ANGRY BARKING

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Worried Snowy could attack, Sarah proceeds with caution.

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Oh, that's a good girl.

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Good girl.

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The incessant barking indicates this is one unhappy pet.

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-Scared to open the door too far, Sarah struggles to get a proper look.

-OK, that's not happening.

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Snowy is in no mood to be calmed down, but Sarah has seen enough

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and decides immediate action is necessary.

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-Who owns the dog then? Is it you and your husband?

-Yeah.

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Those conditions she's in, completely unacceptable.

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Very, very strong smell of ammonia in there which is going to be doing no good for her lungs

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because she's going for wees in there.

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There's no ventilation in there, it's dark, there's tools that she can injure herself on.

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And she's got about that much water left in her dish.

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She needs to come out of that shed and it needs to happen soon.

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-Is there no way she can live in the house?

-No.

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Theresa explains she's wary of letting Snowy inside because of the way she behaves,

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but Sarah says things have to be improved.

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What I'll do is issue you a notice to change those conditions that the dog's in at the moment.

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-Is it all right to sit down?

-Yes.

-I've got to do a bit of writing.

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With Theresa reluctant to let Snowy in the house,

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her only time outside the shed is during her twice-daily walks. That's not enough.

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"It is the view of the RSPCA inspector that the needs of the animal are not being met

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"because the dog has no ventilation,

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"there are tools which could be hazardous to the dog and the dog has no water.

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"You must provide adequate living conditions for the dog, including light and ventilation."

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Then I'll just put, "Provide constant water."

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You need to do it by the 22nd, a week from today.

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But if you get it all sorted within a week, it's all done and dusted

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and I won't need to give any more notices out.

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-Thank you very much.

-Thank you. Bye-bye.

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Sarah will be back to check that the living conditions have improved.

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But before she leaves, she needs to give Snowy some water and this means opening the shed door again.

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Good girl. Drinkies! Do you want a drink, sweetheart?

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Do you want a drink? Here you are. What's this?

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-BARKS LOUDLY

-All right, sweetheart.

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You eat that instead of me. There we go.

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Good girl.

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Oh, there's a good girl! Are you having a little wag, darling?

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I'm not going to hurt you. Good girl. Good girl.

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Good girl, Snowy. Aw!

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Sarah's calming words seem to work and Snowy seems keen for a sniff of some fresh air.

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But as the darkness closes in on her again,

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Snowy's frustration at being locked up returns with a vengeance.

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LOUD BARKING

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I think the lady here understands what's going on, but she doesn't have much to do with that dog.

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She's quite frightened of it. She asked me to go in and give it water.

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I think her husband deals with the dog, but as he wasn't here, somebody had to get the notice.

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I'll come back and issue him with a notice. Snowy is not the friendliest of dogs, but it's a fear thing

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and although she was jumping up and down and barking a lot,

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I assume her bark is worse than her bite, but I'm not prepared to shove my hand in and find out.

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Whatever Snowy's temperament, keeping her locked in a shed is not the answer.

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If her owners don't change her conditions,

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she could be taken away when Sarah makes her next inspection.

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-Coming up...

-Good girl. Go on in.

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Snowy is finally released from her shed.

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Come on, girl, let me pick you up without savaging me. Come on, sweetheart. Can I touch you?

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And Mountain Rescue make contact with Gordon, a stranded goat.

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Beh-h! Beh-h!

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He's looking at me now. He's getting a bit agitated.

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The final goal for most people rescuing wild animals

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is the moment they can be released back to their natural habitat,

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but returning some of these animals to the wild can be tricky,

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especially with territorial creatures such as badgers.

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Rescuers have to go to extraordinary lengths to find a badger sett where a new member would be welcomed.

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'Six months ago, I visited Pauline Kidner at Secret World Wildlife Rescue in Somerset.

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'The centre was caring for a number of orphaned badger cubs found near a busy road.

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'These are the cubs now all grown up and ready to be set free,

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'but finding a place to release them hasn't been possible,

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'so I'm going to help build the badgers a brand-new home in the north of England.'

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And within this wood, this is the desirable plot.

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It's got the right slope, it's not too moist, it's quite well-drained and there aren't too many trees.

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Away you go, Martin.

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'Heavy duty machinery is brought in to clear the area where our badgers' home will be built.

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'A natural badger sett is made up of a network of tunnels and chambers with many different entrances.

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'I'm with Jo Bates from the local badger group who are trying to recreate this environment.

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'Everything is carefully measured out according to architects' drawings.'

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This is a tricky moment when you try and match reality to your plan.

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I think at the moment they're working between Chamber 2 and Chamber 1 on this corridor here,

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getting that in the right place.

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'I help to mark out the trenches that will be dug to connect the sett together,

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'but, unusually, they're not in a straight line.'

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Why the curves, Jo?

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We basically know from experience that badgers don't really tunnel in straight lines.

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'And once the rough sketch is laid out,

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'the heavy metal is back digging several feet down to lay the pipes that will make the tunnels.'

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And this is the main passageway to link the east and west wings of our badger sett.

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'Though they may look rigid,

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'these pipes bend easily, allowing for the curves that badgers like to negotiate.'

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Well, as if to prove why they need a good shelter, it has started to rain

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and this is going to be one of their bedrooms.

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Okey-dokey... But there's another way in which this isn't a normal badger sett.

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They'll be under surveillance. Like the Big Brother house, this place is rigged with cameras.

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Hello! Can you see me there?

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So we should be able to see the badgers as they settle into their new homes.

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In fact, there will be four cameras around the sett in general.

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'Our cameras will help check that the badgers settle in

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'and that all this hard work hasn't gone to waste.

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'We work as quickly as possible due to worries about forecasted rain which may disrupt the build.

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'Once in position, the digger begins to bury the bedrooms and tunnels with the excavated soil.'

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I guess we're walking on the roof of the badger sett at the moment.

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-Effectively, yes.

-Are you happy with how it's gone today?

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Yeah, the general consensus is it's gone OK.

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When you've done all this work and bring the badgers here, are you sure they'll like it?

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That's the million-dollar question!

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'As Jo and the team put the finishing touches on the sett,

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'I make the 250-mile journey south to Secret World

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'to help prepare the badgers for the move up north.

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'Secret World rescues, rehabilitates and eventually releases over 3,000 animals

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'back into the wild every year.

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'Pauline Kidner has been running the centre since 1984,

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'caring for all manner of animals.'

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-Hi, Pauline. Nice to see you again.

-Super weather, isn't it?

-Having a busy day?

-Yeah, not too bad.

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Certainly a well-balanced diet. They've got cod and plaice, tripe and chicken? Lovely!

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-There we go.

-Jolly good. If we can just get this all put in here now...

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'Pauline has become particularly attached to the badgers and will be driving them

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'to their new home in the north.'

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-Is there any danger for the badgers on the journey?

-Travelling doesn't bother badgers at all.

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Perhaps like human babies they go to sleep and find it very restful.

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'The van is packed up, but our badgers aren't ready to go just yet.

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'As they are nocturnal, they are enjoying a cosy sleep,

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'but I'm still keen to catch a glimpse of those babies I met all those months ago.'

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-These are the same ones that were nibbling at my feet and we were chopping up food for?

-Yeah.

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They've come on brilliantly.

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'As the sun drops in the sky, Pauline returns to leave some food

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'and after some tentative steps, one of the badgers climbs out of bed for breakfast.'

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One of them came out, but got suspicious and went back in again.

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Yes, but we want them to be afraid of human beings. They're behaving like wild badgers.

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'The past few months have been difficult for Pauline.

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'She has had to cope with the sad fact that those who test positive for tuberculosis can't be released.'

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We're looking for bovine TB. They're all tested three times.

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If we get any positives, we euthanise those animals.

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This year we've had quite a few animals that were positive.

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-If you're taking them to the north which is TB-free, you must be sure they don't bring the disease.

-Yes.

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-How important is this project to you?

-We do it for welfare reasons,

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but we also do it for educational reasons

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because it just makes me smile that so many students go abroad to Africa and see elephants and big animals

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and we have fantastic animals in this countryside.

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Unless we care about them, they won't be there in the future.

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-They've had their last supper. The next move will be tomorrow morning.

-Absolutely. Nice and early.

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'As the badger heads back to bed, I too need an early night in readiness for a five o'clock start.

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'The hope now is that the badgers make the journey north without any problems

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'and settle happily into their new home.'

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'Still to come, the cameras are in place and the house is ready to welcome the new arrivals.'

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-Does that look like an enticing bed for a badger?

-It does.

-Shall we introduce them to their new home?

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'And we catch up with Snowy, the grumpy terrier in need of a new home.'

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At the moment, she's being a bit aggressive.

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If it turns out that she can't be re-homed, that would be a real shame for her.

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Animals can get themselves caught and trapped in some extremely hazardous spots.

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This can be life-threatening for the animal and for those who have to rescue them.

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The RSPCA has dedicated units to deal with the most difficult and dangerous rescues

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and today we're joining a specialist team for one of their most extreme operations.

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The rugged north coast of Wales is as dangerous as it is beautiful.

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But there's one animal that is perfectly suited to this landscape - the Kashmiri mountain goat.

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They're extremely agile

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and their appetite for special grasses can take them into all sorts of precarious positions.

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But beneath the old lighthouse and over the cliff,

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there is one goat whose taste for the green, green grass has taken him over the edge.

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The RSPCA's rope rescue team has been mobilised to try to save Gordon

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who is trapped on a precarious mountain ledge and is too scared to escape.

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We were running out of rope as well.

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Inspector Chris Dunbar has been involved in 40 goat rescues and is leading today's operation.

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He has eaten away everything that is on the ledge.

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He's able to move across the ledge and hide around the corner from us.

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Our intention is now to try and abseil to get him off.

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Gordon has been stranded for two weeks.

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He hasn't got the courage to jump free and has now eaten all the grass around him.

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The dangers for him are the fact that he is liable to jump rather than let us catch him.

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I'm worried about him because he has been there for so long

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and he doesn't seem able to get off that ledge, so we've got to do something about it.

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The only way to reach him is to abseil down a 300-foot cliff face.

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Where's the safety now then?

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The RSPCA rope team begin their thorough preparation.

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The man in charge of Chris's safety is Inspector Richard Abbott.

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-Can you hear me now?

-Yeah.

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We've got to make sure the anchor points are safe and are all even.

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And make sure all the ropes are in the right place.

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Are you ready for us, guys?

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Abseiling with Chris is experienced climber and animal collection officer Mark Roberts.

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You just need to extend that double chin strap... I mean chin strap!

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LAUGHTER

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'How long is this guy going to be because they reckon this weather is going to blow up?'

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The weather is starting to turn and this could threaten the whole operation.

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The team needs to act quickly, but can't start until the boat arrives.

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We need the boat because if we're not careful, the goat, which is wild, won't want to get caught.

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It won't understand why we're trying to catch it and it's a risk of it jumping.

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If it jumps, it will land in the sea

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and we will need the RIB there to recover the goat and bring it back to shore.

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Finally, the boat gets here and it's all systems go.

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If you didn't have grey hair, you have now.

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The view from the boat shows how bad the conditions are

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and what a dangerous position the goat is in.

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We can't leave it there. It will eventually starve, get too weak and fall off.

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It'll suffer when it doesn't need to. It's just got in an awkward position.

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The RSPCA can't just sit back and watch this goat slowly starve.

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Can the guys in the boat see if we're above him?

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-With the help of the coastguard radio, contact is made.

-Yeah, you're above it.

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And Chris and Mark go over the edge. It's a perilous operation, so safety is paramount.

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Everybody at the top is attached into the system now,

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so if anybody slips or suddenly gets pulled over, there's no risk that they're going to fall.

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You've got the safety going down, so if this was to snap now, they'd be attached into this.

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Everything seems to be going smoothly, but suddenly, there's a problem.

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My ab rope has caught on something. I'll have to have some slack on my safety.

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Chris's rope has snagged on a rock.

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-Hang on. If Chris could hang fire, we're just having to pass his knot...

-Just hold it now.

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You'll have to give it plenty of slack. Pull that back through.

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But the team is well-versed in dealing with setbacks like this and Chris is quickly back on track.

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We can't see anything, so we're talking through the radios and they're telling us

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what's happening on the ledge, so we can control the safeties and make sure they're secure from the top.

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Chris finally reaches the ledge and greets Gordon.

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Beh-h! Beh-h!

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He's stood looking at me now. He's getting a bit agitated.

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You've been here a long time, haven't you? Come on.

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CLICKS TONGUE

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Chris is worried Gordon may jump.

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He's shivering away there, isn't he?

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They move in to try and shepherd him to higher ground.

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Gordon bolts, narrowly missing Mark, and disappears from view.

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Everyone holds their breath.

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But relief!

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Gordon is safe.

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Good job, sir!

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The threat of being caught has finally persuaded this cowardly goat to tread where he once feared.

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Chris and Mark emerge triumphant.

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It's been a gruelling challenge, but they finally got their goat.

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I think that went fairly well, didn't it?

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-There he is. He's grazing away down there.

-He was shaking quite a lot.

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Yeah, he was sort of quivering.

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Apart from when he head-butted you or tried to!

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Yeah, we weren't best of friends at that moment.

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Once we got down alongside him, we came either side of him,

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he was still a little bit jumpy and spooky and making as if he was going to jump off the cliff edge,

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but we gave him his time and after trying to butt my colleague, we got below him and he came up.

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It was quite a successful rescue.

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You can see him there grazing on the cliff and he's perfectly happy now

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and I think he probably won't stop eating for a few days.

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Having roamed the North Wales cliffs for over a century,

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these Kashmiri goats have become an enduring feature of the rugged coastline.

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And thanks to the amazing efforts of Chris and the team,

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there will be plenty more years left of grazing for Gordon.

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Later, Big Brother is watching how our badgers settle into their new home.

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-That's fantastic.

-Aw!

-It looked like he was going to take a chunk out of the camera.

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It makes it all worthwhile.

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When pets become difficult to control, they are sometimes banished to unsuitable places,

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just to get them out of the way.

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Earlier, we saw how a terrier called Snowy was kept in a garden shed.

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She had become so aggressive

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that even RSPCA inspector Sarah Keith was nervous about trying to get her out.

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Now Sarah's back.

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Last time Sarah Keith visited Snowy, the dog was angry and frustrated. And it's no surprise.

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The four-year-old terrier was locked in this dark and dirty shed for hours at a time.

0:23:040:23:09

But now Snowy's owners have come to a decision about their dog.

0:23:090:23:14

Since the last time I was here, the owners of Snowy have decided to sign her over to the RSPCA

0:23:140:23:20

as they're not managing to look after her on their own.

0:23:200:23:24

She's quite aggressive, so we might have fun trying to get her out of this shed!

0:23:240:23:29

Although Sarah is used to handling all kinds of dogs,

0:23:290:23:32

Snowy's past behaviour means she'll have to be careful,

0:23:320:23:36

but as she passes the shed, things are ominously quiet.

0:23:360:23:40

Hi. I've come to get Snowy.

0:23:400:23:42

BARKING

0:23:420:23:44

-You've come to get her?

-Yeah, you said you wanted to re-home her.

0:23:440:23:48

Snowy is inside the house and still barking as much as before.

0:23:480:23:52

Yeah, I've come to get her today.

0:23:520:23:55

Sarah is invited in and the owners confirm they think it is time for Snowy to go.

0:23:550:24:01

-That's it. And then your full signature on that one.

-OK.

0:24:010:24:05

Once the paperwork is completed, Sarah goes to get a lead, prepared for a tussle to get the dog out.

0:24:050:24:11

She's making a lot of noise in there, but actually, she seems to have calmed down a bit.

0:24:110:24:16

I can hear her through the door, I can't see her yet.

0:24:160:24:20

Hopefully, I'll not get eaten!

0:24:200:24:22

The last time Sarah saw Snowy, she did nothing but snarl and bare her teeth.

0:24:220:24:27

Today, her bark seems worse than her bite.

0:24:270:24:30

Hello, baby girl. Come on, darling. Off we go!

0:24:300:24:35

-Bye!

-Bye! Come on, Snowy. What's that?

0:24:350:24:38

We're going in a van. We're going in a van.

0:24:380:24:41

But she's obviously not that used to being on a lead.

0:24:410:24:45

She seems fine. I think it was being shut in that shed that was making...

0:24:460:24:51

She's nervous, but nothing that a bit of work won't fix.

0:24:510:24:55

You're not aggressive, are you?

0:24:560:24:58

All the hair's gone down on her back now. It was all stood up before.

0:24:580:25:02

Are you going to go in there? What's in there?

0:25:020:25:05

Go in there then. Go on then.

0:25:050:25:08

Now out of her shed, Snowy is not keen to be confined again.

0:25:080:25:12

With most dogs, Sarah would lift them straight into the van.

0:25:120:25:17

Snowy seems in a better mood, but Sarah is concerned she may bite.

0:25:170:25:21

Let me pick you up without savaging me.

0:25:210:25:24

Come on, sweetheart. Can I touch you? I can, yeah. You're a good girl. Come here then.

0:25:240:25:29

Good girl. Oh, she's a good girl.

0:25:310:25:35

Sarah works hard to make her feel safe

0:25:350:25:38

and Snowy shows there's another side to her temperament.

0:25:380:25:42

I thought I was going to get an arm torn off, but she's all right once you get to know her.

0:25:420:25:48

She's fine once she's out that shed.

0:25:480:25:51

But Sarah can't take any chances.

0:25:520:25:54

Snowy will have to prove she can change her aggressive ways for good

0:25:540:25:58

if there's to be any hope of finding her a new home.

0:25:580:26:02

As she arrives at the kennels and sees other dogs, it's obvious there's plenty of work to be done.

0:26:040:26:10

LOUD BARKING

0:26:100:26:13

This way. Come on.

0:26:130:26:15

She is doing a lot of stereotypic behaviour. She does a lot of spinning.

0:26:150:26:21

It will be a real shame if she's only ever been in a shed

0:26:210:26:25

and she comes to a kennel, another stressful environment,

0:26:250:26:30

and it turns out that she can't be re-homed, it would be a real shame,

0:26:300:26:34

so hopefully, she'll pass her assessment and we can find her a nice new home.

0:26:340:26:39

Snowy will now undergo a ten-day assessment

0:26:390:26:43

to prove she's got the right temperament to make a good pet.

0:26:430:26:47

She'll be tested on her obedience and on how she reacts to people and other animals,

0:26:470:26:52

but first she needs a health check.

0:26:520:26:55

Her temperament could be a worry with regards to re-homing.

0:26:550:26:59

This is all new for her. She's been kept in a shed all her life. She doesn't know what any of this means.

0:26:590:27:06

She's just letting people know, "If you come near me, I might take a chunk out of you!"

0:27:060:27:12

But hopefully, she won't.

0:27:120:27:14

Care assistant Michael Cuthbert will monitor her progress. He's dealt with difficult dogs before.

0:27:140:27:20

She's showing signs of slight aggression which isn't unusual, especially on day one.

0:27:200:27:26

We never take any risks. We always put a muzzle on.

0:27:260:27:29

Snowy doesn't like being told what to do. She fights the muzzle and doesn't want to be weighed.

0:27:290:27:35

This lack of obedience might count against her in the quest for a new home.

0:27:350:27:40

But Michael decides to give her the benefit of the doubt.

0:27:420:27:46

She's under quite a lot of stress at the moment, so the best thing we can do is pop her back in her kennel,

0:27:460:27:52

let her settle, and we can always weigh her on a different day. Good girl.

0:27:520:27:58

It's nice that she's not in a shed any more.

0:27:580:28:01

So it's just wait and see now, really.

0:28:010:28:05

I hope she settles in and I hope her temperament will be all right once she's used to different people.

0:28:050:28:11

-If you've been shut in a shed your whole life...

-She needs time.

0:28:110:28:15

She needs time and we'll wait and see.

0:28:150:28:18

Snowy's unruly nature presents a big challenge.

0:28:180:28:22

Dogs with aggressive temperaments can't be re-homed.

0:28:220:28:25

Snowy will have to learn quickly if she's to get a second chance.

0:28:250:28:29

If there's no improvement in her behaviour, her future looks bleak.

0:28:290:28:34

If she settles in OK and it is just a bit of nervous aggression, then we'll be able to re-home her.

0:28:340:28:40

At the moment, she's being a bit aggressive.

0:28:400:28:43

Hopefully, we'll be able to sort her out and find her a nice new home,

0:28:430:28:48

otherwise, it might be a case of we have to put her to sleep.

0:28:480:28:53

Still to come...

0:28:560:28:58

Snowy is put to the test during her anger management class.

0:28:580:29:03

Her hackles are going up and she's barking quite a lot, so it might be that Snowy's not too keen on cats.

0:29:030:29:09

Finding places to release rescued badgers is a difficult job

0:29:130:29:17

and often artificial homes have to be built.

0:29:170:29:20

Earlier in the programme, I helped dig a new sett for three badgers

0:29:200:29:24

that had been cared for by Secret World in Somerset.

0:29:240:29:28

It's time to see if they like it.

0:29:280:29:30

'At Secret World, today is the day the badgers will be released

0:29:340:29:38

'into their new artificial sett. It's a special moment for me.

0:29:380:29:42

'I first met these three when they were brought into the centre as orphaned babies.

0:29:420:29:48

'Now all grown up, they are about to head north and that means a very early start.'

0:29:480:29:53

It's 5am, a bit of a rude awakening for me,

0:29:540:29:58

but for the badgers, it's the start of their big trek across the country.

0:29:580:30:03

'It's a big moment for Pauline Kidner too

0:30:030:30:06

'who has spent the last six months raising these badgers.'

0:30:060:30:10

We're just going to put a blanket over it, so it makes it a bit more of a dark tunnel for them to go in.

0:30:110:30:17

'Our first job is to try and coax the animals out of their bedrooms and into their carrying cases.'

0:30:170:30:24

-Come on, in you go. In you go.

-Got stuck in the entrance there!

0:30:240:30:30

-Right, OK, everybody?

-Yeah.

0:30:300:30:32

There we go, right.

0:30:330:30:35

-Come on, in there. Go on, that's it.

-A bit better behaved, that one.

0:30:350:30:40

That's it. OK. So it's to the van and go.

0:30:400:30:44

'The badgers need to travel 250 miles to the newly constructed sett

0:30:450:30:50

'and with heavy rain forecast, we're all very keen to get the badgers snug in their new home

0:30:500:30:56

'before the weather turns.'

0:30:560:30:58

-There we go. Bon voyage!

-See you later.

-See you later.

-Bye.

0:30:590:31:03

'The morning sun rises and after a few hours on the road, we arrive at our destination.

0:31:070:31:12

'We're met by Jo Bates who oversaw the construction of the big badger house.'

0:31:120:31:18

-I expect you'd like to see your badgers.

-Yeah, I'm quite excited.

0:31:180:31:22

They've travelled well anyway.

0:31:220:31:24

We checked them halfway and they've been fine.

0:31:240:31:29

-There they are, Jo.

-Fantastic. Yeah. They look a little bit cautious.

0:31:300:31:35

Shall we have a look at their sett then?

0:31:350:31:38

Yeah, that's really nice.

0:31:380:31:40

-It's just up here.

-What do you think about the setting overall?

0:31:400:31:45

It looks smashing. It's lovely when you can come to a place like this which is so natural for them.

0:31:450:31:51

There's so many places that they can go to and it's beautiful.

0:31:510:31:55

-This is the entrance we were thinking of.

-Right.

0:31:550:31:59

From up here, you can only see the front door, not the bedrooms, but it's all set up with cameras.

0:31:590:32:05

The screens are over here, so you can have a look at what it will be like in their rooms.

0:32:050:32:10

-That's all working, I gather?

-It is, yeah.

0:32:100:32:13

Here's our little studio set-up. If you come round here, you can see the screens.

0:32:130:32:19

-Wow, that's the actual chambers inside?

-Yeah.

0:32:190:32:23

Isn't that fantastic?

0:32:230:32:26

-They're fabulous. You can actually see them coming in...

-The two entrances, yeah.

-Brilliant.

0:32:260:32:31

-Does that look like an enticing bed for a badger?

-It does.

0:32:310:32:35

It's probably about time to introduce them to their new home.

0:32:350:32:39

'We used the bales of hay to build a walkway towards the entrance to the sett.'

0:32:390:32:45

We're very nearly at the end of what has been a pretty mammoth project to get these badgers a new home.

0:32:450:32:52

Lots of people, lots of lifting, a lot of work. I only hope they like it!

0:32:520:32:58

'And with the hay in place, it's time to get our badgers moved in.'

0:32:580:33:03

It must be exciting for you. It's close to the end of a long project.

0:33:030:33:07

It's really great to see. I'm really looking forward to them settling in.

0:33:070:33:13

Just over the bale.

0:33:130:33:15

It's like an obstacle course. I'll take it from here.

0:33:150:33:19

This is the moment when the badgers are about to cross the threshold in their new home.

0:33:220:33:27

'And with a little gentle encouragement, the first badger races into the sett.'

0:33:270:33:33

All right, steady, steady, steady.

0:33:350:33:38

Let's see if this one gets the idea of where it's meant to go.

0:33:390:33:43

'Followed by his rather more hesitant brother.'

0:33:430:33:47

Are you OK if you bring the next one...? Brilliant.

0:33:470:33:52

Last one. That's where the other guys have gone.

0:33:520:33:55

-Once you turn round, you'll realise, won't you?

-There he goes.

-There we go.

0:33:550:34:01

-Just when you're not expecting it, he's off.

-At least they're all in where they're meant to be.

0:34:010:34:08

'All three badgers are in their new home, but will they perform for the camera?'

0:34:080:34:13

-I think we're going to go and see if we can see them.

-Good idea.

0:34:130:34:17

-All right?

-You're keen to go.

-I want to go and see.

0:34:170:34:21

Oh, wow, look!

0:34:230:34:25

'All the hard work has paid off.

0:34:250:34:29

'The badger sett is also a film set. Will it be a bit of a tear-jerker?'

0:34:290:34:34

That's a real close-up, isn't it? Oh, that's fantastic.

0:34:350:34:39

It looked like he was going to take a chunk out of the camera!

0:34:390:34:43

-He's having a good look at it.

-That's wonderful. It makes it all worthwhile.

0:34:430:34:48

Thank you so much for giving them a home. That's super.

0:34:480:34:52

'These badgers were originally part of a group of six,

0:34:520:34:56

'but three were put down after testing positive for TB,

0:34:560:34:59

'so, for Pauline, finally getting to this stage, is overwhelming.'

0:34:590:35:03

You see badgers in cameras in your place, but this is almost in the wild.

0:35:030:35:08

It is. It's fantastic.

0:35:080:35:11

Because of the testing regime that we do, we have to put some down,

0:35:110:35:15

and it's always that much better when we know they've made it.

0:35:150:35:20

They have to be sacrificed, so that we can get healthy animals back out, but it's never easy.

0:35:200:35:27

Never easy, but you're enjoying it?

0:35:270:35:29

We have a tough time and we get criticised because of the protocol that we follow.

0:35:300:35:36

This year, we will have to put eight cubs down out of about 35, but that's the way it's got to be.

0:35:360:35:42

-But the other 27 or so will be out finding new homes like this and surviving and thriving.

-Yes.

0:35:420:35:49

And everybody, volunteer staff, they've all played their part.

0:35:490:35:53

The last thing that remains to be done is to take these barriers off the other entrances,

0:35:530:35:59

stuff some straw in, so it's not too draughty,

0:35:590:36:03

but they can get out and hopefully forage around here.

0:36:030:36:06

It's the end of a great story for me, having fed them as babies and now seeing them released into here.

0:36:060:36:13

But that's nothing as to how much it means to Pauline.

0:36:130:36:17

You could see her reaction, her emotion,

0:36:170:36:20

the depth of her involvement in these fascinating creatures.

0:36:200:36:24

When the RSPCA takes animals from their owners, they often come with problems that need sorting out.

0:36:330:36:40

Sometimes it's health issues, but as we saw earlier in the programme with Snowy,

0:36:400:36:45

it can also be a case of anger management.

0:36:450:36:48

Snowy has been put on a ten-day behaviour training programme to try and improve her temperament.

0:36:480:36:54

If she doesn't pass, it will be impossible to re-home her.

0:36:540:36:59

This is the RSPCA welfare centre in Hull.

0:37:040:37:08

For lucky animals, it is a quick stopover here before they are found new homes,

0:37:080:37:13

but for Snowy, it's a different story.

0:37:130:37:16

After showing signs of aggression, the next few hours are crucial.

0:37:160:37:20

Care worker Michael Cuthbert will perform Snowy's behaviour test to determine if she can be re-homed.

0:37:200:37:27

Today is a big day for Snowy because if everything goes well, she could end up going for adoption,

0:37:270:37:33

as soon as the assessment is done.

0:37:330:37:35

If Snowy's temperament hadn't improved, then we would work with it as much as we can.

0:37:350:37:40

Occasionally, we will get dogs where their temperament doesn't improve.

0:37:400:37:44

They've had such a poor start in life or things have happened to them that they'll always be quite aggressive.

0:37:440:37:51

If this is the situation, sometimes the dog will be put to sleep.

0:37:510:37:55

Michael is hoping this won't happen to Snowy,

0:37:550:37:58

but he needs to find out if she's making any progress.

0:37:580:38:02

The first stage is to test how she reacts when someone walks into her cage. This is her big moment.

0:38:020:38:08

Good girl. She's shown quite a happy response which is a really good thing. She's happy to see you.

0:38:080:38:14

She's not cowering. She's not showing any signs of nerves.

0:38:140:38:18

In fact, she's quite bold at the moment. She's keen to go out as all dogs are when we get their leads on.

0:38:180:38:25

The signs of aggression would be she'd have her hackles up.

0:38:250:38:29

If she was stressed, she would be showing signs of stress which can be wrinkles on the head,

0:38:290:38:35

lips smacking where they show their teeth. This is again a sign of aggression.

0:38:350:38:40

She's not showing any of these signs.

0:38:400:38:42

The first signs are positive, but Snowy's next test is how she takes to orders.

0:38:420:38:49

To start with, we'll just see what basic commands she can do.

0:38:490:38:53

A lot of dogs do respond to treats, so we tend to use them quite a lot.

0:38:530:38:57

Snowy's not particularly treat-mad, but we'll see how we go on with that.

0:38:570:39:01

Snowy, sit! Snowy...

0:39:010:39:04

Snowy ignores Michael's commands.

0:39:040:39:07

-Sit!

-But then she proves she can listen.

0:39:070:39:10

Good girl. Well done.

0:39:100:39:13

You always praise a dog as well, so she knows that she's done well.

0:39:130:39:17

So now she's mastered the "sit", how will she do on the next command?

0:39:170:39:22

Down! Down!

0:39:220:39:24

Down! Snowy...

0:39:240:39:27

Teaching old dogs new tricks is notoriously difficult.

0:39:270:39:31

Snowy seems happy to break the mould.

0:39:310:39:34

Good girl! Good "down", Snowy.

0:39:340:39:37

Sitting and staying seem to come fairly naturally to Snowy,

0:39:370:39:41

but there are some areas where she's still got ideas of her own.

0:39:410:39:45

Snowy, to be quite honest, is very poor on her lead.

0:39:450:39:48

Again this might be the fact that she's been in a shed,

0:39:480:39:52

so even when she wasn't in her shed, she's probably been a "garden dog".

0:39:520:39:56

A lot of people get dogs and don't walk them, unfortunately. They think they're fine to go in a garden.

0:39:560:40:02

This isn't adequate for any dog. All dogs need to go out.

0:40:020:40:06

The next thing we'll try is heel work. You put your dog into a "sit" position on your left-hand side.

0:40:060:40:13

They're following your heel,

0:40:130:40:15

so as you walk, the dog is meant to follow your heel and you put the command "heel" in.

0:40:150:40:20

So, heel! Heel!

0:40:200:40:22

Snowy tries to keep up, but it's going to take a few more walks round the block

0:40:220:40:27

before she can pass this part of the test.

0:40:270:40:30

She's not brilliant on her lead, but she's not absolutely disastrous either.

0:40:300:40:36

Hopefully, she'll improve. I'm quite impressed. For a dog that's not used to being on a lead, she's not bad.

0:40:360:40:42

Despite a few hiccups, Michael is pleased with Snowy's progress,

0:40:420:40:47

but now comes what could be her hardest test yet.

0:40:470:40:51

How will Snowy react when she sees a cat?

0:40:520:40:55

If a dog is not a cat-friendly dog, it becomes quite obvious because hackles will go up.

0:40:550:41:01

If that's the case, we just put on her form when she goes up for adoption "not to live with cats".

0:41:010:41:08

Snowy has already proved she's happy around humans,

0:41:080:41:13

but dogs are notorious for hating cats and it seems the feeling is mutual.

0:41:130:41:18

Her hackles are going up a little bit and she's barking quite a lot.

0:41:180:41:24

Again this isn't a great indication,

0:41:240:41:26

so it might be the case that Snowy's not too keen on cats,

0:41:260:41:31

which is quite common - some dogs just don't like cats.

0:41:310:41:35

If that's the case, it just means we'll put on her card not to go with cats in the future.

0:41:350:41:41

Good girl.

0:41:410:41:43

With Snowy's behaviour test over, it's time for Michael's verdict.

0:41:430:41:47

I'm really pleased with Snowy's progress. The worry we had when she came in seems to have gone now.

0:41:470:41:54

She'll only get better and better and eventually we'll find her a nice family home.

0:41:540:41:59

So, from a bad-tempered and frustrated dog locked in a shed,

0:41:590:42:03

Snowy has come on leaps and bounds and proved she can be nice after all.

0:42:030:42:08

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

0:42:140:42:20

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

0:42:200:42:26

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

0:42:260:42:30

'Next time...

0:42:330:42:35

'A family pet or a threat to the public? On the road with the dangerous dog team.'

0:42:360:42:41

Thank you very much, gents. Powerful dog.

0:42:410:42:46

'Not every pet is happy to attend the mobile vet clinic.'

0:42:460:42:49

-Oh, feisty!

-Now we see what she can do.

0:42:510:42:54

'And some motherly love for some tiny orphans.'

0:42:540:42:58

He's very good, actually. He doesn't cry hardly. A perfect baby.

0:42:580:43:03

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2010

0:43:240:43:28

Email [email protected]

0:43:280:43:32

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

Featuring anger management for Snowy, a temperamental terrier; a cliffhanger rescue for a mountain goat and presenter Tom Heap helps build a new home for three rescued badgers - fully kitted out with secret cameras.