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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Britain's animals are under threat.
All too often our wildlife and domestic pets are the victims
of cruelty, persecution and neglect.
Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people trying to protect and care for them around the clock.
This is Animal 24:7.
In the air, on land and in the water, Britain is a haven for animals.
But when they come up against man, their lives are often in danger.
From cramped inner cities to fields and hedgerows, from the highest moorland to the coast and beyond,
Animal 24:7 is with the people working around the clock
to save endangered wildlife and protect vulnerable pets.
These are their stories.
'Today on Animal 24:7...'
-All right, darling...
-'Anger management for Snowy, the temperamental terrier.'
I assume her bark is worse than her bite, but I won't shove my hand in to find out.
'A cliffhanger rescue for Gordon, the mountain goat.'
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.
'And I help build a des-res for three rescued badgers.'
This isn't a normal badger sett. They'll be under surveillance.
Like the Big Brother house, this place is rigged with cameras. Hello!
Stuck inside the same four walls for hours on end and most of us would go stir-crazy.
And for our animals, it's just the same.
The RSPCA are often called to situations where pets and people are struggling to get along.
But the solution chosen by this next family came as something of a shock
to the inspector who was called out to investigate.
This may be a small garden shed, but there's plenty of noise coming from inside.
It's this barking that has alerted neighbours that something is wrong.
RSPCA inspector Sarah Keith is investigating.
Hi, RSPCA. We've had a call about the dog in the shed.
-Why is it in a shed?
-He lets it have a run in the morning and puts it in the shed in the afternoon.
-Does he walk it again of an evening?
A shed is not a suitable environment for a dog to be kept in. Is it OK to have a look at him?
The dog is called Snowy and spends most of her time locked up.
It's no surprise she's angry.
-Hello, sweetheart. All right, darling...
Worried Snowy could attack, Sarah proceeds with caution.
Oh, that's a good girl.
The incessant barking indicates this is one unhappy pet.
-Scared to open the door too far, Sarah struggles to get a proper look.
-OK, that's not happening.
Snowy is in no mood to be calmed down, but Sarah has seen enough
and decides immediate action is necessary.
-Who owns the dog then? Is it you and your husband?
Those conditions she's in, completely unacceptable.
Very, very strong smell of ammonia in there which is going to be doing no good for her lungs
because she's going for wees in there.
There's no ventilation in there, it's dark, there's tools that she can injure herself on.
And she's got about that much water left in her dish.
She needs to come out of that shed and it needs to happen soon.
-Is there no way she can live in the house?
Theresa explains she's wary of letting Snowy inside because of the way she behaves,
but Sarah says things have to be improved.
What I'll do is issue you a notice to change those conditions that the dog's in at the moment.
-Is it all right to sit down?
-I've got to do a bit of writing.
With Theresa reluctant to let Snowy in the house,
her only time outside the shed is during her twice-daily walks. That's not enough.
"It is the view of the RSPCA inspector that the needs of the animal are not being met
"because the dog has no ventilation,
"there are tools which could be hazardous to the dog and the dog has no water.
"You must provide adequate living conditions for the dog, including light and ventilation."
Then I'll just put, "Provide constant water."
You need to do it by the 22nd, a week from today.
But if you get it all sorted within a week, it's all done and dusted
and I won't need to give any more notices out.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you. Bye-bye.
Sarah will be back to check that the living conditions have improved.
But before she leaves, she needs to give Snowy some water and this means opening the shed door again.
Good girl. Drinkies! Do you want a drink, sweetheart?
Do you want a drink? Here you are. What's this?
-All right, sweetheart.
You eat that instead of me. There we go.
Oh, there's a good girl! Are you having a little wag, darling?
I'm not going to hurt you. Good girl. Good girl.
Good girl, Snowy. Aw!
Sarah's calming words seem to work and Snowy seems keen for a sniff of some fresh air.
But as the darkness closes in on her again,
Snowy's frustration at being locked up returns with a vengeance.
I think the lady here understands what's going on, but she doesn't have much to do with that dog.
She's quite frightened of it. She asked me to go in and give it water.
I think her husband deals with the dog, but as he wasn't here, somebody had to get the notice.
I'll come back and issue him with a notice. Snowy is not the friendliest of dogs, but it's a fear thing
and although she was jumping up and down and barking a lot,
I assume her bark is worse than her bite, but I'm not prepared to shove my hand in and find out.
Whatever Snowy's temperament, keeping her locked in a shed is not the answer.
If her owners don't change her conditions,
she could be taken away when Sarah makes her next inspection.
-Good girl. Go on in.
Snowy is finally released from her shed.
Come on, girl, let me pick you up without savaging me. Come on, sweetheart. Can I touch you?
And Mountain Rescue make contact with Gordon, a stranded goat.
He's looking at me now. He's getting a bit agitated.
The final goal for most people rescuing wild animals
is the moment they can be released back to their natural habitat,
but returning some of these animals to the wild can be tricky,
especially with territorial creatures such as badgers.
Rescuers have to go to extraordinary lengths to find a badger sett where a new member would be welcomed.
'Six months ago, I visited Pauline Kidner at Secret World Wildlife Rescue in Somerset.
'The centre was caring for a number of orphaned badger cubs found near a busy road.
'These are the cubs now all grown up and ready to be set free,
'but finding a place to release them hasn't been possible,
'so I'm going to help build the badgers a brand-new home in the north of England.'
And within this wood, this is the desirable plot.
It's got the right slope, it's not too moist, it's quite well-drained and there aren't too many trees.
Away you go, Martin.
'Heavy duty machinery is brought in to clear the area where our badgers' home will be built.
'A natural badger sett is made up of a network of tunnels and chambers with many different entrances.
'I'm with Jo Bates from the local badger group who are trying to recreate this environment.
'Everything is carefully measured out according to architects' drawings.'
This is a tricky moment when you try and match reality to your plan.
I think at the moment they're working between Chamber 2 and Chamber 1 on this corridor here,
getting that in the right place.
'I help to mark out the trenches that will be dug to connect the sett together,
'but, unusually, they're not in a straight line.'
Why the curves, Jo?
We basically know from experience that badgers don't really tunnel in straight lines.
'And once the rough sketch is laid out,
'the heavy metal is back digging several feet down to lay the pipes that will make the tunnels.'
And this is the main passageway to link the east and west wings of our badger sett.
'Though they may look rigid,
'these pipes bend easily, allowing for the curves that badgers like to negotiate.'
Well, as if to prove why they need a good shelter, it has started to rain
and this is going to be one of their bedrooms.
Okey-dokey... But there's another way in which this isn't a normal badger sett.
They'll be under surveillance. Like the Big Brother house, this place is rigged with cameras.
Hello! Can you see me there?
So we should be able to see the badgers as they settle into their new homes.
In fact, there will be four cameras around the sett in general.
'Our cameras will help check that the badgers settle in
'and that all this hard work hasn't gone to waste.
'We work as quickly as possible due to worries about forecasted rain which may disrupt the build.
'Once in position, the digger begins to bury the bedrooms and tunnels with the excavated soil.'
I guess we're walking on the roof of the badger sett at the moment.
-Are you happy with how it's gone today?
Yeah, the general consensus is it's gone OK.
When you've done all this work and bring the badgers here, are you sure they'll like it?
That's the million-dollar question!
'As Jo and the team put the finishing touches on the sett,
'I make the 250-mile journey south to Secret World
'to help prepare the badgers for the move up north.
'Secret World rescues, rehabilitates and eventually releases over 3,000 animals
'back into the wild every year.
'Pauline Kidner has been running the centre since 1984,
'caring for all manner of animals.'
-Hi, Pauline. Nice to see you again.
-Super weather, isn't it?
-Having a busy day?
-Yeah, not too bad.
Certainly a well-balanced diet. They've got cod and plaice, tripe and chicken? Lovely!
-There we go.
-Jolly good. If we can just get this all put in here now...
'Pauline has become particularly attached to the badgers and will be driving them
'to their new home in the north.'
-Is there any danger for the badgers on the journey?
-Travelling doesn't bother badgers at all.
Perhaps like human babies they go to sleep and find it very restful.
'The van is packed up, but our badgers aren't ready to go just yet.
'As they are nocturnal, they are enjoying a cosy sleep,
'but I'm still keen to catch a glimpse of those babies I met all those months ago.'
-These are the same ones that were nibbling at my feet and we were chopping up food for?
They've come on brilliantly.
'As the sun drops in the sky, Pauline returns to leave some food
'and after some tentative steps, one of the badgers climbs out of bed for breakfast.'
One of them came out, but got suspicious and went back in again.
Yes, but we want them to be afraid of human beings. They're behaving like wild badgers.
'The past few months have been difficult for Pauline.
'She has had to cope with the sad fact that those who test positive for tuberculosis can't be released.'
We're looking for bovine TB. They're all tested three times.
If we get any positives, we euthanise those animals.
This year we've had quite a few animals that were positive.
-If you're taking them to the north which is TB-free, you must be sure they don't bring the disease.
-How important is this project to you?
-We do it for welfare reasons,
but we also do it for educational reasons
because it just makes me smile that so many students go abroad to Africa and see elephants and big animals
and we have fantastic animals in this countryside.
Unless we care about them, they won't be there in the future.
-They've had their last supper. The next move will be tomorrow morning.
-Absolutely. Nice and early.
'As the badger heads back to bed, I too need an early night in readiness for a five o'clock start.
'The hope now is that the badgers make the journey north without any problems
'and settle happily into their new home.'
'Still to come, the cameras are in place and the house is ready to welcome the new arrivals.'
-Does that look like an enticing bed for a badger?
-Shall we introduce them to their new home?
'And we catch up with Snowy, the grumpy terrier in need of a new home.'
At the moment, she's being a bit aggressive.
If it turns out that she can't be re-homed, that would be a real shame for her.
Animals can get themselves caught and trapped in some extremely hazardous spots.
This can be life-threatening for the animal and for those who have to rescue them.
The RSPCA has dedicated units to deal with the most difficult and dangerous rescues
and today we're joining a specialist team for one of their most extreme operations.
The rugged north coast of Wales is as dangerous as it is beautiful.
But there's one animal that is perfectly suited to this landscape - the Kashmiri mountain goat.
They're extremely agile
and their appetite for special grasses can take them into all sorts of precarious positions.
But beneath the old lighthouse and over the cliff,
there is one goat whose taste for the green, green grass has taken him over the edge.
The RSPCA's rope rescue team has been mobilised to try to save Gordon
who is trapped on a precarious mountain ledge and is too scared to escape.
We were running out of rope as well.
Inspector Chris Dunbar has been involved in 40 goat rescues and is leading today's operation.
He has eaten away everything that is on the ledge.
He's able to move across the ledge and hide around the corner from us.
Our intention is now to try and abseil to get him off.
Gordon has been stranded for two weeks.
He hasn't got the courage to jump free and has now eaten all the grass around him.
The dangers for him are the fact that he is liable to jump rather than let us catch him.
I'm worried about him because he has been there for so long
and he doesn't seem able to get off that ledge, so we've got to do something about it.
The only way to reach him is to abseil down a 300-foot cliff face.
Where's the safety now then?
The RSPCA rope team begin their thorough preparation.
The man in charge of Chris's safety is Inspector Richard Abbott.
-Can you hear me now?
We've got to make sure the anchor points are safe and are all even.
And make sure all the ropes are in the right place.
Are you ready for us, guys?
Abseiling with Chris is experienced climber and animal collection officer Mark Roberts.
You just need to extend that double chin strap... I mean chin strap!
'How long is this guy going to be because they reckon this weather is going to blow up?'
The weather is starting to turn and this could threaten the whole operation.
The team needs to act quickly, but can't start until the boat arrives.
We need the boat because if we're not careful, the goat, which is wild, won't want to get caught.
It won't understand why we're trying to catch it and it's a risk of it jumping.
If it jumps, it will land in the sea
and we will need the RIB there to recover the goat and bring it back to shore.
Finally, the boat gets here and it's all systems go.
If you didn't have grey hair, you have now.
The view from the boat shows how bad the conditions are
and what a dangerous position the goat is in.
We can't leave it there. It will eventually starve, get too weak and fall off.
It'll suffer when it doesn't need to. It's just got in an awkward position.
The RSPCA can't just sit back and watch this goat slowly starve.
Can the guys in the boat see if we're above him?
-With the help of the coastguard radio, contact is made.
-Yeah, you're above it.
And Chris and Mark go over the edge. It's a perilous operation, so safety is paramount.
Everybody at the top is attached into the system now,
so if anybody slips or suddenly gets pulled over, there's no risk that they're going to fall.
You've got the safety going down, so if this was to snap now, they'd be attached into this.
Everything seems to be going smoothly, but suddenly, there's a problem.
My ab rope has caught on something. I'll have to have some slack on my safety.
Chris's rope has snagged on a rock.
-Hang on. If Chris could hang fire, we're just having to pass his knot...
-Just hold it now.
You'll have to give it plenty of slack. Pull that back through.
But the team is well-versed in dealing with setbacks like this and Chris is quickly back on track.
We can't see anything, so we're talking through the radios and they're telling us
what's happening on the ledge, so we can control the safeties and make sure they're secure from the top.
Chris finally reaches the ledge and greets Gordon.
He's stood looking at me now. He's getting a bit agitated.
You've been here a long time, haven't you? Come on.
Chris is worried Gordon may jump.
He's shivering away there, isn't he?
They move in to try and shepherd him to higher ground.
Gordon bolts, narrowly missing Mark, and disappears from view.
Everyone holds their breath.
Gordon is safe.
Good job, sir!
The threat of being caught has finally persuaded this cowardly goat to tread where he once feared.
Chris and Mark emerge triumphant.
It's been a gruelling challenge, but they finally got their goat.
I think that went fairly well, didn't it?
-There he is. He's grazing away down there.
-He was shaking quite a lot.
Yeah, he was sort of quivering.
Apart from when he head-butted you or tried to!
Yeah, we weren't best of friends at that moment.
Once we got down alongside him, we came either side of him,
he was still a little bit jumpy and spooky and making as if he was going to jump off the cliff edge,
but we gave him his time and after trying to butt my colleague, we got below him and he came up.
It was quite a successful rescue.
You can see him there grazing on the cliff and he's perfectly happy now
and I think he probably won't stop eating for a few days.
Having roamed the North Wales cliffs for over a century,
these Kashmiri goats have become an enduring feature of the rugged coastline.
And thanks to the amazing efforts of Chris and the team,
there will be plenty more years left of grazing for Gordon.
Later, Big Brother is watching how our badgers settle into their new home.
-It looked like he was going to take a chunk out of the camera.
It makes it all worthwhile.
When pets become difficult to control, they are sometimes banished to unsuitable places,
just to get them out of the way.
Earlier, we saw how a terrier called Snowy was kept in a garden shed.
She had become so aggressive
that even RSPCA inspector Sarah Keith was nervous about trying to get her out.
Now Sarah's back.
Last time Sarah Keith visited Snowy, the dog was angry and frustrated. And it's no surprise.
The four-year-old terrier was locked in this dark and dirty shed for hours at a time.
But now Snowy's owners have come to a decision about their dog.
Since the last time I was here, the owners of Snowy have decided to sign her over to the RSPCA
as they're not managing to look after her on their own.
She's quite aggressive, so we might have fun trying to get her out of this shed!
Although Sarah is used to handling all kinds of dogs,
Snowy's past behaviour means she'll have to be careful,
but as she passes the shed, things are ominously quiet.
Hi. I've come to get Snowy.
-You've come to get her?
-Yeah, you said you wanted to re-home her.
Snowy is inside the house and still barking as much as before.
Yeah, I've come to get her today.
Sarah is invited in and the owners confirm they think it is time for Snowy to go.
-That's it. And then your full signature on that one.
Once the paperwork is completed, Sarah goes to get a lead, prepared for a tussle to get the dog out.
She's making a lot of noise in there, but actually, she seems to have calmed down a bit.
I can hear her through the door, I can't see her yet.
Hopefully, I'll not get eaten!
The last time Sarah saw Snowy, she did nothing but snarl and bare her teeth.
Today, her bark seems worse than her bite.
Hello, baby girl. Come on, darling. Off we go!
-Bye! Come on, Snowy. What's that?
We're going in a van. We're going in a van.
But she's obviously not that used to being on a lead.
She seems fine. I think it was being shut in that shed that was making...
She's nervous, but nothing that a bit of work won't fix.
You're not aggressive, are you?
All the hair's gone down on her back now. It was all stood up before.
Are you going to go in there? What's in there?
Go in there then. Go on then.
Now out of her shed, Snowy is not keen to be confined again.
With most dogs, Sarah would lift them straight into the van.
Snowy seems in a better mood, but Sarah is concerned she may bite.
Let me pick you up without savaging me.
Come on, sweetheart. Can I touch you? I can, yeah. You're a good girl. Come here then.
Good girl. Oh, she's a good girl.
Sarah works hard to make her feel safe
and Snowy shows there's another side to her temperament.
I thought I was going to get an arm torn off, but she's all right once you get to know her.
She's fine once she's out that shed.
But Sarah can't take any chances.
Snowy will have to prove she can change her aggressive ways for good
if there's to be any hope of finding her a new home.
As she arrives at the kennels and sees other dogs, it's obvious there's plenty of work to be done.
This way. Come on.
She is doing a lot of stereotypic behaviour. She does a lot of spinning.
It will be a real shame if she's only ever been in a shed
and she comes to a kennel, another stressful environment,
and it turns out that she can't be re-homed, it would be a real shame,
so hopefully, she'll pass her assessment and we can find her a nice new home.
Snowy will now undergo a ten-day assessment
to prove she's got the right temperament to make a good pet.
She'll be tested on her obedience and on how she reacts to people and other animals,
but first she needs a health check.
Her temperament could be a worry with regards to re-homing.
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.
She's just letting people know, "If you come near me, I might take a chunk out of you!"
But hopefully, she won't.
Care assistant Michael Cuthbert will monitor her progress. He's dealt with difficult dogs before.
She's showing signs of slight aggression which isn't unusual, especially on day one.
We never take any risks. We always put a muzzle on.
Snowy doesn't like being told what to do. She fights the muzzle and doesn't want to be weighed.
This lack of obedience might count against her in the quest for a new home.
But Michael decides to give her the benefit of the doubt.
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,
let her settle, and we can always weigh her on a different day. Good girl.
It's nice that she's not in a shed any more.
So it's just wait and see now, really.
I hope she settles in and I hope her temperament will be all right once she's used to different people.
-If you've been shut in a shed your whole life...
-She needs time.
She needs time and we'll wait and see.
Snowy's unruly nature presents a big challenge.
Dogs with aggressive temperaments can't be re-homed.
Snowy will have to learn quickly if she's to get a second chance.
If there's no improvement in her behaviour, her future looks bleak.
If she settles in OK and it is just a bit of nervous aggression, then we'll be able to re-home her.
At the moment, she's being a bit aggressive.
Hopefully, we'll be able to sort her out and find her a nice new home,
otherwise, it might be a case of we have to put her to sleep.
Still to come...
Snowy is put to the test during her anger management class.
Her hackles are going up and she's barking quite a lot, so it might be that Snowy's not too keen on cats.
Finding places to release rescued badgers is a difficult job
and often artificial homes have to be built.
Earlier in the programme, I helped dig a new sett for three badgers
that had been cared for by Secret World in Somerset.
It's time to see if they like it.
'At Secret World, today is the day the badgers will be released
'into their new artificial sett. It's a special moment for me.
'I first met these three when they were brought into the centre as orphaned babies.
'Now all grown up, they are about to head north and that means a very early start.'
It's 5am, a bit of a rude awakening for me,
but for the badgers, it's the start of their big trek across the country.
'It's a big moment for Pauline Kidner too
'who has spent the last six months raising these badgers.'
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.
'Our first job is to try and coax the animals out of their bedrooms and into their carrying cases.'
-Come on, in you go. In you go.
-Got stuck in the entrance there!
-Right, OK, everybody?
There we go, right.
-Come on, in there. Go on, that's it.
-A bit better behaved, that one.
That's it. OK. So it's to the van and go.
'The badgers need to travel 250 miles to the newly constructed sett
'and with heavy rain forecast, we're all very keen to get the badgers snug in their new home
'before the weather turns.'
-There we go. Bon voyage!
-See you later.
-See you later.
'The morning sun rises and after a few hours on the road, we arrive at our destination.
'We're met by Jo Bates who oversaw the construction of the big badger house.'
-I expect you'd like to see your badgers.
-Yeah, I'm quite excited.
They've travelled well anyway.
We checked them halfway and they've been fine.
-There they are, Jo.
-Fantastic. Yeah. They look a little bit cautious.
Shall we have a look at their sett then?
Yeah, that's really nice.
-It's just up here.
-What do you think about the setting overall?
It looks smashing. It's lovely when you can come to a place like this which is so natural for them.
There's so many places that they can go to and it's beautiful.
-This is the entrance we were thinking of.
From up here, you can only see the front door, not the bedrooms, but it's all set up with cameras.
The screens are over here, so you can have a look at what it will be like in their rooms.
-That's all working, I gather?
-It is, yeah.
Here's our little studio set-up. If you come round here, you can see the screens.
-Wow, that's the actual chambers inside?
Isn't that fantastic?
-They're fabulous. You can actually see them coming in...
-The two entrances, yeah.
-Does that look like an enticing bed for a badger?
It's probably about time to introduce them to their new home.
'We used the bales of hay to build a walkway towards the entrance to the sett.'
We're very nearly at the end of what has been a pretty mammoth project to get these badgers a new home.
Lots of people, lots of lifting, a lot of work. I only hope they like it!
'And with the hay in place, it's time to get our badgers moved in.'
It must be exciting for you. It's close to the end of a long project.
It's really great to see. I'm really looking forward to them settling in.
Just over the bale.
It's like an obstacle course. I'll take it from here.
This is the moment when the badgers are about to cross the threshold in their new home.
'And with a little gentle encouragement, the first badger races into the sett.'
All right, steady, steady, steady.
Let's see if this one gets the idea of where it's meant to go.
'Followed by his rather more hesitant brother.'
Are you OK if you bring the next one...? Brilliant.
Last one. That's where the other guys have gone.
-Once you turn round, you'll realise, won't you?
-There he goes.
-There we go.
-Just when you're not expecting it, he's off.
-At least they're all in where they're meant to be.
'All three badgers are in their new home, but will they perform for the camera?'
-I think we're going to go and see if we can see them.
-You're keen to go.
-I want to go and see.
Oh, wow, look!
'All the hard work has paid off.
'The badger sett is also a film set. Will it be a bit of a tear-jerker?'
That's a real close-up, isn't it? Oh, that's fantastic.
It looked like he was going to take a chunk out of the camera!
-He's having a good look at it.
-That's wonderful. It makes it all worthwhile.
Thank you so much for giving them a home. That's super.
'These badgers were originally part of a group of six,
'but three were put down after testing positive for TB,
'so, for Pauline, finally getting to this stage, is overwhelming.'
You see badgers in cameras in your place, but this is almost in the wild.
It is. It's fantastic.
Because of the testing regime that we do, we have to put some down,
and it's always that much better when we know they've made it.
They have to be sacrificed, so that we can get healthy animals back out, but it's never easy.
Never easy, but you're enjoying it?
We have a tough time and we get criticised because of the protocol that we follow.
This year, we will have to put eight cubs down out of about 35, but that's the way it's got to be.
-But the other 27 or so will be out finding new homes like this and surviving and thriving.
And everybody, volunteer staff, they've all played their part.
The last thing that remains to be done is to take these barriers off the other entrances,
stuff some straw in, so it's not too draughty,
but they can get out and hopefully forage around here.
It's the end of a great story for me, having fed them as babies and now seeing them released into here.
But that's nothing as to how much it means to Pauline.
You could see her reaction, her emotion,
the depth of her involvement in these fascinating creatures.
When the RSPCA takes animals from their owners, they often come with problems that need sorting out.
Sometimes it's health issues, but as we saw earlier in the programme with Snowy,
it can also be a case of anger management.
Snowy has been put on a ten-day behaviour training programme to try and improve her temperament.
If she doesn't pass, it will be impossible to re-home her.
This is the RSPCA welfare centre in Hull.
For lucky animals, it is a quick stopover here before they are found new homes,
but for Snowy, it's a different story.
After showing signs of aggression, the next few hours are crucial.
Care worker Michael Cuthbert will perform Snowy's behaviour test to determine if she can be re-homed.
Today is a big day for Snowy because if everything goes well, she could end up going for adoption,
as soon as the assessment is done.
If Snowy's temperament hadn't improved, then we would work with it as much as we can.
Occasionally, we will get dogs where their temperament doesn't improve.
They've had such a poor start in life or things have happened to them that they'll always be quite aggressive.
If this is the situation, sometimes the dog will be put to sleep.
Michael is hoping this won't happen to Snowy,
but he needs to find out if she's making any progress.
The first stage is to test how she reacts when someone walks into her cage. This is her big moment.
Good girl. She's shown quite a happy response which is a really good thing. She's happy to see you.
She's not cowering. She's not showing any signs of nerves.
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.
The signs of aggression would be she'd have her hackles up.
If she was stressed, she would be showing signs of stress which can be wrinkles on the head,
lips smacking where they show their teeth. This is again a sign of aggression.
She's not showing any of these signs.
The first signs are positive, but Snowy's next test is how she takes to orders.
To start with, we'll just see what basic commands she can do.
A lot of dogs do respond to treats, so we tend to use them quite a lot.
Snowy's not particularly treat-mad, but we'll see how we go on with that.
Snowy, sit! Snowy...
Snowy ignores Michael's commands.
-But then she proves she can listen.
Good girl. Well done.
You always praise a dog as well, so she knows that she's done well.
So now she's mastered the "sit", how will she do on the next command?
Teaching old dogs new tricks is notoriously difficult.
Snowy seems happy to break the mould.
Good girl! Good "down", Snowy.
Sitting and staying seem to come fairly naturally to Snowy,
but there are some areas where she's still got ideas of her own.
Snowy, to be quite honest, is very poor on her lead.
Again this might be the fact that she's been in a shed,
so even when she wasn't in her shed, she's probably been a "garden dog".
A lot of people get dogs and don't walk them, unfortunately. They think they're fine to go in a garden.
This isn't adequate for any dog. All dogs need to go out.
The next thing we'll try is heel work. You put your dog into a "sit" position on your left-hand side.
They're following your heel,
so as you walk, the dog is meant to follow your heel and you put the command "heel" in.
So, heel! Heel!
Snowy tries to keep up, but it's going to take a few more walks round the block
before she can pass this part of the test.
She's not brilliant on her lead, but she's not absolutely disastrous either.
Hopefully, she'll improve. I'm quite impressed. For a dog that's not used to being on a lead, she's not bad.
Despite a few hiccups, Michael is pleased with Snowy's progress,
but now comes what could be her hardest test yet.
How will Snowy react when she sees a cat?
If a dog is not a cat-friendly dog, it becomes quite obvious because hackles will go up.
If that's the case, we just put on her form when she goes up for adoption "not to live with cats".
Snowy has already proved she's happy around humans,
but dogs are notorious for hating cats and it seems the feeling is mutual.
Her hackles are going up a little bit and she's barking quite a lot.
Again this isn't a great indication,
so it might be the case that Snowy's not too keen on cats,
which is quite common - some dogs just don't like cats.
If that's the case, it just means we'll put on her card not to go with cats in the future.
With Snowy's behaviour test over, it's time for Michael's verdict.
I'm really pleased with Snowy's progress. The worry we had when she came in seems to have gone now.
She'll only get better and better and eventually we'll find her a nice family home.
So, from a bad-tempered and frustrated dog locked in a shed,
Snowy has come on leaps and bounds and proved she can be nice after all.
If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime or a creature that needs immediate protection,
remember there are dedicated professionals out there who will answer your call around the clock.
They are the people we meet on Animal 24:7.
'A family pet or a threat to the public? On the road with the dangerous dog team.'
Thank you very much, gents. Powerful dog.
'Not every pet is happy to attend the mobile vet clinic.'
-Now we see what she can do.
'And some motherly love for some tiny orphans.'
He's very good, actually. He doesn't cry hardly. A perfect baby.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2010
Email [email protected]
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.