Episode 1 Animal 24:7


Episode 1

Series following people dedicated to helping animals in distress. The RSPCA visit a hoarder whose love of pets is out of control, and a pregnant cat gets her first ultrasound scan.


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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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Today on Animal 24:7...

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Let's have a look at them, then.

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The owner whose love of pets is out of control.

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You have too many animals here. You've got at least one of everything!

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Under lock and key -

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the evidence of an international crime.

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This is what it's all about. Lots and lots and lots of eggs.

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And Jasmine the pregnant puss

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gets her first scan.

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There's definitely some babies in there.

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That row of dots is a kitten's backbone.

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See that little heart beating?

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Collecting things for a hobby is harmless enough.

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But for some people, the compulsion to collect animals

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can have dire consequences.

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These so-called animal hoarders are rarely cruel,

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just unable to cope with the demands of keeping so many pets.

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RSPCA inspector Selina Chan is on her way to the latest case.

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This small terraced house in South Wales is home to a pet owner

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who simply loves animals.

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She's already been visited by the RSPCA about her collection of cats.

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Now there's a fresh complaint.

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When I get calls to this house, I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.

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She has this hoarding tendency about her

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and I know there's always going to be more here when I get the call.

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The report suggests there might be dogs living in poor conditions.

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But Selina suspects this could just be the start of the story.

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Hello. Selina of the RSPCA.

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I've had another call about the dogs.

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-Is it all right to have a look?

-Yes.

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Selina's first job is to check outside.

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Let's have a look at them, then.

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The owner takes her to the back yard where the dogs are living.

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Come on, you.

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Come on!

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-How many dogs have you got altogether?

-Only those.

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I had a call saying there's five dogs here.

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-Five?

-You haven't got five? Right, OK, that's good.

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Selina is told there are just two dogs living here.

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Come on, sweetie.

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Snowy and an energetic terrier called Shiloh.

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Hello, you.

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Finding two rather than five is a welcome development,

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but the good news is short-lived.

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There's a lot of cleaning here to be done.

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-The place is covered in faeces.

-I know.

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You could do with having a clean-up in here as well.

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There's a lot of faeces on the floor. Maybe take that carpet and replace it, OK?

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Pop the dogs back, then.

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And then we'll have a look at the rest of the animals you've got

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so I can make a note of what you've got.

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The first stage of Selina's visit has not gone well.

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Next, Selina moves to the front garden, home to two rabbits and one ferret.

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It's filthy inside.

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Right?

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Like the back yard, the conditions are not good.

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You can see rotting food. I see you've filled the water up.

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Are you coping, keeping this ferret?

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I want to find a home for him.

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Right, OK.

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We can look to do that today for you.

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With one pet signed over,

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Selina moves on to the rabbits.

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Again, it's absolutely filthy.

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Can we pop this door open so I can see the bedding area?

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-That is disgusting.

-OK.

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Evidence is mounting that this owner is struggling to cope.

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I'm not really happy for these rabbits to stay here

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because of the condition in the hutch.

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Do you want me to help you re-home them?

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I'll take those today because I don't want them staying in here.

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Three pets have been signed over. Now it's time to see what's inside.

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So what have we got in the house?

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Selina isn't prepared for what's waiting in the living room.

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OK.

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This is a Chinese water dragon.

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Like all reptiles, they need specialist care.

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-Have you ever had a reptile before?

-No.

-Okey-dokes.

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The way this one's being kept is simply not good enough.

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I'm really not happy with this staying here.

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You've got completely the wrong set-up for that type of animal.

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He looks in good condition. I'm not concerned about how he looks at all.

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But your environment is not correct.

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Would you be happy for me to take this?

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If you want to be looking at keeping reptiles and things...

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Right. Things have to drastically improve with this, OK?

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The owner is reluctant to sign the water dragon over.

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So Selina gives her a chance to show she can improve things.

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You need a filtered water pool.

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You'll never get a filtered water pool in there because it's too small, OK?

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Plus, the thing is, your house is boiling hot.

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And you've got a basking light and a heat mat in there.

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I bet it's baking in there.

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You need to get a new viv by next week.

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With all animals accounted for downstairs,

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Selina now heads upstairs.

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Okey-dokes.

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The first room she comes to is the bathroom.

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So we've got a grey female and five kittens.

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-How old are the kittens?

-About four weeks.

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About four weeks.

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The new family is healthy,

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but they shouldn't be living in a basket in a bathroom.

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I see you're putting food and water down for them.

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But you're failing on keeping the place clean.

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You need to be on top of this, OK?

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I recommend getting a bigger litter tray for mum.

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The owner promises the kittens will be going to new homes

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once they're big enough

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and she wants mum to go, too.

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We need to focus on getting her neutered as soon as these kittens come off.

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When they're old enough to go, I want to do re-homing anyway.

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Right. OK. Why do you want to re-home her once those kittens are gone?

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Not coping?

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We can help you with that once the kittens go.

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There's no doubt that this owner loves animals.

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But her desire to collect pets has gone beyond ornaments and photos.

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Now she's slowly realising that her collecting has gone too far.

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Can you smell it in here?

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There are more animals across the landing.

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You've got way too many cats.

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You're talking five cats in this room.

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Conditions in here are possibly the worst of all.

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You're not on top of the cleaning.

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I see you're putting food and water down and the cats are in good nick.

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I'm not concerned that you're not caring for them in that way,

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but you are so not on top of the cleaning.

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It stinks in here. I'm surprised you bother coming in here, it's that smelly.

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The owner is told this room must be cleaned

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and Selina persuades her to sign one of the cats over.

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I'd like to get the number of cats you have right down, to be honest.

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You have way too many for this house.

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You cannot be keeping five cats in this room.

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After double-checking there are no more animals anywhere...

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-Any in this room?

-No.

-Nothing in there or there. OK.

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..the conversation moves downstairs.

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-If you wanted to re-home her, then...

-I want to re-home this one.

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A total of four animals have been signed over today.

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But just as Selina is about to leave...

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Have you got a bird?

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..she hears a suspicious noise coming from a bedroom,

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the room she was told was empty.

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You said there's wasn't anything in here.

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It seems this collection could yet grow further.

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You've just got too much.

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Coming up:

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I would suggest you get rid of the small animals at least. All right?

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The birds have to go by the weekend as well.

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And the casualties of an illegal trade.

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-Each one of these eggs represents a bird that isn't.

-Exactly right.

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Somebody's literally taken a living egg, drilled a hole in it,

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and flushed the bird down the sink.

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It's estimated that it can cost up to £10,000 a year to keep a pet.

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Undoubtedly, the biggest expense is vet fees.

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Fortunately for owners on low incomes

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there are charity-funded animal hospitals up and down the country.

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They make sure that pets can get the care they need.

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Victoria, London.

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This is the oldest animal hospital in the UK.

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It's run by The Blue Cross.

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From routine treatment to life-saving surgery,

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a skilled team of vets and nurses work round the clock.

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On average, 100 pets are brought in every day by worried owners.

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One of today's patients is Otis,

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a nine-year-old cat who's not been eating.

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Yep, he's off his food.

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He's losing weight fast, so vet Nigel Smith begins an examination.

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This puss has been generally off colour.

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He's just not right.

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Probably sleeping a bit more than usual.

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One thing that has been a consistent feature is that he's abnormally yellow.

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That's jaundice.

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OK, guy. Let's see.

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His lips are a bit yellow as well.

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Jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin,

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usually associated with liver disorder.

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Nigel fears Otis may have cancer.

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He's immediately anaesthetised so urgent tests can be carried out.

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He's immensely poorly. His liver function is very, very poor.

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He's facing a pretty unclear future at the moment.

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First the team takes x-rays.

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The results will show if Otis has any hope of making a recovery.

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We want to make sure that his chest is OK,

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make sure there's no evidence of cancer in the lung tissue.

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Because that may well alter what we do.

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We might have to think again as to what our treatment options are,

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what's realistic and what's fair to put him through.

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If Otis has cancer of the liver,

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there's a real danger it's spread to the chest.

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Nigel checks the results.

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Good news. No obvious signs of cancer in the chest.

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That's good. So whatever is going on in the abdomen, or in the liver,

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then we can assume that it's restricted to the liver.

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So far, so good.

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The x-rays might be positive,

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but the team's still no closer to finding out what is wrong with Otis.

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It's time for him to go under the knife.

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Right. We have a very swollen liver.

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The team can now have a close look at all of his vital organs.

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And the seriousness of his condition becomes clear.

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-This is its stomach.

-Look at that stomach! It's so yellow.

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Surgeon Charlotte Hamilton is alarmed by these jaundice levels

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and she knows diagnosis isn't straightforward.

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There's no obvious large cancer lesion that we were concerned about.

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But the other thing we're worried about is there might be a blockage

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so we're trying to flush the liver through, through the gall bladder

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to see if we can find any blockage there.

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This is a delicate operation.

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The team is in for a long afternoon.

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It's complicated because it's an elderly cat.

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There are multiple things that could be going on.

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Sometimes, things aren't always as they seem

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so when you have a look at her insides,

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it's not obvious what's going on. It'll be touch and go over the next 24 hours, basically.

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The Blue Cross has four animal hospitals around the UK.

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In Grimsby, Jenna Robinson has brought in Jasmine,

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a cat she inherited from her aunt, who died recently.

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I didn't know much about cats. Didn't even have a cat.

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Then I got told I needed to keep her. I've brought her in for a check-up.

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And it seems this not-so-welcome inheritance is even more than Jenna bargained for.

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She suspects Jasmine is pregnant.

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Hello. Jasmine Robinson?

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Accompanied by her son, Jenna takes Jasmine to see vet Wendy Adams.

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Right. This is Jasmine. How long have you had Jasmine?

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-About four weeks.

-Four weeks. Right.

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In those four weeks, Jasmine's rapidly changing body shape has aroused Jenna's suspicions.

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Ooh, yes.

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That's quite a large tummy you've got there, isn't it?

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Good girl. You're very pretty, aren't you?

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There's definitely some babies in there.

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I can't tell how many this way,

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so in a minute we'll scan her and see if we can see some kittens.

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It's a big moment for all mums-to-be,

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that first ultrasound scan.

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But it won't work through fur.

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So we'll just do a little shave on her tummy.

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I'm just going to pop the light out.

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Put that on her tummy and see what we can see.

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All eyes are turned to the monitor, to see their first sign of life.

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-You can see a spine.

-You can see a little spine. See that?

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That row of dots is a kitten's backbone.

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See the little heart beating?

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Just fluttering, isn't it?

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Wendy can see one healthy kitten.

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There's another little spine at the top there.

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Be a good girl.

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I'll just pop the lights back on so we can see what we're doing.

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And it seems this kitten is going to be arriving much sooner than Jenna thought.

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I would think she's got less than two weeks to go.

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Just a few weeks ago,

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Jenna had no desire to own any cats.

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Inheriting Jasmine was one thing.

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Now she has just a couple of weeks to prepare for another new arrival.

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Later...

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It's a lovely smile, isn't it?

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..we find out what's troubling Mucker.

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He's a lumpy old boy.

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But that's not a fatty lump.

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So unfortunately I think it's a bit more serious.

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And the nervous terrier taken from a hoarder's home.

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Shallow's a bit hesitant because I don't think he's ever been on a lead.

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He's not sure what he's meant to be doing!

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I'm sure if I took the lead off him, he'd walk around fine.

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This street in Low Willington near Crook in County Durham,

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looks like many others across our county towns.

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But when the police raided a house here in February 2009,

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they found one of the most unusual and varied egg collections

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they'd ever seized in Britain.

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This is Andrew Seed,

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the man who held a hoard of eggs from some of the world's rarest birds.

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At Durham crown court,

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he pleaded guilty to 17 offences

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relating to smuggling, trading, and keeping of birds' eggs.

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The charges related to this collection,

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filmed at his house during a police raid.

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There were thousands of eggs stored in cabinets and drawers,

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and evidence of illegal trading.

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RSPB investigator Guy Shorrock is one of the officers

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who brought Seed to book.

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It was February last year when I first came down here.

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I wasn't sure what to expect, really.

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'He's now brought me to the local police station

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'where the evidence is still under lock and key.'

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This is where they're still stored, is it?

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This is how it was when I found it.

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There's a lot of furniture in here.

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I have a feeling I know what'll be in these drawers if I open it.

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Absolutely.

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Wow.

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This is what it's all about, as far as Mr Seed is concerned.

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Lots and lots and lots of eggs.

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-And all these as well?

-There's over 2,000 here in total.

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It was amazing. He was part of an international egg-smuggling ring

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with people in the States and Australia and all over.

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There were eggs in little boxes being moved across the planet.

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Trading and collecting birds' eggs

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has been illegal since the introduction of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in 1981.

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Before then, the robbing of eggs from nests had led to some species vanishing altogether.

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These are the eggs of a species called Red-backed Shrike.

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This species is now extinct as a breeding species in this country.

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During the 1960s and '70s and early '80s

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it was harried mercilessly by egg collectors.

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-Wow.

-It's just one of the eggs they hold in high regard.

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-It's well-marked with a pink flush on it.

-Amazing.

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Can we have a look in more detail at what's in there?

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'The scale of Seed's collection is staggering. Trays and trays containing thousands of eggs...'

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This is an extraordinary collection!

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'..taken from nests all over the world.'

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2,500 eggs.

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That's a lot in anyone's book, but a large number of species, too?

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Yes, it's particularly unusual, this collection.

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Most collections I deal with are British or European eggs.

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But it became apparent there's a smattering of eggs from every continent.

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Let's look at the ones in here.

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Even I can read this one. It says "vulture".

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These are Egyptian vultures. It's a heavily declining species in Europe.

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Closer to home, the Golden Eagle,

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perhaps the most majestic bird still alive in the British Isles.

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-These are Golden Eagle eggs?

-Very popular with egg collectors.

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And the terribly sad thing is,

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we know Golden Eagles how grand they are, what fantastic birds.

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Each one of these eggs represents a bird that isn't.

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Exactly right.

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Somebody's taken a living egg, drilled a hole in it,

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and flushed the life of that bird down the sink.

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Included in the evidence seized were tools designed to destroy the life inside an egg.

0:21:160:21:21

-So those drill down into the egg itself?

-That's right, yes.

0:21:230:21:26

'The paraphernalia of egg-blowing.'

0:21:260:21:28

Once you've got the hole in the egg,

0:21:280:21:31

what they will do is use pipettes, these things here. And often syringes

0:21:310:21:36

to force air into the shell

0:21:360:21:39

and flush out the yolk back through the same hole.

0:21:390:21:42

Then they swill it out with water to clean it out.

0:21:420:21:45

This collection didn't come cheap.

0:21:480:21:51

Some of the clutches are reported to have cost up to £6,000.

0:21:510:21:54

The rarest and most endangered species like these

0:21:580:22:02

of the roseate tern fetching the highest prices.

0:22:020:22:06

Sadly, you deal with a lot of egg collectors, egg thieves, in your work.

0:22:070:22:11

How does this case compare with the run of cases?

0:22:110:22:15

What's interesting is the diversity of eggs in here. It's amazing.

0:22:150:22:19

Eggs from the States, from America, eggs from captive birds, from wild birds.

0:22:190:22:24

It was clear that he was completely obsessed with trying to build up

0:22:240:22:28

the most diverse collection possible.

0:22:280:22:30

He wanted as many different species from all over the world.

0:22:300:22:34

It's really an obsessional behaviour. It's trophy hunting.

0:22:340:22:38

For the egg thief, it's about the thrill of the chase,

0:22:380:22:41

going to the countryside,

0:22:410:22:43

finding the eggs of rare birds or finding eggs that are difficult to find.

0:22:430:22:47

Getting them home without being caught.

0:22:470:22:49

Mr Seed was different. All he was interested in was building this diverse collection.

0:22:490:22:54

No regard about where the eggs had come from,

0:22:540:22:57

who'd taken them, how rare they were.

0:22:570:22:59

All he wanted was this big collection.

0:22:590:23:02

The RSPB was alerted to the collection after a tip-off

0:23:050:23:09

about as series of suspicious emails.

0:23:090:23:12

In May 2010,

0:23:130:23:16

Andrew Seed received a nine-month jail sentence,

0:23:160:23:19

suspended for two years.

0:23:190:23:20

He was also ordered to pay over £3,500 in costs.

0:23:200:23:25

The RSPB is still considering what to do with the eggs.

0:23:290:23:33

Coming up...

0:23:410:23:43

A new baby for Jasmine.

0:23:440:23:46

Just started to open her eyes, just trying to walk.

0:23:460:23:49

Still a bit wobbly. But she's lovely.

0:23:490:23:53

A big ball of fluff.

0:23:530:23:55

There is no limit to the number of pets someone can have.

0:23:590:24:03

What matters is how they're looked after.

0:24:030:24:05

In South Wales, RSPCA inspector Selina Chan is with someone

0:24:050:24:10

whose love of animals is out of control.

0:24:100:24:13

So far, she's found two dogs, ten cats, two rabbits, a ferret and a water dragon

0:24:130:24:19

and now it looks as though there could be even more.

0:24:190:24:22

Selina thought she'd found all the animals in this house but she was wrong.

0:24:300:24:34

Did I hear a bird? Where's the bird?

0:24:340:24:37

She's just heard the sound of birds coming from inside this bedroom.

0:24:370:24:41

You told me there wasn't anything in here.

0:24:410:24:44

And sure enough, her suspicions are right.

0:24:460:24:48

And hamsters. Right. OK.

0:24:490:24:52

This small, dark bedroom is home to two cockatiels, two mice

0:24:520:24:56

and a hamster.

0:24:560:24:58

You've just got too much.

0:24:580:25:00

The number of animals kept in this small house has grown from 16 to 21.

0:25:000:25:04

Can you open that curtain cos it's awful dark and birds love the light.

0:25:070:25:11

The homeowner says the birds belong to a friend

0:25:110:25:14

and they'll be gone by the weekend.

0:25:140:25:18

Clean it out by the weekend when I come back.

0:25:180:25:21

They've got plenty of perches. They're both ringed.

0:25:210:25:25

What else have we got?

0:25:250:25:27

Selina turns her attention to the mice and hamster.

0:25:270:25:31

How often are you cleaning the cages out?

0:25:310:25:34

That doesn't look like once or twice a week.

0:25:340:25:37

You need to keep on top of that, all right?

0:25:370:25:39

You need to open the window so you've got some ventilation.

0:25:390:25:43

It's not fair that they're being stuck in here.

0:25:430:25:46

I don't need to tell you you need to clean the cage out.

0:25:460:25:49

Yet again, it's clear this owner is struggling to keep up with the demands of so many pets.

0:25:510:25:57

You have too many animals here. You've got at least one of everything.

0:25:570:26:02

If you're not spending time with these, what's the point in them being here?

0:26:020:26:06

Plus it's costing you more money. I suggest you get rid of the small animals at least.

0:26:060:26:12

Clean the birds out. They have to go by the weekend.

0:26:120:26:15

Although the animals are healthy, they just can't live like this.

0:26:170:26:22

OK?

0:26:220:26:24

Selina is determined to work with the owner to reduce her numbers.

0:26:250:26:30

But it's going to take time.

0:26:300:26:31

Brilliant. That's your copy.

0:26:330:26:35

Can you help me get the rabbits and the ferret out?

0:26:350:26:38

I'll bring a cage in for the cat as well.

0:26:380:26:41

This owner has not purposefully neglected her pets.

0:26:460:26:50

But her love of animals is out of control.

0:26:500:26:53

I'll run these over to the van, then we'll sort the rabbits out.

0:26:530:26:57

Today, she agrees to give up four of her 21 animals.

0:26:570:27:02

Put that one in.

0:27:020:27:04

Two rabbits, a cat and a ferret.

0:27:040:27:07

That would be great if I can have that. Brilliant.

0:27:130:27:16

The number of pets living here is now down to 17.

0:27:190:27:22

Selina's hoping this will just be the start of things.

0:27:220:27:25

I think she will do what I've asked.

0:27:260:27:29

When I went back in the second time, she'd cleaned the litter trays out.

0:27:290:27:34

She's taking the advice on board.

0:27:340:27:36

I think it'll be a long process.

0:27:360:27:38

It won't be a quick fix.

0:27:380:27:41

I'll keep an eye on her in the next couple of weeks and hopefully she'll do all I asked.

0:27:410:27:46

This is the RSPCA centre in Merthyr Tydfil.

0:27:510:27:55

Here the animals can now enjoy clean and comfortable beds.

0:27:580:28:01

I don't suspect there'll be anything wrong with them.

0:28:010:28:04

We'll board them here overnight and get a health check in the morning.

0:28:040:28:08

We'll put them up for re-homing if they get a full bill of health.

0:28:080:28:12

Animal hoarding is a common problem for the RSPCA.

0:28:130:28:17

Hey, you.

0:28:170:28:18

It's something Selina comes into contact with on an all-too-regular basis.

0:28:180:28:24

What makes a hoarder a hoarder?

0:28:240:28:26

Just not knowing when to stop.

0:28:260:28:29

Thinking they're doing the right thing by helping the animals.

0:28:290:28:33

Unfortunately, because the numbers increase,

0:28:330:28:36

they find themselves in a bit of trouble where they can't actually keep up

0:28:360:28:42

with the number of animals they've got.

0:28:420:28:45

Most hoarders don't see a problem with the animals they've got,

0:28:450:28:48

don't see a problem with the conditions they're kept in,

0:28:480:28:52

so at least the owner of these animals realises she has too many

0:28:520:28:58

and is being co-operative and handing them over for re-homing.

0:28:580:29:02

It has been a successful day for Selina.

0:29:020:29:06

But she has no idea how many more animals the owner will eventually let go.

0:29:060:29:11

Still to come:

0:29:170:29:19

The lady explained to me she didn't want the larger terrier.

0:29:190:29:23

This is quite common, especially with people who do hoard animals.

0:29:230:29:26

The novelty wears off quite quickly.

0:29:260:29:29

Now we return to the dedicated team at the Blue Cross Hospitals.

0:29:320:29:37

Earlier, we saw staff operate on a cat with jaundice

0:29:370:29:41

and perform ultrasound on a pregnant tabby.

0:29:410:29:43

In a moment, we'll catch up on both of those.

0:29:430:29:46

But first, another patient has just walked through the door.

0:29:460:29:50

The Blue Cross provides an ambulance service

0:29:560:29:58

for pets whose owners are unable to bring them in for treatment.

0:29:580:30:02

Mucker the bulldog is the latest to arrive at the London Victoria Hospital.

0:30:020:30:07

-How's Mucker?

-He's with the ambulance driver, John Webb.

0:30:070:30:10

His left, hind leg. I'll attempt to get him on the table!

0:30:100:30:14

I can see why... Are you all right?

0:30:140:30:17

Poor old Mucker!

0:30:170:30:19

Hey, mate, how are you?

0:30:190:30:21

It's a lovely smile, isn't it?

0:30:210:30:24

Mucker's appointment is with vet Kathy Taylor.

0:30:240:30:27

The main concern the owner has is that Mucker's left hind leg, there's a lump on the joint.

0:30:270:30:32

-Yes.

-He's walking badly.

0:30:320:30:35

His owners are worried that the lump on his leg is cancerous.

0:30:350:30:38

Mucker's quite an elderly English bulldog.

0:30:380:30:43

As he's aged, he's been becoming a bit more arthritic

0:30:430:30:46

because he has these very prominent elbows and the real bulldog English stance.

0:30:460:30:54

Churchill would be proud of him!

0:30:540:30:57

But this lump on the leg - here, Mucker, turn around, mate.

0:30:570:31:01

-Good boy. He's a lumpy old boy, but that's not a fatty lump.

-No.

0:31:010:31:06

Unfortunately I think it's probably a bit more serious.

0:31:060:31:10

But I'm hoping very much that it's not cancer.

0:31:100:31:14

Because of his age, if Mucker does have cancer treatment,

0:31:160:31:20

it will be especially difficult.

0:31:200:31:22

It is, obviously, a very serious thing.

0:31:220:31:26

In a younger dog,

0:31:260:31:27

we would consider amputation of the leg in some cases.

0:31:270:31:33

Chemotherapy is used quite routinely now in pets,

0:31:340:31:38

as it is in humans.

0:31:380:31:40

So it really would depend on what type of cancer it was.

0:31:400:31:44

Mucker hobbles through to x-ray.

0:31:460:31:49

Soon, the results are in.

0:31:500:31:53

We've taken a quick shot of his hock,

0:31:530:31:55

which is his ankle joint.

0:31:550:31:58

What we can see is this enlarged area we were looking at in the consultation.

0:31:580:32:04

The great news is that it's not cancer.

0:32:040:32:06

The lump is actually a fluid-filled sac called a bursa.

0:32:060:32:11

Kathy wants to treat it with medicine, not surgery.

0:32:110:32:14

Mucker is not the sort of breed that you would want to anaesthetise

0:32:150:32:20

without a very, very good reason.

0:32:200:32:22

So we're not going to muck around with Mucker!

0:32:220:32:25

We're assuming that this is a soft tissue swelling.

0:32:250:32:29

I'm going to put him on some anti-inflammatories and some antibiotics.

0:32:290:32:33

Hopefully, some of the swelling will come down,

0:32:330:32:37

but we won't completely cure it.

0:32:370:32:39

We'll have to watch it and in future give him more tablets for it.

0:32:390:32:42

Before Mucker goes home, Kathy briefs John with information for his owners.

0:32:450:32:50

She will ask why this has happened.

0:32:500:32:52

I think partially the reason

0:32:520:32:55

is friction where the skin overlaps the top of the hock.

0:32:550:33:00

There's some swelling there and some fluid has formed

0:33:000:33:04

over the outside of the joint.

0:33:040:33:06

But that's all because he's quite an old dog,

0:33:060:33:10

and getting up and down is probably quite difficult for him.

0:33:100:33:14

The friction caused by that has led to this sac filling with fluid.

0:33:140:33:19

-Yes.

-Sure. But good news, it's not cancer.

-Yes.

0:33:190:33:22

-Adios, senorita!

-See you later.

-See you later.

0:33:220:33:25

Come on, Mucker.

0:33:250:33:26

So this old Mucker heads back to the ambulance ready for home,

0:33:280:33:32

where he'll soon be reunited with some very relieved owners.

0:33:320:33:37

Earlier, we saw Otis, a desperately ill cat.

0:33:470:33:50

Otis was badly jaundiced, unable to eat and losing weight fast.

0:33:530:33:57

He's immensely poorly. His liver function is very, very poor.

0:33:570:34:01

He underwent long and complicated surgery.

0:34:010:34:05

Right. So we have a very swollen liver.

0:34:060:34:08

Finally, the team discovered he had a blocked bile duct.

0:34:080:34:13

This affected the function of his liver.

0:34:130:34:15

Surgeons were able to remove the blockage, but Otis still faced a long recovery.

0:34:150:34:22

For the owner, Claudia, it's been a very distressing few weeks.

0:34:230:34:27

I had lots of friends all willing him on, saying, "Come on, you can make this."

0:34:270:34:32

I did go in occasionally and visit him, but you feel so cut off,

0:34:320:34:36

him being in hospital and you being here.

0:34:360:34:38

I tried to not think about it, but there are occasions when you think, "What if he doesn't make it?"

0:34:380:34:44

It's very upsetting. I cried my eyes out, just thinking that it might not be a happy outcome.

0:34:440:34:50

But for Otis and Claudia, it is a happy outcome.

0:34:500:34:55

Otie!

0:34:560:34:58

Come on, you!

0:34:580:35:00

After making a full recovery, he's back home.

0:35:010:35:04

Hello! You're such a good boy, aren't you?

0:35:040:35:08

His off-colour days are now well and truly behind him.

0:35:080:35:11

When we got him home, it was lovely.

0:35:110:35:14

He stretched and walked around

0:35:140:35:17

and just lay on the floor.

0:35:170:35:19

Stretched out all his muscles.

0:35:190:35:21

He's really enjoyed it and we've enjoyed having him back.

0:35:210:35:24

LOUD MIAOWING

0:35:240:35:26

Just a few weeks ago, Otis was unable to eat.

0:35:260:35:30

Vets feared for his future.

0:35:300:35:32

Bit louder, can't hear you(!)

0:35:320:35:34

But now he has a renewed appetite for life,

0:35:340:35:38

not to mention his food.

0:35:380:35:40

You'd think they hadn't been fed for days!

0:35:400:35:42

And in Grimsby, there's another happy ending.

0:35:490:35:51

Earlier, Jenna Robinson had brought her inherited cat, Jasmine, into the hospital.

0:35:510:35:56

I didn't know much about cats.

0:35:560:35:58

And got more than she bargained for.

0:35:580:36:00

Definitely some babies in there.

0:36:000:36:03

Jasmine was pregnant.

0:36:030:36:05

Less than two weeks to go now.

0:36:050:36:07

Jenna hadn't wanted one cat, let alone a whole family,

0:36:070:36:11

and wasn't sure what she should do.

0:36:110:36:14

Three weeks later, this is Jasmine...

0:36:190:36:22

..and her kitten, Juno.

0:36:230:36:25

She's just started to open her eyes, just trying to walk.

0:36:280:36:32

Still a bit wobbly.

0:36:320:36:33

But she's lovely.

0:36:330:36:36

A big ball of fluff!

0:36:370:36:39

Mum and baby are doing really well.

0:36:390:36:41

And both Jasmine and Juno are staying with Jenna.

0:36:420:36:46

We're going to keep them both.

0:36:460:36:49

Cos Jasmine's just my little girl now.

0:36:490:36:52

And now I've got another one to look after.

0:36:520:36:55

When Jenna inherited Jasmine from her aunt,

0:36:560:36:59

she was very much a reluctant cat owner.

0:36:590:37:01

Not any more.

0:37:010:37:02

I've had her seven weeks and I've gone from hating cats

0:37:020:37:06

to loving cats,

0:37:060:37:08

to wanting to keep another one.

0:37:080:37:10

It's just crackers!

0:37:100:37:12

In Wales, RSPCA inspector Selina Chan has been visiting a small end terrace.

0:37:200:37:25

The house was home to over 20 animals,

0:37:250:37:28

all kept in dirty conditions.

0:37:280:37:30

There was also a Chinese water dragon in a completely unsuitable vivarium.

0:37:300:37:35

Selina's already taken away four of the animals,

0:37:350:37:38

and left strict instructions for the others to be cleaned out.

0:37:380:37:42

Selina's back at the hoarder's house to see if her advice has been followed.

0:37:490:37:53

Hi.

0:37:530:37:55

On this visit, our cameras aren't invited inside.

0:37:550:37:58

It's soon clear the improvements have been made.

0:38:040:38:07

I can see you've cleared the rubbish away

0:38:070:38:09

and the litter trays are in and the floors are clean. There's food and water.

0:38:090:38:14

And Selina is delighted with the water dragon's vivarium.

0:38:140:38:18

I'm massively pleased with what you've done for the dragon. It's a really good job.

0:38:180:38:23

Um, you know,

0:38:230:38:24

well, it's practically a brilliant set-up.

0:38:240:38:27

With the help of her family, things have taken a turn for the better.

0:38:270:38:31

Hello, you. Looking a bit better as well.

0:38:310:38:35

There is still work to be done here.

0:38:350:38:38

But Selina's encouraged by the progress made.

0:38:380:38:40

I can already see that it's a lot cleaner.

0:38:400:38:44

Still a fair bit to clean, though, if you can take the bags away

0:38:440:38:48

and put the patio slabs down properly.

0:38:480:38:51

That would be great then. Brilliant. I'm really pleased with outside.

0:38:510:38:55

And the owner's good intentions don't stop there.

0:38:580:39:01

Bring her up to the van for me.

0:39:010:39:04

Today she agrees to sign over a hamster and the young Jack Russell, Shiloh.

0:39:040:39:09

Pop him in there for me.

0:39:090:39:10

The young lady explained to me she doesn't want the larger terrier.

0:39:100:39:15

This is quite common, especially with people who do hoard animals.

0:39:150:39:19

The novelty wears off quite quickly

0:39:190:39:22

and then they just want to get rid of it.

0:39:220:39:25

Shiloh and the hamster are taken straight to the RSPCA clinic.

0:39:280:39:32

Once they've been checked over, they'll be ready for re-homing.

0:39:380:39:41

Come on.

0:39:410:39:43

But when Selina arrives, there's another problem.

0:39:450:39:48

Shiloh's a bit hesitant because I don't think he's ever been on a lead.

0:39:480:39:52

He's not sure what he's meant to be doing.

0:39:520:39:55

I'm sure if I took the lead off him, he'd walk around fine.

0:39:550:39:58

But I'm gaining his trust now.

0:39:580:40:01

Come on, then. Come on!

0:40:010:40:04

Come on, then.

0:40:040:40:06

Hey.

0:40:060:40:07

Hello.

0:40:070:40:08

Selina eventually wins Shiloh round.

0:40:090:40:12

Good boy!

0:40:140:40:16

Come here.

0:40:160:40:17

But this reaction has shown he'll need a very special owner.

0:40:170:40:21

Shiloh needs lots of TLC and a lot of attention.

0:40:220:40:26

Someone who has time to do some training with him,

0:40:260:40:29

get him out on the lead and show him that's normal.

0:40:290:40:33

But I'm sure we can find someone who's willing to take him on.

0:40:330:40:36

And a few weeks later,

0:40:410:40:43

Shiloh has met that perfect match!

0:40:430:40:46

What's this?

0:40:460:40:48

Come here.

0:40:480:40:50

Shiloh, come on.

0:40:500:40:52

Come on.

0:40:530:40:54

He's now living with Ben Fennell, who's been giving him lessons in how to behave.

0:40:540:40:59

There you go.

0:40:590:41:01

All his nervousness has gone

0:41:010:41:04

and he's no longer frightened of the lead.

0:41:040:41:07

We had a list of what we were looking for in a dog

0:41:070:41:10

and this little monster near enough ticked every single box.

0:41:100:41:13

It was absolutely perfect for us.

0:41:130:41:16

Good boy.

0:41:180:41:20

Last year, Ben's old dog died,

0:41:200:41:22

but Ben's loss is Shiloh's gain.

0:41:220:41:25

I get an awful lot out of having Shiloh in the house.

0:41:250:41:28

With the house empty,

0:41:280:41:30

it was a case of didn't want to come home

0:41:300:41:33

cos of walking through the door and not having anyone there to say hello to.

0:41:330:41:37

He's always happy to see me when I come home.

0:41:370:41:40

If I go out of the room just for five minutes, he's hyper to see me again.

0:41:400:41:44

Aren't you, mister?

0:41:440:41:46

Among the skills Ben's trying to teach him

0:41:470:41:50

is how to be safe on the roads.

0:41:500:41:52

Wait.

0:41:520:41:54

Good boy.

0:41:540:41:56

Straight over. Come on.

0:41:560:41:58

Good boy!

0:41:580:41:59

Good boy.

0:42:020:42:04

And along with lessons on safety...

0:42:040:42:06

Straight over. Good boy!

0:42:070:42:09

..he's also picking up a few tricks!

0:42:090:42:12

Good boy!

0:42:130:42:15

Good boy!

0:42:150:42:17

All the animals Selina took away have been found new owners.

0:42:200:42:24

And, like Shiloh, they're now enjoying a life

0:42:260:42:28

where they can finally be at the centre of attention.

0:42:280:42:31

Good boy!

0:42:330:42:35

If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime

0:42:370:42:41

or a creature that needs immediate protection,

0:42:410:42:43

remember there are dedicated professionals out there

0:42:430:42:47

who will answer your call right around the clock.

0:42:470:42:49

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

0:42:490:42:53

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:180:43:21

The RSPCA visit an animal hoarder whose love of pets is out of control; a pregnant cat gets her first ultrasound scan; and presenter Tom Heap is taken to see the exhibits of an international crime.


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