Episode 12 Animal 24:7


Episode 12

Series following people dedicated to helping animals. Inspector Chris Shaw leads a difficult operation to rescue 13 dogs from a filthy house. Plus Mumsy the foster mum fox.


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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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Can we get some leads? Give me that lead.

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'..the pack of dogs forced to live in squalor.'

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I am feeling quite sad. It still amazes me

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that people can subject their animals to such horrific things.

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'The tiny fox needing a new mum.'

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He's got a fight on him, there's no doubt about it.

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He's hungry. He's just not quite grasped the fact of the bottle just yet.

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'And snakes on a plane at the UK's busiest airport.'

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I like holding them but I'm relieved to put them back in the bag.

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With a bad diet and lack of exercise, dogs, like humans, can really pile on the pounds

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and this can have serious health implications.

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In Nottingham, the RSPCA was alerted to a case involving over a dozen overweight dogs.

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But when they arrived, they realised that was just one of many problems they would have to deal with.

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'It's a quiet street in a residential neighbourhood.

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'But the police cars and RSPCA vans suggest something is seriously wrong.

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'And it seems first impressions would be right.'

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-Is she in there?

-No.

-No.

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'Inside this house, there are reports that up to 15 dogs are living in squalor.

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'Inspector Chris Shaw is the latest to arrive on the scene.'

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It is still quite dirty there.

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'The owner's already been warned about the conditions here.

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'With little sign of improvement, the team is now going in to get the dogs out.'

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I can see one golden Labrador directly behind the door.

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'But with so many dogs running free in this house,

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'no-one knows how they're going to react.'

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Guys, just be aware that the dogs might all come out.

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'The first few minutes of this rescue operation are crucial.'

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'As soon as the door is smashed open, it's a race to get them all restrained.'

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-Oh! Pretty bad.

-DOGS BARK

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-'These are big, powerful dogs desperate for freedom.'

-DOGS BARK

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Can we get some leads? Give me that lead.

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I can't hold...

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'The fight to stop any escaping leaves everyone at full stretch.'

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-We've got one here, you've got those two.

-Yep, I've got them.

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Who knows how long it is since they've been outside.

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'The first dogs to be rescued are all Labradors.'

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Is that one all right? Just really fat, aren't you, mate? It's disgusting.

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'But there's little time for a full assessment now.'

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-Do you want to hold another one?

-'There are plenty more dogs inside.'

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-We've got a rottie in one room.

-I've seen a German shepherd leg it up the stairs. He's scared.

-Right.

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'In a downstairs room, Chris finds a small nervous spaniel cowering behind a cage.

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DOG BARKS

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'There's also a large Alsatian and it seems particularly threatening.'

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DOG BARKS How are you doing?

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'But it's not just the dog's temperament that is making this rescue difficult.

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'The conditions are appalling.'

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This is gross. Hey, mate.

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'Thankfully, the Alsatian is friendly.

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'And after the spaniel is removed, it too can leave the house.'

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This one seems all right. DOGS BARK

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'But there are still more nervous dogs hiding upstairs.'

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Hello, mate. How you doing? DOG GROWLS

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Are you going to be grumbly at me? Eh? DOG BARKS

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Hey, mate. There's another terrier in here.

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'So far, 13 dogs have been rescued.'

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-I think we've got all the dogs out now.

-'Many are overweight.

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'All have been forced to live in appalling conditions.'

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-This is just so wrong.

-'Vet Suzie Ridley is shocked by what she's seen.'

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It's disgusting. The dogs generally are in reasonable health.

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There are a few issues we need to have a look at. I've been to a similar situation.

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Not as bad as this. Definitely it's the worst. It's quite shocking.

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'But there's still more work to be done here.

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'Chris heads back inside to make sure there are no animals in hiding.'

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-Just to make sure there are no more dogs.

-'And to gather evidence of how these pets were forced to live.'

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It's disgusting.

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-'Later...'

-Crufts qualifier 2009.

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How...

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'And passport control for the canine commuters.'

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Daisy looks all right after her long flight.

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You'd forgive her for being a bit grouchy. I am after a long-haul. Shall we put her in?

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In the animal kingdom, many species have strong maternal instincts.

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Incredibly, for some, this motherly love can extend to babies that are not even their own.

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It's a characteristic that's put to good use in rescue centres and saves the lives of many orphans.

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'This is Mumsy, the foster-mum fox.

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'In springtime, she helps dozens of orphaned cubs brought to the Weirfield Rescue Centre.

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'Mumsy fosters up to 11 cubs a year.

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'But centre manager Ally Townsend knows there's a catch.

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'If Mumsy spots any physical weakness in the cubs, she might kill them instead.'

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Wild mums always have a very good instinct when there's something wrong with

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a wildlife member of the family, if you like.

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And they will actually kill them.

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We've lost three in a matter of nine years

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and she's actually taken on 39.

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So three out of 39, when she obviously knew there was something wrong with them,

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I think is very good.

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'The harsh winter is now over and the breeding season is in full flow.

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'Mumsy's maternal instincts are about to be needed again.

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In Worksop, a mother fox has been killed on a busy main road.

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'Her week-old baby was found calling for her nearby.'

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He's got a tiny mark on his side. He seems nice and healthy, nice and chunky.

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OK, we'll pop him in the basket. Thank you.

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'He was taken to a small rescue centre but needs specialist help.

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'So RSPCA officer Fran Whitton is taking him to Weirfield.'

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I've brought the baby fox in to you. He's from Worksop.

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His mother was found dead on the road and he was found by the side of her.

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He's looking fairly perky, so let's hope he does OK.

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'It's now over to Ally to help him survive.'

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-He's quite a little one, bless him.

-FOX CUB SQUEAKS

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He's a grumpy old soul. He's probably ready for a drink.

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FOX CUB SQUEAKS

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We're going to put him in the incubator to get warmed up, cos he does feel a little bit nippy.

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We'll get him warmed up in here and then I'll attempt to feed him again.

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I'm sure he'll be quite happy to get on a nice warm blanket.

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'At the moment, he's just too young to be put in with Mumsy.

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'He needs to be kept in the incubator and hand-reared.'

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I'm just going to try and give him a little bit.

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-'Ally makes up his first feed.'

-We hopefully will get some down him,

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but I'm not too disappointed if we don't. Let him get settled,

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let him get warm. But we will try.

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'Persuading him that bottle is best brings howls of complaint.'

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-FOX CUB SQUEAKS

-He's actually chewing on this.

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I think he's getting some.

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After a couple of feeds, he will realise and start to suck on this teat,

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which makes our life a lot easier.

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'With such a cute baby, it's easy to get attached.

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'But it's vital sentiment takes a back seat.'

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This is a wild animal and it's not to be loved,

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it's not to be talked to, it's a case of feeding it,

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toileting it and basically leaving it alone.

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I mean, at this minute, his chances are pretty good.

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He's got a fight on him, there's no doubt about it.

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He's hungry. He's just not quite grasped the fact of the bottle just yet.

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But he's getting there. Basically, we'll take it one day at a time.

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I'm expecting this cub to be in probably four to five months.

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We expect that we want them to be fully grown

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and be fending for themselves quite a lot by the time we want to release them

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and hopefully then they stand a pretty good chance in the wild.

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'With a full tummy, this little fox can go back to bed.

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'But this baby lost his whole family just a few hours ago.

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'He'll be frightened and isolated.

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'Luckily, Ally has a plan to help him feel safe.'

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The other thing, which is quite sad,

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is that he would normally be in a den with three or four others

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and we're not sure what's happened to the others,

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so he is quite lonely at the minute.

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What we'll do now is find him a cuddly toy

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so he thinks that that's his brother or sister

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and then he'll cuddle up to that and it'll hopefully give him some company.

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'Four weeks on and the little cub is thriving.

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'He's starting to look and act like a proper fox.'

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As you can see, it's now extremely playful, extremely big.

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'And he's giving his new friend a real battering.'

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It's done very, very well. It's eating well.

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We've got good eyes. The eyes are nice and clean. The nose is OK.

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And the teeth are very sharp.

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It's doing everything that we would want it to.

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If he'd been in his own den, he would be fighting like this with his brothers and sisters

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and play fighting is one of the biggest things that they learn.

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'He's now ready for the next stage of his development,

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'a date with foster-mum Mumsy.

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'But this comes with a potentially fatal risk.'

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Obviously, the danger that we've got with putting the cub in with the foster-mum

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is the fact that she might harm him. We believe this cub is fit.

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But if she's got that instinct, we have got the risk that she will kill it.

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'This little cub is about to face the biggest test of his short life.'

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'Still to come...'

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Mum's hiding underneath, which is what we would expect.

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The baby's gone in, said hello, now it's gone off to explore. I would expect Mum to come out shortly.

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'And the RSPCA gathers evidence of serious neglect.'

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I've just found this room. Obviously, some dogs have been, at one stage, forced to live in here, as well.

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We're here right in the heart of Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports.

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It handles close to 70 million passengers a year

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and that's nearly the population of Britain.

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But a million or so animals come through here, as well,

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and they need checking and making sure everything's OK

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just like we do. Let's see how that works.

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'From Mumbai to Santa Fe,

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'thousands of planes take off and land here every day.

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'And alongside the business and premier-class passengers,

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'there's a club with exclusive lounges all of their own.

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'The passenger pets.

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'An army of ground staff, including vet Liz Shickle,

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'is on hand to make sure they enjoy the experience as much as anyone else.'

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-It all happens pretty fast when they hit the ground.

-It does, yeah.

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'Today I'm joining Liz to welcome a few of Heathrow's animal VIPs.'

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What are we expecting out of this plane?

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We've got two pallets of horses, one is at the front and one is at the back.

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-We think the one at the back is from Dubai and the one at the front is from New Zealand.

-Wow.

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-So...

-Altogether, how many horses on here, do you think?

-Five horses.

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I'm only expecting five so there better not be any more.

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'While smaller pets can fit into special holds within passenger jets,

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'anything the size of a thoroughbred has to fly on special cargo planes.'

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At the moment they've started unloading the belly hold, which is the lower hold.

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The horses won't be in that. They're on the main deck where you would normally have passengers.

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-This is a cargo plane, there are no passengers.

-No, apart from the few grooms.

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I think they've got five or six seats here. Otherwise, no passengers.

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It's amazing, the thought of flying something as big as horses around the world.

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'With fortunes won and lost on the horses being shipped across continents,

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'it's vital they're transferred to the racecourses and polo fields in tip-top condition.'

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Often on Animal 24:7, the welfare of animals depends on dedicated individuals and love and care.

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Here it depends on a lot of heavy metal, big engineering.

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That way the animals travel in safety.

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'The horses will now be shipped off to the airport's own stables

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'for a post-jet-lag health check and I'll catch up with them later.

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'But with planes arriving every few seconds,

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'the staff here need to be jet-propelled.

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'My next port of call is to Heathrow's Animal Reception Centre

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'where boss Tristan Bradfield has just opened up a box of snakes.'

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What is the key point of these checks, Tristan?

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I'm checking the health and the welfare of the animals in this box.

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When they come into Europe, they have to have a check at the first port of call

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and then it's free movement within Europe.

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Are you not at all nervous opening the lid on a box of snakes?

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Not usually, no. Depends on the contents.

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Obviously, the information says that these are non-venomous.

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'Tristan sounds confident, but I'm not sure I'd want to put my hand into a pouch full of pythons.'

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-There's a pale snake in there.

-There's some quite unusual colour snakes in here.

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-Wow.

-They can be quite snappy sometimes.

-Snappy?

-Yeah.

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'And it's a good job they take safety so seriously

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'because these slippery customers might be travelling on the same plane as you and me.'

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I have to ask, have you ever opened a box and found the snakes are on the plane?

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-We have had a few loose snakes on a plane.

-Have you?

-Yes.

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We opened up the travelling container, it was a wooden box, it had a hole inside

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-and some of the bags were empty.

-Really?

-So we had to go onto the aircraft to catch them.

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-Were they venomous ones?

-They were non-venomous, which was fortunate.

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And there is no way of the snakes getting between the passenger area

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-and the cargo hold.

-I'm relieved to hear that.

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So snakes on a plane is a bit unusual.

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-But you managed to find them.

-We did. We have an invoice so we knew what was missing

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-and we knew what we were looking for.

-An exciting day nonetheless.

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I quite like holding them but I'm also quite relieved to put them back.

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'As well as the weird and the wonderful,

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'it's the sheer bulk of animals passing through here that I find amazing.

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'Chihuahuas from China,

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'poodles from Poland, anything could come at any time.

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'Back airside, it's time for me to catch up with some more jet-setting cats and dogs.

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'To get into the country, pets need their own ID,

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'but if you think going through customs is tricky for us,

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'it truly is a dog's life for recent arrivals like these.

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'Chris Samson is an animal attendant.'

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They've got a blue passport similar to ours.

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They can have a photograph of their animal, an identification chip.

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After that's done, there'll be a rabies shot

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and then a blood test will be taken.

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Six months after the blood sample is taken, then it can come into the UK.

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'Among the luggage and parcels today are scores of beloved pets.'

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Daisy looks all right after a long flight.

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You'd forgive her for being a bit grouchy. I am after a long-haul. Shall we put her in?

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'In a 24-hour operation 365 days a year,

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'about 4,000 cats and 7,000 pet dogs get moved around like this.'

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OK, back to base.

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'The pets are all packed off to kennels and catteries on site.

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'Before making their onward journey home.

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'But one transatlantic pooch has been left pining for home.'

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DOG HOWLS

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'For most, the happy reunion comes straight away.

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'But for Jasper the old English sheepdog, there's been a bit of a hitch.

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'His owner, Lyn Talbot, is desperate to see him again.

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'But a mix-up in his paperwork has meant his arrival from California has been badly delayed.'

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-Shouldn't be long now.

-I'm a nervous wreck!

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'Finally it's agreed his passport is in order

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'and Lyn and Jasper can be together once more.'

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Here he is! Here he is!

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OK! Hi, babe!

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He's healthy, he's here, we're both here. He's safe. That's all that counts to me.

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Are you a good boy? Are you a good boy?

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See, he's so friendly. He loves anybody that's going to pet him. Jasper, this way.

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'With Jasper setting off for a new life here in Blighty,

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'my day with the passenger pets is almost at an end.

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'But before I leave, there's just a chance to catch up with the thoroughbred horses.

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'They've been transferred to Heathrow's stables and been given a full health check.'

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-Have you checked over all five now?

-We have, they're all OK.

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They've been tested for certain diseases, depending on what country they've come from.

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From New Zealand, they only have to have one test. From Dubai, they've had four tests.

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'And with all in fine fettle, they're under starter's orders to leave.'

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We've seen it all today, from snakes on a plane to flying horses.

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It just shows the lengths they go to here at Heathrow

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to make sure every animal coming through is safe and well cared for.

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'Coming up, the orphaned fox cub is now all grown up and ready to go.'

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These are very hard to catch.

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Doesn't look easy and it's not.

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Now we're back to Nottingham where RSPCA inspectors are in the middle of a difficult rescue.

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Officers have already pulled out over a dozen dogs from a filthy house.

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Now they're about to go back inside to look round for others.

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'So far 13 dogs have been removed from this house.

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'Many are overweight and the conditions they've been living in

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'are so appalling their owner may face prosecution.'

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I'll just make sure there's no more dogs.

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'So as well as searching for more animals,

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'Chris needs to gather evidence of how they've been left to suffer.

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'It's a gruelling task.'

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This is just so wrong.

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Oh. It is disgusting.

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I mean, I've just found this room.

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Obviously some dogs have been, at one stage, forced to live in here, as well.

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'In every room, there's evidence that these dogs have been locked inside

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'with little chance to venture out.'

0:23:040:23:07

The only chance the dogs have got for a bit of fresh air, one window. I think we've opened that.

0:23:070:23:12

We're going to have all kinds of respiratory problems from this.

0:23:130:23:17

I am feeling quite sad. It still amazes me that people can

0:23:210:23:25

subject their animals to such horrific things, really.

0:23:250:23:28

I don't think it'll ever stop amazing me or making me feel shocked.

0:23:280:23:33

'And soon there's a more bizarre revelation.'

0:23:400:23:44

Crufts qualifier 2009.

0:23:440:23:47

How...

0:23:490:23:51

This is just so wrong.

0:23:530:23:56

'Chris has seen enough.

0:23:580:24:01

'The priority now is to get all these animals to a vet for a proper check.

0:24:010:24:05

'The fleet of rescued animals heads off to the vets.

0:24:060:24:09

'Only then will the true extent of their suffering come to light.'

0:24:090:24:13

Come on then, you, my little lovely.

0:24:190:24:21

'A few miles away, the convoy arrives at the local surgery.

0:24:210:24:25

'With so many dogs, checking them is like a production line.'

0:24:270:24:30

I've got a brown grizzly bear.

0:24:320:24:34

'One by one, they're given a full health check and weighed.

0:24:340:24:39

-How much did he weigh?

-48.

-49 kilograms.

0:24:390:24:42

'And the scales confirm what everyone thought. Many of these dogs are incredibly fat.

0:24:420:24:46

'This one is two and a half stone overweight.'

0:24:460:24:50

He is solid. You poor lad.

0:24:510:24:55

'And that's not all. Their claws are desperately overgrown.

0:24:550:24:59

'Another sign of a lack of exercise.'

0:24:590:25:02

Let's snip that one off cos he'll run the risk of ripping it out.

0:25:020:25:06

Hey! There we go!

0:25:060:25:08

'It's the same story for another chocolate lab, Harvey.'

0:25:110:25:16

They are certainly overweight. I think that's probably a conclusion

0:25:160:25:21

from being fed a reasonable amount or maybe a little too much

0:25:210:25:25

and just not having exercise, not having access to the outside as they should do.

0:25:250:25:31

'Harvey is also bearing the scars from living as part of a pack.

0:25:310:25:35

'It's clear many of these dogs have been fighting between themselves.'

0:25:350:25:39

-A little scar on there.

-Yeah, a few of them had scars. I'm sure they've had a few scraps in their time

0:25:410:25:46

if there's a mixture of non-castrated males and entire females, which there obviously is.

0:25:460:25:50

'And the filth he's been forced to live in has also left its mark.'

0:25:510:25:56

You could smell the urine and faeces on its coat. It's quite overpowering in here.

0:25:560:26:03

Go in the room.

0:26:030:26:05

'Fenn is next in the consulting room. She's a rare Brittany spaniel.'

0:26:050:26:10

I've got a feeling this might be the one that she shows.

0:26:100:26:13

'For a show dog, she's a long way from best of breed.'

0:26:130:26:16

Again, that's not a breed that, unless you know about dogs, you tend to have.

0:26:170:26:21

So she obviously does know about breeding and has an interest in it.

0:26:210:26:26

'As the day moves on, the bedraggled pets are eventually all checked.'

0:26:280:26:32

This is the last dog we've got to examine.

0:26:320:26:36

'They're so out of condition

0:26:360:26:38

'it's incredible to think that the owner was once renowned for showing her dogs.'

0:26:380:26:42

They're all overweight, bordering on obese, there's a couple of issues.

0:26:440:26:49

Generally it's more just poor coat condition.

0:26:490:26:51

We need them on a good diet and on an exercise regime that means they're going to be losing weight

0:26:510:26:56

and improving their general fitness and wellbeing.

0:26:560:26:59

'Meanwhile, their owner still has to be dealt with.

0:27:030:27:07

'Still to come, fighting the flab,

0:27:190:27:23

'getting the portly pooches back into shape.'

0:27:230:27:26

He would quite happily have the bowl full to the top if he could

0:27:260:27:31

but we need to make sure he only has what he's supposed to have for a day

0:27:310:27:35

and that'll keep him healthy and happy.

0:27:350:27:37

Earlier we met an orphaned fox cub who'd been given a second chance

0:27:400:27:44

after his mum was run over and killed.

0:27:440:27:47

The cub had been successfully weaned after being rescued at just a few days old.

0:27:470:27:52

But to have a chance of survival he needs to bond with a foster-mother

0:27:520:27:56

and that's not always an easy task.

0:27:560:27:58

'For this tiny orphaned fox, the next few hours are going to be crucial.

0:28:050:28:11

'Rescue centre manager Ally Townsend and her team

0:28:110:28:14

'have spent weeks giving him round-the-clock care.

0:28:140:28:17

'But now his life is about to be placed in the hands of vixen foster-mum Mumsy.

0:28:200:28:26

'And it's not a straightforward task.

0:28:260:28:29

'This fox has been known to attack any cubs she thinks are weak.'

0:28:290:28:32

Today is the first time that the cub will be left with her

0:28:320:28:36

and it will stay with her until it's ready for release.

0:28:360:28:39

It's a very big step for this one now. It's a big milestone for us.

0:28:390:28:43

We've got over the major hurdles and we hope it's going to do well.

0:28:430:28:48

'But from today, nature will have to take its course.'

0:28:480:28:51

It's not used to having such a big open space. It's outside which it's not used to.

0:28:530:28:59

And we want Mumsy to come towards it and give it some reassurance, really.

0:28:590:29:05

Mumsy.

0:29:060:29:08

'Ally is anxious. She's desperate that this first meeting goes to plan.'

0:29:090:29:14

Obviously Mum's hiding underneath, which is what we would expect.

0:29:190:29:24

The baby's gone in, said hello, now it's gone off to explore.

0:29:240:29:27

I would expect Mum to come out shortly and take along the cub and put it under her wing, really.

0:29:270:29:32

'Both seem a little wary.

0:29:330:29:36

'The cub just wants to play.

0:29:380:29:40

'But soon Ally gets some positive vibes.'

0:29:460:29:49

That's the babe talking to Mum.

0:29:520:29:54

This is a good sign. The babe's obviously found food,

0:29:540:29:58

found the box, which is classed as the bed,

0:29:580:30:00

settled extremely well, as you can see, tucking into biscuits.

0:30:000:30:05

Mum's been in to have a look.

0:30:050:30:07

The babe was actually talking and whining to Mum,

0:30:090:30:12

and so I think things are looking very, very good.

0:30:120:30:15

'And now she's got something to care for,

0:30:170:30:20

'the vixen's character will change.'

0:30:200:30:23

I think the bonding now is going to be good.

0:30:230:30:26

Mum's now trying to encourage it to go underneath into the den

0:30:260:30:29

and I think that's her encouraging the baby to come away from us.

0:30:290:30:33

And now I think I'm happy to leave them together.

0:30:330:30:38

'It's six months later and the fruits of Mumsy's loving care are clear to see.

0:30:490:30:55

'Our orphan fox cub has been joined by a few more

0:30:570:31:01

'and they have all grown into strapping young foxes.

0:31:010:31:04

'Now it's time for them to say goodbye to Mumsy.'

0:31:040:31:08

Today is release day for our fox cubs.

0:31:080:31:11

We started off with one single cub and now we're up to seven

0:31:110:31:16

and Mumsy's brought them on as good as ever

0:31:160:31:19

and she's about fed up now, I think. She'd rather be on her own.

0:31:190:31:22

So they're up for release today.

0:31:220:31:24

'Ally's confident all their natural instincts are fully formed.

0:31:280:31:33

'All seven are being taken to the same safe release site.

0:31:330:31:37

'But first they have to be caught.

0:31:370:31:41

'And with such wild and cunning animals, that's never an easy job.'

0:31:410:31:45

'The first one shows how strong and wild they've become.'

0:31:510:31:54

These are actually very hard to catch.

0:31:570:32:00

It doesn't look easy and it's not.

0:32:000:32:02

Right, I've got another one.

0:32:020:32:05

'One by one, they all succumb.

0:32:100:32:13

'They might be young but the teeth are plenty sharp enough.

0:32:160:32:20

'And the graspers are the only way to avoid a nasty bite.'

0:32:220:32:26

Ready?

0:32:260:32:28

'Finally the cubs are caged.'

0:32:330:32:36

Well, thankfully, although it's difficult for us,

0:32:370:32:40

at least the cubs have all remained wild

0:32:400:32:43

and they were all extremely difficult to catch

0:32:430:32:45

and I would've been quite disappointed had I not had some difficulty in catching them.

0:32:450:32:50

I now know they'll be quite safe in the wild.

0:32:500:32:52

If they realised it was their freedom they were going for, they'd happily walk into the boxes,

0:32:520:32:57

but you can't tell a wild animal that.

0:32:570:32:59

'For this magnificent seven, freedom now beckons.

0:33:040:33:07

'They're taken to Weirfield's soft-release site,

0:33:090:33:12

'an overgrown pen where they can acclimatise before striking out on their own.'

0:33:120:33:17

In the soft-release pen, we have various tunnels

0:33:200:33:24

that lead underground and some of them are blocked off.

0:33:240:33:27

So when they're ready for release, we don't just let them go,

0:33:270:33:30

we open the tunnels and they can find the tunnels when they want to.

0:33:300:33:34

OK, Rebecca.

0:33:360:33:38

'One by one, they take their chance...

0:33:470:33:49

'..and are soon exploring their new-found sense of space.'

0:33:520:33:55

The release part of wildlife rehabilitation is the better part of it.

0:33:550:33:59

We see something comes in as a little cub with no eyes open, helpless,

0:33:590:34:04

and we have to deal with everything that it needs,

0:34:040:34:06

but the reward is always to get something back into the wild.

0:34:060:34:10

'At the beginning of the year, the future for all these cubs looked bleak.

0:34:110:34:16

'But thanks to their foster-mum, they'll soon be back where nature intended.

0:34:160:34:22

'For Mumsy, her work is over, too. It's time to get some well-earned rest

0:34:230:34:27

'and wait for the next orphans who need her love.'

0:34:270:34:30

To stay in trim, dogs need regular exercise

0:34:380:34:42

and this is something the pets we saw earlier had been sadly lacking.

0:34:420:34:46

The RSPCA had already rescued 14 overweight canines from a house in Nottingham.

0:34:460:34:51

Now the job of getting them back into shape has begun in earnest.

0:34:510:34:56

DOGS BARK

0:34:580:35:01

'It's eight months later.

0:35:010:35:03

'At the RSPCA's rescue home in Nottinghamshire, the dogs' progress is being closely monitored.

0:35:050:35:12

'Animal care assistant Hannah Slate is careful to keep them on a strict diet.

0:35:150:35:19

'For many, old habits die hard.'

0:35:190:35:23

It's gone in seconds.

0:35:240:35:27

'But a mixture of exercise and healthy eating

0:35:280:35:31

'has brought the group's weight down

0:35:310:35:34

'and they're looking much fitter as a result.'

0:35:340:35:36

His weight has stayed quite steady since he's been in.

0:35:360:35:39

He weighs a bit more than the others because he is quite muscly,

0:35:390:35:43

so that weighs more than fat, but they've all stayed quite a nice weight.

0:35:430:35:47

'When it comes to exercise time, most of the Labradors seem happy to be outside.'

0:35:520:35:57

It's been a month since they've seen each other, so they're all going a bit crazy.

0:35:570:36:02

'But their long periods of being stuck inside

0:36:020:36:05

'seem to have robbed them of an instinct for fun.'

0:36:050:36:09

A lot of them don't know what a ball is because they haven't been played with.

0:36:090:36:14

Usually you play with them from a puppy and teach them manners and everything,

0:36:140:36:18

but I don't think they've had that so they don't know how to play. They don't chase a ball, they just watch.

0:36:180:36:23

'The Labradors are now all enjoying each other's company

0:36:240:36:28

'and settling well into their new lives.'

0:36:280:36:31

DOGS BARK

0:36:310:36:34

'But one of the other rescue dogs is finding it much harder to shake off the past.

0:36:340:36:40

'Eight months ago, Fenn, a Brittany spaniel, was found cowering in a cage.

0:36:430:36:48

'And it seems her nerves have not improved.'

0:36:480:36:52

As you can see, she is quite skittish on a lead, so we're trying to get her to walk nicely by your side.

0:36:520:36:57

We're getting her out every day to try and meet new people, new dogs.

0:36:570:37:01

'What Fenn and all these dogs need now are loving homes

0:37:010:37:05

'where they can finally leave their past behind them.

0:37:050:37:08

'But they can't leave just yet. They will have to stay in kennels until their owner has been dealt with.

0:37:100:37:15

'Almost a year later, the owner pleads guilty to causing unnecessary suffering.

0:37:200:37:26

'She is disqualified from keeping all animals for 12 months

0:37:300:37:33

'and ordered to pay £12,000 costs.

0:37:330:37:36

Just really fat, aren't you, mate?

0:37:380:37:40

'For the victims of her neglect, there were mixed fortunes.

0:37:400:37:44

'Sadly, three of the dogs had too many health problems and had to be put to sleep.

0:37:440:37:49

'But for the other ten, their future is much brighter.

0:37:490:37:53

'Among them Harvey, whose new owners, Anita and Martin Cadman,

0:37:580:38:04

'are happy he's already starting to feel at home.'

0:38:040:38:07

Harvey's been with us now for about three weeks. He's been really fine.

0:38:080:38:13

Very stressed at the beginning, coming into a new home with new people.

0:38:130:38:18

At first we wondered what he would be like.

0:38:190:38:22

But that was part of the attraction to Harvey, his character.

0:38:220:38:26

We wanted a dog that would really fit in and be really nice for the family and he was straight away.

0:38:260:38:32

'When he was rescued, Harvey was severely overweight.

0:38:360:38:40

'Now he's much slimmer. But he still needs a bit of discipline when it comes to mealtimes.'

0:38:400:38:46

He's really mischievous. I can't leave him in the kitchen.

0:38:460:38:49

I can't leave any food about. Proper true Labrador.

0:38:490:38:53

Always hungry and always on the lookout for whatever he can get into.

0:38:530:38:58

'To make sure he's kept on the straight and narrow,

0:38:580:39:01

'Anita gives him a carefully controlled diet.'

0:39:010:39:04

He would quite happily have the bowl full to the top if he could,

0:39:040:39:08

but we need to make sure that he only has what he's supposed to have for a day

0:39:080:39:13

and that'll keep him healthy and happy.

0:39:130:39:16

'In his previous life, Harvey had been locked in for most of the time with little opportunity to play.'

0:39:160:39:22

-He lays like that all the time.

-He lays like a pup.

0:39:220:39:25

He does. He lays like a pup.

0:39:250:39:28

He behaves like a pup.

0:39:280:39:30

'Now he's been given the chance to discover the childhood and freedom he never had.'

0:39:300:39:36

We're having to start right from the beginning again with training.

0:39:360:39:40

No manners whatsoever.

0:39:400:39:43

From what we know about his past, he has never been for a walk

0:39:440:39:48

and when we first saw him in the enclosure outside of the kennel,

0:39:480:39:54

he just pulled like a train. The poor girl who was bringing him in

0:39:540:39:58

needed extremely big arms to hold him back.

0:39:580:40:02

Come on, Harvey. Good boy.

0:40:030:40:06

-'But the Cadmans are determined to make this relationship work.'

-Good boy.

0:40:060:40:11

Come on. Good boy!

0:40:110:40:13

I was actually really surprised how quickly I did take to him

0:40:130:40:18

after having lost a dog in May.

0:40:180:40:20

He wants attention all of the time,

0:40:200:40:24

he's just so friendly with everybody.

0:40:240:40:26

It's as if he's always been here.

0:40:260:40:28

Come on. Come on. Come on.

0:40:280:40:32

'Elsewhere, another of the rescue dogs is also going from strength to strength.

0:40:350:40:41

'Fenn's a rare Brittany spaniel who it's thought may once have been shown at Crufts.

0:40:410:40:46

'Now she's back on her way to show standard

0:40:470:40:50

'thanks to her new owners, Steve and Lorraine Adams.'

0:40:500:40:53

-We fell for her the first time we saw her.

-Yeah, we soon as we saw her face, it was a dog we really liked.

0:40:530:40:59

With it being a spaniel, we sort of knew what to expect.

0:40:590:41:02

A lot of energy and a lot of loving,

0:41:020:41:04

cos they're nice sociable dogs.

0:41:040:41:07

As you can see, she's made herself at home straight away.

0:41:070:41:11

She has.

0:41:110:41:13

'Fenn was one of the dogs in the house who had often been confined to a pen.

0:41:140:41:19

'Now regular exercise is the key and she's relishing a more outdoor way of life.'

0:41:190:41:26

This week we've been taking her twice a day for a walk.

0:41:260:41:30

A mixture of path walks and field walks. But she's on the lead all the time.

0:41:300:41:35

She pulled really hard the first day. Tuesday came, day two,

0:41:350:41:39

and there was really no pulling at all. She just walks.

0:41:390:41:42

She's still interested in everything but she just walks along quite happily.

0:41:420:41:46

She's a bit wary sometimes.

0:41:460:41:49

First thing in the morning when she sees us again...

0:41:490:41:52

Yeah, slightly unsure who we are.

0:41:520:41:55

'But with plenty of activity and after meeting other dogs,

0:41:570:42:01

'she's starting to cast her shyness aside.'

0:42:010:42:04

She's extremely loving.

0:42:040:42:07

She likes jumping up and having cuddles. She has loads of them.

0:42:070:42:11

She's always jumping up and having a cuddle.

0:42:110:42:13

She just wants lots of love.

0:42:130:42:16

Go! Go on, Fenn!

0:42:170:42:19

Come, Fenn!

0:42:190:42:22

-'Her loss of weight may mean Fenn is half the dog she used to be.'

-Good girl!

0:42:220:42:27

'But like her good friend, a newly slimline Harvey,

0:42:270:42:32

'these two dogs are enjoying life twice as much as they were before.'

0:42:320:42:36

Go!

0:42:360:42:38

Come, Fenn. Come, Fenn.

0:42:400:42:43

If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime

0:42:450:42:49

or a creature that needs immediate protection,

0:42:490:42:52

remember there are people out there who will answer your call right around the clock.

0:42:520:42:56

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

0:42:560:43:00

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:020:43:06

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:060:43:10

.

0:43:100:43:10

Inspector Chris Shaw leads a difficult operation to rescue 13 dogs from a filthy house. Plus we meet Mumsy the foster mum fox, and Tom Heap joins the passenger pets at the UK's busiest airport.


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