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Britain's animals are under threat.
All too often our wildlife and domestic pets
are the victims of cruelty, persecution and neglect.
Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people
trying to protect and care for them right around the clock.
This is Animal 24/7.
Today on Animal 24/7...
Can you see the claws in the letterbox?
It suggests they're probably quite hungry and they want to get out.
Drastic action is needed to rescue two cats.
Tough talking for the men suspected of poaching.
-Don't give me walking dogs on fields.
-You're being fair.
I am going to be fair. I'm going to tell you to go home.
And the amazing story of two dogs tied by a pint of blood.
It is a very sad moment when people do lose animals, and if we can help, we will.
First, we're off to Cheshire, where there is a report that two cats have been abandoned.
The RSPCA has been visiting the flat and posting food through the letterbox for a week.
Now, Inspector Lorna Bracegirdle is back to see if anything has changed.
On this new housing estate, with its carefully manicured gardens, something is not quite right.
Trouble has been brewing behind the curtains of one of these flats for days and possibly weeks.
We received a call a couple of days ago about two abandoned cats in one of these flats,
and my colleague has been every day since last Thursday.
On Thursday, she put some card markers in the door frame.
Today, we here to see if those card markers are still there.
If they are, that shows no one has attended since last Thursday.
It is obviously an offence under the animal welfare act.
Today, we'll be looking to get the cats out.
There's no sign of any people at the house...
..and the markers are still firmly in place.
But something inside is getting restless.
The cats are absolutely going frantic behind the door, jumping up and scratching.
Can you see the claws in the letterbox?
It suggests that they're probably quite hungry and want to get out now.
And not just hungry for food.
These two seem desperate for a bit of human company.
Just see if there are any windows on the property.
As soon as she appears, the cats are there, too, frantically trying to get her attention.
Here is one of the little fellas.
Just obviously desperate to get out.
Can't actually see what the conditions are like inside at the minute.
Lorna is eager to know what has been going on here.
She approaches the neighbours for some clues.
Is it a family that live next door?
It was a young couple, and I think they had a baby as well.
Do you think they've moved out?
Probably. I used to see them out the front quite a lot and out the back.
But since Christmas, I've not seen them.
It's now March. It seems the cats could have been cooped up for weeks.
All personal and expensive belongings have gone.
What's left is just an old couch and things you probably wouldn't take with you.
So it does look like they've moved.
Lorna decides this situation is serious, and these cats need to be rescued.
First, she needs to call in backup.
I'm just going to give Cheshire Police a call and see if they
can come down and give us some assistance getting these cats out.
I'm at the property now and the door is still sealed.
The police are on their way.
Within the hour, officers are on the scene.
Now, Lorna can get into the flat.
-It's right behind the door.
-Yeah, I'm hoping when you bang it, they'll run off because they will be scared.
A quick scan inside reveals no-one's home.
-Do you want to have a look for them?
But frightened by this dramatic commotion, the cats have gone to ground.
The evidence of their distress is all around.
If you have a look at the litter tray, it just shows how long they have been left for.
They've used their litter tray and can't fit any more in it so they have taken to toileting around the area.
In the bedroom, things are not much better.
There's a strong smell of ammonia throughout the flat, like they've been urinating on everything.
I can't see where they have been using...
Then, suddenly the first cat breaks cover.
But with some gentle words of encouragement...
There you go.
..Lorna soon manages to calm him down.
It's all been a bit scary, hasn't it, eh?
Don't go and bang on the window.
-Now she can check him over.
-This is a boy.
An entire male. This is the one I could see through the window.
He's quite lean now I've got my hands on him. I can feel his pelvic bones.
You can feel his spine. You're a bit on the skinny side aren't you, mate?
Yeah. He's just getting a bit tetchy so I think will pop him in the basket and he'll feel more secure.
They are very, very flighty.
This cat is now safely boxed up, and Lorna can go in search of his friend.
Left to their own devices, these two have become nervous and edgy.
I'll pop him straight in the basket so he doesn't get too distressed.
But Lorna is hoping they're still young enough to mend their ways.
They've been on their own for however long and not seen human contact, so they have become a bit more wary.
That's why they're just getting themselves a bit distressed but once we get them back to the cattery,
with a bit of time and patience and once they get trust back, they should be absolutely fine.
The cats will now be taken to see the vet.
But just as Lorna is about to leave, there's a dramatic twist.
Someone claiming to be the cats' owner has just turned up.
Now Lorna can find out why these pets have been left to live in such squalor.
He says he's not been here for four days.
He just said he contacted the RSPCA earlier this week about what to do about these cats.
Well, I have no record of him contacting us.
And suspicions are raised on poaching patrol.
Classic hare coursing vehicle.
Old 4x4, lots of people in it, one long dog in it.
When you're sitting in a waiting room thinking about giving blood,
it's always a nerve-wracking experience.
Thankfully, today it's not me but man's best friend here
who's about to give an honest pint to save others.
Every day in the UK, hundreds of our pets need critical operations.
And, just like with humans, the difference between life and death
can sometimes be a transfusion of blood.
For decades, mankind has been giving blood and saving lives, but now there is a new wave of donors.
-This is Tara, a lightning-quick greyhound...
-Go on, Tata!
..and a regular blood donor.
The blood she has given has already saved dozens of other dogs.
I've come along to Birmingham to meet her and her owner, Stefan Edwards, to find out more.
-Who have we here then?
We have Leyla, and Tata, or Tara.
You've got speed and power covered here, haven't you?
Yes, we have.
Two very different animals. Given that they both look healthy,
I guess we're talking about donors of blood here, rather than recipients.
Yes, yes. Tara is going to give some blood a bit later on, hopefully.
Adults are often a bit nervous when they give blood, slightly frightened of the needle. What about Tara?
She was not too bad last time.
She actually sat down and lay down quite still, but afterwards,
they gave her a bit of food, just like we do - we get a cup of tea and a biscuit.
So, you're the perfect patient, Tara.
Stefan first found out about the pet blood donor scheme from his local vets. He knew he wanted to help.
So when the vet suggested you could join the scheme, what were your concerns?
We were worried about Tara to begin with,
but the vets gave her a once-over, checked her heart, checked the blood
to see if it was OK to donate, and they gave her a thumbs up.
She seems really happy giving it.
I'm familiar with the idea of humans giving blood, but I never really thought about dogs before.
-Is there a big demand?
-I would say there is, but not a lot of people know about the scheme because
every animal, everything living has to have blood once in a while, and we, hopefully,
can give that opportunity to another animal or another dog.
It is a very sad moment when people do lose animals and if we can help, we will.
Come on, Tata.
So, having got plenty of oxygen in her blood following
a good workout in the park, it's time to give some away.
Across town, the pet blood bank mobile clinic is in full swing.
Dozens of dogs have turned up to donate a pint.
Clinics like this are held at vets up and down the country.
Tara is the latest donor to walk through the door.
Vet, Vanessa Ashall, calls her through for her appointment.
-Hello. Here comes Tara.
How is everybody?
-Not too bad.
-Good. And Tara is fine, is she?
Yeah, she's lovely, and she's had a nice long run.
Good, you've worn her out for us? Well done!
Tara has been through this before, so she knows the ropes.
-She did a brilliant job last time, didn't she?
And she's up for it again? She seems very happy to be here.
-Yeah, I think she's quite glad to come back and help.
-And see the team again. Good girl!
-Well, it's going...
-She's so calm, isn't she? Amazingly placid.
No last-minute nerves.
No, this is a perfect donor.
She's really happy to meet different people and very positive.
Very confident dog, which is just what we need.
But she still has to go through a series of checks to make sure she's healthy enough to give blood.
-Didn't even flinch.
-No, she's a very brave girl.
Is it a bit like us? Are some a bit wimpy and frightened of needles?
They are, yes, unfortunately.
In general, dogs are better than people with this kind of thing, but some dogs to find it frightening
and, at that point, we would say it's not fair to them.
We'll let them go home and give them a treat for coming, but what we're looking for is donors
who enjoy the experience and are quite relaxed.
Just like us, dogs have different blood types.
Tara's donation will be held in storage until a dog that matches her grouping needs a transfusion.
-I'm more than happy for her to go in and donate so we will take her through to the nurse now.
After the vital health checks, it's now time to begin the procedure.
Come on, Tara.
Good dog! There we are.
Vicky is just cleaning the neck now.
We need to use a surgical scrub to get the neck very clean.
No sedatives or anaesthetic are used, so the dog must have a good temperament.
It's incredible to see how relaxed and good-natured Tara is.
-Are you the nervous relative?
It's always a tense moment.
As the operation gets under way, Stefan stays close for moral support.
The blood's coming out. Here it comes.
Dogs can give a larger percentage of their blood than humans,
making donations like Tara's especially important.
How much blood do you take?
We take 450ml, which is just under a pint.
It's a human collection bag we're using, so it's exactly the same
as would be taken when a person went to give blood.
That's why our donors need be a reasonable-sized dog, over 25 kilos.
In the past, if a dog needed blood, the donor had to be found and brought in to surgery.
The transfusion would be performed there and then.
This made the whole process much slower and trickier.
So that's it.
The blood bag is full.
She's done a brilliant job, hasn't she?
Hasn't she just!
It's taken about five minutes for the bag to fill up.
This donation will soon be able to help another dog, regardless of its breed.
Although they have different blood types, it is not species-dependent necessarily,
so the right kind of blood from a Rottweiler could go into a Jack Russell?
Absolutely. As long as they've got the right blood type, the blood can go to another dog
with that blood type, which could be any breed of any shape or size.
So Tara's blood isn't going to give a dachshund a burst of speed, is it?
Absolutely not, no!
Before she leaves, Tara is given another quick check to make sure she's back to her best.
Then she gets a special souvenir to celebrate the public-spirited job she has done.
is for her, to say that she has saved a life, at least one life now.
"I'm a pet lifesaver", it says.
A dog's recovery from blood donation is much quicker than a human's.
By the time she's given a quick snack to boost her blood sugar, Tara has already regained her composure.
Does it feel like a positive experience to you, Stefan?
Yes, yes. She's been very happy while she's been doing it.
-If she was in any distress, I wouldn't...
-You wouldn't do it.
-I'd stop it.
But she's been absolutely lovely.
As for you, Tara, your hard work is done! The noble sacrifice of a pint of blood.
Tara can now leave the clinic, but my day is not over yet.
I'm just bringing Tara's blood into the lab.
'40 miles away in Loughborough is the pet blood bank storage facility.'
It keeps all the donated blood in controlled conditions.
When it's needed to save a life, it will be quickly shipped out.
That's Tara's blood pack, right there.
So while she's off gambolling in a park, what she gave is ready and waiting
to give life to a dog in an emergency.
Coming up... Can Tara help this desperately ill terrier?
It's quite sad to see him like this.
I just love him to bits.
And the Cheshire cats needing a fresh start.
Been through a lot, but hopefully we can find their forever home.
Now we're off to Lincolnshire, and the operation to crack down on illegal hare coursing.
Setting dogs on hares was banned in England and Wales in 2004,
but it's still a real problem in some rural communities.
For many coursers, the pursuit is all about testing the speed and agility of their animals.
For the officers trying to crack down on it,
catching people in the act is often the hardest part of the job.
This aerial footage shows suspected hare coursing in action.
RADIO: 'We do have video of one of the males releasing his dog onto a hare.'
Gangs like these are being caught on camera by police forces on an all-too-regular basis.
'We've probably got several persons and about ten dogs in total, and we are videoing this.
'We have got them letting dogs off on to a rabbit at the moment that we're watching.'
It is much easier to see evidence of hare coursers from the air.
From the ground, it's extremely difficult.
Lincolnshire - wildlife crime officer,
Nigel Lound, is responding to a call about suspected hare coursers.
We've got very brief details at the minute.
It's a matter of getting units to the scene and seeing what's there.
His morning patrol is part of a new initiative - Operation Galileo.
Its purpose is clear.
We're trying to get the message across that police in Lincolnshire,
in conjunction with landowners and rural communities, will not tolerate hare-coursing.
But they're very hardcore individuals.
They love their dogs, they love their coursing,
and it doesn't seem to bother them if they get their vehicles seized, or they're arrested once a week.
So it's a bit of an uphill struggle, to be honest.
Lincolnshire is ideal hare-coursing countryside.
The flat landscape and acres of farmland make it a prime target for coursers.
Many travel the length and breadth of the country to get here.
We're getting in excess of 200 reports some months,
and it's affecting the quality of life of people living in the rural areas.
We're talking two, three, four lads, trespassing on land, with dogs, purely intent on taking hares.
They'll walk across a field and they'll put a hare up,
bang and they just set the dog on it from five metres, 10 metres.
They'll just kill the hare, leave it and throw it in a dyke.
PC Lound arrives at the scene, where fellow officers have already pulled over the suspect vehicle.
-We've got all your names then, gents, have we?
Where are we all from?
Have you been to Lincs before,
-A year ago.
The men in the 4x4 tell PC Lound they're from Northampton,
and have travelled hundreds of miles simply to walk their dog.
I'm a wildlife crime officer, don't give me any rubbish.
-Don't give me walking dogs on fields.
-You're being fair with us.
-I am being fair.
-Just tell us to go home.
-I'm going to tell you to be home.
-I just want to go home.
It's a story that PC Lound has heard many times, and one that raises his suspicions.
I will promise you, that if we catch just your vehicle off road,
-anywhere in Lincolnshire, you're all getting locked up.
-I know that.
We're going to seize your vehicle, and I'm going to be seizing your dogs.
It's obviously a classic hare-coursing vehicle, old 4x4, lots of people in it, one long dog in it.
They chase rabbits and hares, that is what they do, they are a running dog.
Lurcher, lurcher cross whippet, that's a classic courser's dog.
Theyse are from Northampton, a long way away.
They come out with a rubbish excuse, which doesn't go down very well at all.
With no firm evidence, PC Lound can't prove these men have been hare coursing,
but he still wants to investigate further.
-I'm an authorised vehicle examiner.
-The vehicle is given a thorough inspection by his colleagues.
Should we find any fault that constitutes what I would call a major road safety issue,
there's a possibility that this vehicle will not be able to carry on its journey.
And it's not long before they find some problems,
including a man with a hangover asleep in the boot.
-Bless him. Come on, sleepy head.
-All right, geezer?
All right, chap?
It's not to the best way to travel in a car, is it, mate?
And there are bigger worries at the front of the vehicle.
It is an offence, you're driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
My colleague's already spoken to you about the number of passengers in your vehicle,
these are also offences for which you'll be reported.
Whatever they're doing miles away from home, they've now reached the end of their journey.
This off-roader is definitely going off the road.
For this vehicle to move, it has to be on a low loader or on a trailer.
You can't use a front axle lift, because then the rear axle of this vehicle will still be on the road.
The driver is banned from driving this car.
So, for all the passengers, and the dog, it's time for them to begin the long walk home.
At the end of the day, the vehicle has been prohibited from going anywhere.
They'll have to find another vehicle to get back,
or get a garage to square that one up for them.
So quite a result, really.
And with the suspected coursers beginning their journey,
Nigel heads off to continue patrolling the Lincolnshire countryside.
Later, a critical time as a vital transfusion begins.
Fingers crossed and just hope for the best now.
Let's just hope it all works.
In Cheshire, RSPCA inspectors are trying to solve the mystery of who abandoned two cats.
The owner hasn't been seen around the flat for days, so the police
were called to break in and rescue the animals.
But now there's been a major development.
At the Cheshire flat, Lorna Bracegirdle is on the verge of a breakthrough.
A man claiming to be the cats' owner has turned up.
What's he said then?
-Basically, he's in the process of moving out.
He's now started to tell the police why he left the cats on their own.
He says he's not been here for four days.
He just said he contacted the RSPCA earlier this week
about what to do about his cats, and then he said he's left them sufficient food and water
-for the days he was going to be away.
I've no record of him contacting us.
They owner has told the police Socks and his partner, Bubbles, should be given a better life elsewhere.
So he's prepared to sign them over then, is he?
Yeah, he was already going to hand them over to a cat rescue place.
But Lorna is not content to let the story end here.
She goes back into the house to interview the owner under caution.
Do you think it's acceptable to leave them four or five days without checking on them?
Do you think the cats would have known to save their food and eat it over a long period?
The owner tells Laura he has only left the cats for four days, not for months as she was previously told.
But for Lorna, this is still not acceptable.
What do you think this could have happened in those four or five days you didn't attend and check on them?
Now the interview is over.
People just need to realise that, even if you've moved out and you're struggling to find a charity
to take them on, in the meantime, in the interim period, you are still their owners,
you're still responsible for their care and welfare.
Socks and Bubbles have been left to fend for themselves for days.
Lorna needs to get them to the vets to make sure they have not suffered any lasting effects.
-A short drive away...
-Hiya, Lorna, are you all right?
..Sean Taylor will examine the cats.
There was no evidence of any food down.
There was water and just empty tin cans all over the place, so I don't think they've had anything to eat.
They are very slender.
First on the table is Socks.
-Let's have a look at you.
-He's the more nervous of the two.
He's been given an age of one-and-a-half, this one.
Yeah, we're probably not so far off that.
Socks does seem reasonably healthy.
He's clearly been well fed and cared for in the past.
But for Sean, keeping a pet is about more than just food.
They haven't been satisfying this cat's needs,
which is not just all about feeding them and giving them water.
It is about other things.
Anxiety, can they toilet correctly?
Have they been protected from injury or disease?
Have they been checked every day to make sure they haven't injured or given themselves any problems?
Went Lorna first found Socks, he was very wary.
You wouldn't think that was the same cat, that we've just pulled out of there.
But after just a short time with people, he seems to be slowly be regaining his trust.
They were almost getting on the verge of being semi-feral, just because of the amount of time
they've been on their own they've not seen human contact,
and just because of how frightened they were with us bashing the door in, strangers running into the house.
But now they've been in the van for an hour and they're in the warmth, they're nice and calm.
Sean is happy that Socks is healthy.
Bubbles. BUBBLES MEOWS
Now it's time to check up on rescue cat number two.
-It's just stress that, isn't it?
Yeah, in a stressed situation.
Closer inspection shows he's suffered a bit more wear and tear.
We've got a broken canine there which shouldn't really give him a great deal of trouble.
Thankfully, though, both these cats have escaped their ordeal relatively unscathed.
What they need now is plenty of love and attention where they can blossom as family pets.
There you are, mate.
And it's such a short life that he's had, one and a half years,
and Bubbles, there, at 11 months, they've been through a lot.
But hopefully we can find their forever home.
You like all the attention, don't you, mate?
Still to come, there's a chance of a new life for Bubbles.
Sarah didn't want to keep the name Bubbles, not sure why.
And then there was a big competition and a big vote, and Alfie won.
Earlier we saw Tara the greyhound giving blood.
Transfusions between pets might seem like an incredible idea, but a recent change in the law
means dogs can give blood to help their fellow canines.
Now it's time to find out what's going to happen to Tara's generous gift, and if it can save a life.
In the treatment room of this vet's in Hay-on-Wye, there's a pet for whom time is running out.
Four-year-old Jack is a dog desperately ill with anaemia.
He's not producing any red blood cells, and his life is slowly ebbing away.
Previous treatments for his condition have been unsuccessful,
and a blood transfusion is thought to be his only hope.
OK, we're ready for him.
Tonight we're waiting for some blood to arrive, which we've ordered from the Canine Blood Bank,
and we're going to give him a blood transfusion, which will hopefully make him feel a lot better
and give him chance and time to respond to the treatment that he's on.
The blood from Tara the greyhound is exactly what they're waiting for.
Six weeks ago, I watched as Tara gave a pint of her own blood to help another dog.
Tests have now shown Tara and Jack are the same blood type.
Her donation was immediately dispatched,
and after a mercy dash of more than 100 miles, it finally arrives.
As it's eagerly unpacked, Jack is prepared for the transfusion that may help to save his life.
Jack's illness means his immune system is killing his red blood cells,
the very things that Tara's blood can provide.
The strain is taking its toll on Jack's owner, Michelle.
Jack's been pretty poorly
for a while now, it's been a bit of a rollercoaster, up and down.
I've been quite close to losing him.
The transfusion begins, and it's a critical time.
There you go, make you feel better, won't it?
The first 10 minutes are crucial.
In some cases, the blood can be rejected. If that happens, Jack could die.
It's quite sad to see him like this.
I just love him to bits.
I'm really hoping now that
it'll work for him, and that he'll pull through.
There's an anxious wait to see how his body reacts.
As the seconds pass, so does the danger.
The fresh blood is accepted, and the transfusion can go ahead as planned.
Fingers crossed and just hope for the best now.
I just hope it all works.
With the first hurdle over, Jack is hooked up to the drip overnight.
Staff make regular checks to see if he's OK.
Come on then, Jack. Come on.
Jack's been on his drip for just over an hour now, and as you can see, he's already feeling a bit brighter.
His tail's wagging a bit harder so, fingers crossed, he'll continue to improve.
But just replacing Jack's blood won't be enough, his body needs to use the strength
in Tara's red cells to restart his own immune system, then he can produce healthy blood of his own.
Good lad, aren't you?
Whether his body has the strength to fight on will only become clear in the next few days.
It's seven days later.
Since his transfusion, Jack has been recovering at home with his best friend, Tess.
You don't want to play, do you? No, Tess is the always the one that takes all the balls.
Although he has a long way to go, Michelle has certainly noticed a difference.
Since Jack had his transfusion a week ago, he's perked up quite a lot.
He's still not his normal, bouncy self, but he's definitely showing signs of improvement.
A lot more tail-wagging, a lot more interest in things.
He saw a frog last night, and he was determined that he was going to pounce on that.
Good boy! Yeah... Oi!
Come back here.
You get tired, still, quite easily, don't you?
There are signs of the old Jack there, which is really, really good.
We just keep our fingers crossed and hope that he keeps going on the same direction.
He's my baby, he means the world to me.
Him and Tess just... Oh, I love them to bits.
They are my world.
I very rarely go anywhere without Jack or Tess, they just mean everything to me.
Come on, this way, this way.
Although Jack seems to have recovered some of his spark, there are still more hurdles to overcome.
Michelle has been taking him for regular checkups to see if his red blood count is increasing.
If it is, that means he's starting to produce his own healthy cells.
It is creeping up really, really slowly.
Although it's difficult not to get too excited, it's obviously quite positive,
but there's still that worry that it might go down, so I'm hoping today it will have gone up again.
A healthy dog will have a red blood count of between 35 and 45.
-Before the transfusion, Jack's was just at 25.
Today's blood tests will establish if the Tara factor has really kicked in.
-Right, how is Jack today?
-Yeah, he's fairly bright still.
As you can see, wagging tail.
Right, let's have him up on the table.
We're just checking the colour of Jack's gums.
They're a nice healthy pink colour, so that's much better than when he was initially ill.
He was really quite white-colour.
So far, so good.
-And Jack's heart and temperature are also normal.
But the biggest test is yet to come.
We'll take some blood.
He's getting a bit more reluctant for us to do that.
A fresh sample of blood is taken.
OK, so we just need to go and test this.
For Jack, this procedure is becoming all too familiar.
Good boy, stay there.
And every time he has to go through this, Michelle has an agonising wait.
She keeps her fingers crossed that her beloved pet is making steady progress.
Upstairs, Helen performs the crucial tests.
It takes just a couple of minutes.
And finally, Helen returns with some vital statistics.
-Good news, Michelle. It's gone up to 31 today.
That is such good news.
It's just what everyone's been waiting for.
Good boy, such a good boy.
Jack's blood count is nearly back to normal.
amazing, absolutely brilliant. So, so pleased.
Hopefully he'll soon be back to his old, lively self.
Running around, totally mad.
Going for walkies, you'll be able to go walkies again soon. Yes!
Won't that be nice?
It's been an incredible journey that's criss-crossed the country with heartache and hope.
Tara's blood has travelled from Birmingham to Hay-on-Wye via the Pet Blood Bank in Loughborough.
Remarkably, it's now given a once gravely ill Jack a second chance.
It's just an incredible service that has saved Jack's life.
I'm just so pleased I made the right decision and went with the transfusion,
because here he is, still, today.
-They may live many miles apart, but with a blood tie to bind them,
Tara and Jack now have a unique and lasting bond.
Finally, we're back to the story of Socks and Bubbles.
The two cats were climbing the walls after being left cooped up in a flat.
But now, after being cared for in a cattery, they're about to be given a new lease of life.
Over the past few months, there's been very little for these two Cheshire cats to grin about.
But life for Socks and Bubbles is now on the up.
The two cats had been living with minimal human contact.
But now they're on their way to new owners who can give them the individual attention they crave.
Aren't you lovely? Beautiful.
Socks is the first to pack his bags.
-Want me to pop him in for you?
-Yes, please. Thank you.
He's heading off to a new life with Jim and Sheila Tynan at their home near Manchester.
Socks is home now.
There he is. Come on, little fella.
He's still very wary of strangers.
He's coming out.
But, with a little encouragement, this once nervous cat begins to come out of his shell.
He'll get to know us in a few days, won't he?
We couldn't wait until today came, because we were so looking forward to having him,
having not had a cat for about five years.
We lost the last one, and it was very saddening for us all.
Jim's been a cat lover all his life, and Socks is about to fill a very special place in his heart.
He's like Skippy, isn't he?
Jim was devastated when his last cat, Skippy, died.
Socks has exactly the same markings, and is the ideal replacement.
I saw this cat in the paper and it reminded me so much of Skippy.
I said to Sheila, "I'm sure that I'd love that cat."
So it said, "Cattery open from 11-3."
Well, we were there at 10 to 11 in the morning.
With such a handsome set of white paw markings,
the Tynans have decided to stick with Socks as his name.
But for his old friend, Bubbles, it's not just a new home, but a new identity, too.
His new owners, Martha Copsey and children, Sarah and Jacob,
decided to blow Bubbles away, and try him with a new name instead.
We decided to change his name to Alfie, cos Sarah didn't want to keep the name Bubbles. I'm not sure why.
And there was a big competition, a big vote.
-And "Alfie" won.
-But, although he may have a new name,
Alfie, like Socks, still carries a few issues from his previous life.
At first, he didn't want to go out of his carrier.
Then when he went out of the carrier he started hiding.
Then he came out, heard a dog bark, and hid behind the sofa for a while.
He's just been quite nervous.
But as you can see, even since yesterday, he's had moments
when he's become a lot more relaxed.
like Jake said, a dog barking sent him hiding behind the sofa.
So... We've only had him 24 hours.
From the noises he's making, Alfie is clearly loving his new home.
And his good nature has certainly won the hearts of his new family.
He is a nice, affectionate cat who likes being stroked.
When he's not hiding, he likes to relax.
It's encouraging that he likes being stroked by anybody and will come and sit on my lap and my husband's lap.
So I think he'll be quite happy here.
It's a very happy ending for these once-abandoned cats.
A month ago, both were all alone and left to fend for themselves.
Their new lives couldn't be more different.
Inquiries revealed the original owner had not contacted the RSPCA,
but was on a waiting list for another animal charity.
But the RSPCA believe this did not give him a reason for abandoning the cats in such a mess.
The owner pleaded guilty to failing to meet the animals' needs,
and was ordered to pay £500 costs, and banned from keeping animals for five years.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd