A lot of the animals who come into our care need specialist treatment before they can be returned to the wild or found new homes.
Rehabilitation can mean straightforward rest and recuperation, along with any necessary veterinary treatment – but it can also mean something a bit out of the ordinary . . .
Getting rabbits to eat as soon as possible when they come into our care is vital to their health, but unsettling conditions and a variety of health problems can often put bunnies off their food.
Hospital assistant Stacey Simpson has recently been putting her green fingers to work at Putney Animal Hospital and setting up a herbarium to encourage reluctant rabbits to tuck in.
All of the herb plants have been kindly donated by members of staff and staff nurse Marianne Segev is delighted to have had some successes already:
It’s definitely working. We’ve had two rabbits that weren’t eating. Then we gave them some herbs from our herb garden and they ate the rosemary straight away. They wouldn’t eat anything else, not fresh veg or anything.
Once these bunnies had a taste for food again they were able to return to a healthy diet of hay kindly donated by supreme pet foods.
Rabbits are now the third most popular pet in UK. Make sure yours stays in tip-top condition. Visit our rabbits pages to find out how.
Human interaction and activity are so important during an animal’s stay at the RSPCA while they wait to find a new home.
Lucky dogs at the RSPCA Southridge Animal Centre take free weekly swimming sessions in a hydrotherapy pool thanks to the generosity of a local businessman.
Vikram Jashapara runs Quincy's in St Albans, which is named after his own dog, a Newfoundland who has benefited from the pool after having two legs removed. Southridge dogs with physical ailments benefit both physically and mentally from the therapy.
Other individual branches have their own innovative ways to help animals recover from their ordeals and prepare for a new life.
Dogs at the RSPCA Radcliffe-on-Trent Animal Shelter get read to by volunteers as part of the ‘Read and relax’ scheme. Not that we think dogs will appreciate a bit of Shakespeare or JK Rowling, but they do benefit from a bit of ‘down time’ to combat the usual excitement of kennel life, and prepare them for life in a home where it’s not excitement the whole time.
Can you care for an animal for life? Find a pet.
Baby birds in our four wildlife centres learn to sing by listening to a CD of the dawn chorus twice a day.
In the wild birds would learn how to sing from their parents, so by listening to the song from birds of their own species they can learn some vocal skills.
Being able to sing properly increases their chances of survival and breeding when they are released back into the wild. Each year the RSPCA's four wildlife centres receive about 4,500 fledglings during the peak months of April to August.
Find out more about wildlife rehabilitation.