You asked us...
Here you will find the answers to some of our commonly asked questions:
We, and many animal welfare charities, can’t collect or accept stray dogs. Instead we direct people to their local authority dog warden, who are solely responsible for dealing with stray dogs.
We can only deal with a stray dog in an emergency, for example, if it is in imminent danger of death or severe suffering.
We also recommend that you visit Pets Located, an online resource to reunite owners with their missing pets, to register the dog as found.
Help, I’ve lost my pet
We suggest you:
- register your animal with Pets Located, an online service for reuniting owners with missing pets.
- contact local vets to give them a description of your lost animal
make enquiries with your local RSPCA animal centre.
- If you’ve lost a dog, contact the dog warden via your local council.
You could also put up posters in your area with a picture of your pet. Please be aware local councils may prosecute for fly posting, so don’t put posters on lamp posts, telegraph poles, fences, etc…
Local newspapers sometimes have a section for advertising lost pets and you could even ask local radio stations if they can make an announcement about your search.
If you have information that we may have picked up your pet, please contact us.
Dog in a hot car
People may believe that a dog cannot be left in a car – it can. However, if the dog is suffering in the car (if the temperatures are very warm or freezing cold; if the animal is left in the care permanently or if the dog seems very anxious or distressed) then please report cruelty or animal suffering online.
In some situations, it may be easy for you to find the owner of a car. For example, if the car is in a supermarket car park, you could ask for a message to be broadcast asking for the owner to return to their car immediately.
Deterring foxes from a garden
The most humane and long-term solution to discourage foxes is to remove or prevent access to the things attracting them to the area, like food and shelter.
Barriers, such as fencing or prickly plants, and chemical repellents that are approved for use with foxes may discourage them from coming into a garden. Repellents are available from garden centres or hardware stores. Follow the instructions closely as each product is prepared and approved for use against certain animals in a particular way.
Some people suggest the answer is to relocate or destroy foxes but this will simply encourage foxes from other areas to move in and take their place, and moving foxes to another area may spread diseases.
Keeping cats out of a garden
If you want to stop cats entering your garden, it's important to make sure that any deterrent you use is not harmful and doesn't cause pain, suffering or distress. Some suggestions which could help you are:
- prickly plants or ground cover plants in your flowerbeds
- keeping flowerbeds watered as cats don't like wet earth
There are also a variety of approved chemical repellent products on the market but if you do decide to use one please make sure it's a licensed product and read the instructions carefully.
Please note: When trying to deter cats, it's illegal to use creosote, anti-freeze, bleaching or cleaning agents, diesel oil, coal tar soap, peppermint oil, citrus oil or eucalyptus oil.
Ultrasonic deterrents have been developed to keep cats out of gardens, however there's no evidence to suggest they are effective.
Remember that cats are free to roam as they're protected by law. It’s an offence to harm, terrify or steal a cat. It’s also an offence to put down snares, poison or an unlicensed deterrent.
Hedgehogs and hibernation
Hibernation is a response to a shortage of food in winter.
Hedgehogs usually hibernate between November and mid to late March but if the weather is mild and food is available then they may remain active into November or December.
Peacock calls are best described as shrill raucous shrieks. They can be extremely noisy and annoying to some people. However, others put food out to encourage peafowl into their area so that they can admire these beautiful birds.
Native to India, peacocks are usually kept as free-roaming ornamental birds on large estates in the UK, but if you see them out and about in other areas then they may have escaped from a private collection.
If a peacock is sick or injured, please contact us. If the sick or injured bird is still mobile, then a trail of grain can be laid on the ground to lead it into an enclosed outbuilding or garage to contain it there temporarily until it can be collected.