News and events

On the second day of Christmas our Branch came to see…..

Two Micro Pigs!

In April two Micro Pigs were signed over into our care because their owner could no longer care for them. The pigs were living in a flat and although a lot of people think these pigs can be indoor pets, Micro- and mini-pigs have very specific welfare needs that must be met to keep them happy and healthy.

When they arrived, they went to live with one of our dedicated and experienced foster carers who in the end, ended up adopting them both!

However before they were moved to their foster home, we had to apply for an emergency DEFRA license in order to have them. Pet pigs have specific needs and, like farmed pigs, there are strict laws concerning their diet, identification and movement. It can be challenging to look after them properly, which you need to do under the Animal Welfare Act.

Here are some facts from the National RSPCA concerning Micro pigs.

  • All pigs have a strong desire to root, which means they need continual access to suitable areas for rooting, otherwise they can become destructive.
  • Being small may make it difficult for micro- and mini- pigs to keep warm, so they must always have access to a suitable shelter that includes a comfortable, dry lying area and appropriate bedding.
  • Without a stimulating environment, micro- and mini-pigs are highly likely to show negative behaviours, such as stereotypic behaviour (behaviours that are repeated without an obvious purpose).
  • Micro- and mini-pigs need to be housed in social groups with other friendly, similar-sized pigs, not only because they are social herd animals but also because they can become aggressive to their owners if housed alone.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, 2006, pet owners are legally required to meet the needs of their animals. Due to their complex needs, the RSPCA is concerned about how well micro- and mini-pigs can be cared for by non-specialist keepers

EmmaOn the second day of Christmas our Branch came to see…..
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On the first day of Christmas our Branch came to see…..

A brand new appointed Trustee!

“Trustees are the backbone of every charity, and are always at the forefront of the governance and strategic direction that the charity takes.
We are very fortunate to have such a supportive, united and passionate board of Trustees at the RSPCA Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk Branch, who work closely with myself and the operations team to ensure that our charitable objectives are delivered, helping improve the lives of animals and their owners.
As the CEO of a growing charity, I am very lucky to work so closely with a professional Board of Trustees who bring a broad set of skills to their Trustee roles. I value their support and guidance immensely, and through our cohesive working practices, I am confident that the Branch will continue to flourish and provide outstanding animal welfare in the years to come.”

Gregory Brown, CEO

We are very lucky to have a new addition to our Trustee Board! Amanda was appointed in October and is settling in really well. We all had a lovely day getting to know her during her Branch induction however below are some questions we asked her about the application process.

Why did you want to be a Trustee?

I have been passionate about animal welfare since childhood. I retired recently after 30 years as a solicitor and I hope that I can combine my professional experience, previous volunteering experience and my love for animals in my role as a trustee.

What made you pick the RSPCA Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk Branch?

I was very impressed by the website which gave me a good understanding of the Branch, its people and the great work it does.

How did you find the applications process?

I applied using the straight forward form provided on the website and this was followed up by an interview with the Branch CEO and Trustees. The interview confirmed to me that I very much wanted to join the branch and, thankfully, they agreed!

How did you find the induction process?

I spent a really interesting day meeting members of the team at the Branch. I was very impressed with their professionalism and enthusiasm. It gave me a great insight into their roles and the excellent work the Branch does.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself 

I have a rescue greyhound called Scruff (who, despite his name is a very handsome gentleman) and a mad cocker spaniel called Monty, his tennis ball never leaves him!

Have you considered becoming a Trustee?

For me being a trustee is about learning from peers who are passionate and enthusiastic about our cause. I am fortunate to work with fabulous colleagues, both trustees and staff, who are prepared to stand up and put forward their ideas about how we can make a difference. It’s so refreshing to debate these and not be hamstrung by doing more of the same but more effectively. It’s that desire to strive to be out of the ordinary that gives me a buzz. We do have plenty of governance to consider as Trustees, but where we shine is looking at how we can move the branch to better things. A good board of trustees does need a mix of skills and professionals, although some of our best ideas come from those who aren’t formally trained. Having a mix of trustees is so important. Enthusiasm for the cause and being prepared to communicate your ideas are attributes that I value from others. No potential trustee should feel they don’t have the skills, training & support can be provided. Passion can’t.

Stephen Read, Treasurer
EmmaOn the first day of Christmas our Branch came to see…..
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Keep your pet free of fleas this autumn

It’s nearly winter and we are now starting to switch our heating on. We need to make sure we keep ourselves and our pets nice and warm however did you know that your home can provide the perfect breeding ground for fleas in autumn?

That doesn’t mean we cannot start to heat our homes as it gets colder however turning up your heating in the autumn months can provide the perfect temperature for fleas. A house heated between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius can cause dormant flea pupae (cocoon type stage) to hatch into adults and create an ideal breeding ground.

Even if there’s no signs of fleas in your home your pet may have a chance to catch them so to ensure your pet and your house stay free of fleas, it’s important to treat your pet regularly all year round. Make sure you also treat your home with a household flea spray (follow the instructions carefully). The flea pupae like dark and warm spots so make sure you treat all floors, under sofas and beds and even spray a small amount in your hoover.

Below is an infographic from the National RSPCA which provides you with more information on fleas and how to treat them.

EmmaKeep your pet free of fleas this autumn
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Animals on the roads

The National RSPCA sees more injured wild animals coming into their care, who have been involved in road traffic accidents, as the nights grow longer.
Road traffic accidents involving deer are especially common during the rut, which can occur from mid-July to December (depending on the species).

Take note of warning signs, drive with extreme caution (especially early morning and evening) and report collisions with deer to the police.

Here is some information from the National RSPCA

If you find an injured wild animal, watch it first to see how badly hurt it is. Then if possible take it to a nearby vet or wildlife rehabilitator (call first to make sure they can take and treat the animal).

It’s often faster to take an animal to a vet or wildlife rehabilitator yourself as the nearest RSPCA officer may be out of the area attending other calls.

If you’re unable to transport the animal and cannot find a wildlife rehabilitator who is able to help, contact the National RSPCA about an animal in distress. If possible, contain the animal before calling.

Be careful when approaching wild animals, they can scratch and bite when frightened, particularly if they’re injured. If in doubt, keep a safe distance and call National on 0300 1234 999.

The following animals can’t be handled or transported by the public:

  1. an injured deer
  2. seal
  3. wild boar
  4. otter
  5. badger
  6. fox
  7. snake
  8. bird of prey (including owls)
  9. swan
  10. goose
  11. heron
  12. gull.

If you see one, keep a safe distance and call the National RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

EmmaAnimals on the roads
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It’s the last day of Trustees week!

This week, we have been celebrating the hard work and commitment of our Trustees because without them, our organisation simply couldn’t run.

Trustees of the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch are responsible for overseeing the overall governance and strategic vision of the Branch; representing the Branch in a manner which is sympathetic to its core mission and values.

Trustees are the backbone of every charity, and are always at the forefront of the governance and strategic direction that the charity takes.
We are very fortunate to have such a supportive, united and passionate board of Trustees at the RSPCA Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk Branch, who work closely with myself and the operations team to ensure that our charitable objectives are delivered, helping improve the lives of animals and their owners.
As the CEO of a growing charity, I am very lucky to work so closely with a professional Board of Trustees who bring a broad set of skills to their Trustee roles. I value their support and guidance immensely, and through our cohesive working practices, I am confident that the Branch will continue to flourish and provide outstanding animal welfare in the years to come.

Gregory Brown, CEO

Our mission is to “To raise awareness, provide practical support and demonstrate compassion in order to deliver excellent animal welfare in our Branch area.”

Stephen Read

Stephen Read is the Treasurer of RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch. He has overall accountability for the finances and it could be good news that he is a chartered accountant. He has held various executive finance roles across East Anglia over the years although he is not local. He is from a Lincolnshire farming family and whilst his family had many animals when he was younger, the farm is now purely arable.

For me being a Trustee is about learning from peers who are passionate and enthusiastic about our cause. I am fortunate to work with fabulous colleagues, both Trustees and staff, who are prepared to stand up and put forward their ideas about how we can make a difference. It’s so refreshing to debate these and not be hamstrung by doing more of the same but more effectively. It’s that desire to strive to be out of the ordinary that gives me a buzz. We do have plenty of governance to consider as Trustees, but where we shine is looking at how we can move the Branch to better things. A good Board of Trustees does need a mix of skills and professionals, although some of our best ideas come from those who aren’t formally trained. Having a mix of Trustees is so important. Enthusiasm for the cause and being prepared to communicate your ideas are attributes that I value from others. No potential Trustee should feel they don’t have the skills, training & support can be provided. Passion can’t.

Stephen Read, Treasurer

Jo Church

Like so many people, I have always described myself as an animal lover. More of a dog person these days if I’m honest. But actually over the years since childhood I’ve kept all sorts of animals, from ponies and horses to hamsters and goldfish. I might walk into a room and forget what I went in for…or I might lose my glasses when they’re on top of my head, but I remember every single pet I ever had. Want to hear more? Click here to read Jo’s blog.

Are you thinking about becoming a Trustee for our Branch? For more information, please get in touch by calling us on 0303 040 1565 or emailing volunteering@rspcanorwich.org and we will be happy to help!

We have an extensive recruitment process to ensure you are well looked after and once your application is successful, we offer a full Branch induction where you will have the opportunity to meet the team!

“I’d describe the induction process where I met individual members of the team and found out how the Branch works, as being like walking into a room full of people who’re all standing chatting, with a cup of tea or glass of wine in their hand…and they all turn and smile and are genuinely pleased to say hello and start a conversation. (I really need to get out more, I know). But that’s the best description I can think of”.- Jo Church, Trustee

Thank you to all of our Trustees for the amazing work you do to help animals in need.

If you have a certain skill set or you just love animals and want to make a difference, apply by clicking here.

EmmaIt’s the last day of Trustees week!
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It’s the season for fireworks

It’s getting colder and bonfire night is getting closer. This can be such a fun event for families however as you may know, fireworks can be very scary for animals. We all want to have fun and we can do so by being mindful of our pets and wildlife.
If you have concerns for your pets this season, follow these top tips from the National RSPCA.

If you are building a bonfire in your garden this month, please think about how this may affect wildlife. Before you light your fire follow these five useful tips below to help you keep an eye out for animals.

  • Don’t build your bonfire until the day you need it. Remember, this will look like a lovely winter shelter for them so ensure there is less time for them to find it and to settle down.
  • Always place the bonfire on open ground. If you place it on top of leaves or close to a hedge, you could potentially harm birds, hedgehogs or insects that are seeking shelter in the leaves.
  • Check before lighting your bonfire. Just in case any animals have managed to take shelter inside.
  • Light your bonfire from one corner. This will give any animals inside that you didn’t spot, more chance with more exits to escape.
  • Have a hose close by. If you do see an animal once you have started your bonfire, you will be able to put it out quickly!
EmmaIt’s the season for fireworks
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#FreeWillsMonth

Did you know that October is #FreeWillsMonth? To celebrate, we are offering free wills for our supporters through Farewill, the UK’s best rated will specialist team on TrustPilot.

We are a local, independent Branch of the RSPCA and by leaving us a gift you will be helping us provide care and a brighter future for vulnerable animals across Norfolk and Suffolk. Get started from the comfort of your home and let your love of animals live on.

Emma#FreeWillsMonth
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We are going batty for bats this October!

In winter, bats go into a hibernation-like state and this is called torpor. Their metabolic rate slows and their body temperature lowers which means they will use less energy. They can survive on the fat they have stored while their insect food source is unavailable in the cold months. Pipistrelles are the most common British bats, weighing around 5 grams (same as a 20p piece) and a single pipistrelle can eat 3,000 tiny insects in just one night!

During hibernation, bats need roosts that are cool and remain at a constant temperature and sometimes they may even find suitable hibernation spots underground such as in caves.

October is when they start to prepare for hibernation however first, more mating takes place (this also happens in September). They build up their fat reserves which is crucial to survive the winter. They also start looking for suitable hibernation sites (Pipistrelles are the most likely to roost in buildings).

The National RSPCA rehabilitate

around 250 bats each year!

The National RSPCA have cared for more than 15 bat species, including some less common ones, such as barbastelle, grey long-eared, lesser horseshoe and serotine

  • There are over 1,400 species of bats worldwide. Bats can be found on nearly every part of the planet except in extreme deserts and polar regions.
  • Baby bats are called ‘Pups’.
  • All UK bat species use echolocation to navigate and hunt for insects in the dark.
  • Bats are the only true flying mammals in the world.
  • A tiny pipistrelle can eat up to 3,000 insects in a night.
  • Things we get from bat-adapted plants include dates, vanilla, bananas, breadfruit, guavas, Iroko timber, balsa wood, sisal, Tequila and chewing gum!
  • Bats are more closely related to humans than they are to mice.
  • The majority of the world’s bats eat insects – just like British bats. In the tropics bats also eat foods like fruit, flowers, frogs, fish, blood, even other bats.
  • Bats usually only have one baby a year and can live for up to 30 years.

Baby bats (pups)

Adult bats can be mistaken for babies as people don’t realise how small they can be!

If you suspect that you’ve found a baby bat, call the Bat Conservation Trust on 0345 130 0228, who can put you in touch with your local bat carer. Treat baby bats very carefully – if you have to pick them up, handle with gloves, or use a soft towel.

Remember where you found the bat as it may be possible to return to its mother.

Sick or injured bats

If you can safely reach the bat, the next step is to contain it in a box. Make sure you wear gloves and follow these steps from the Bat Conservation Trust.

Once contained you can take it to a vet, your local wildlife rehabilitator, or If you are unable to transport the bat, call the National RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

Always seek advice from the Bat Conservation Trust if you are unsure on what to do.

EmmaWe are going batty for bats this October!
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Help Birds this Autumn

As it cools down, we are all wondering whether it is too early to turn the heating on!

Wildlife can struggle at this time of year so read on to see
a visual representation from the National RSPCA website, on how you can help your lovely garden birds this Autumn.

For more on garden birds, click here to be taken top to the RSPB website.

Below are just four of the many common garden birds you may see in your garden this October!

Robins

Robins are a very popular garden bird! They are brown with a white belly and red breast. Younger Robins are more of a mottled gold and brown.

Starlings

Younger Stallings are a dark grey-brown whilst adults are oily-black with a purple-and-green sheen. They also have tiny, beige spots in winter.

Blackbirds

As you can see, males are black with a yellow bill and yellow ring around the eye. Females and younger Blackbirds are a dark brown.

Blue tit

These cute little birds are greeny-blue and yellow underneath. They have a blue cap, white cheeks, black eye stripes, and a blue tail and wings

For more on garden birds, click here to be taken to the RSPB website.

EmmaHelp Birds this Autumn
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