RSPCA

THERE were hundreds of wagging tails and smiling faces at Chobham’s RSPCA centre for its biggest fundraising day of the year on Sunday.

Millbrook was packed with people and a variety of animals, for a day of attractions, entertainment and refreshments.

Rescue dogs and animal care assistants taking part in the rehoming parade

The crowds turned up in the sun to watch arena events ranging from a farmer who herds ducks as well as sheep to axemen who competed to chop and saw tree trunks into logs.

Also providing entertainment in the arena were members of the Spelthorne Gymnastics display team, with the Shimmy Café Barefoot Dance Fusion company staging a contrasting performance.

Spiderman’ Jack, aged five, and prizewinning pooch, 12-week-old Betty

Special guests were Britain’s Got Talent stars police officer Dave Wardell and his retired police dog Finn. Finn was badly injured while protecting PC Wardell when a robbery suspect they were chasing attacked them with a knife.

PC Wardell spoke of his successful campaign to get a law passed to prosecute people who harm police dogs, in the same way as those who assault police officers face the courts. The pair got to the final of the TV talent show this year with an act based on the idea that Finn can read minds.

Canines of many breeds and sizes competed in agility competitions and a fun dog show and there was a parade of dogs from Millbrook who are seeking a new home.

For the full story and picture feature get the 5 September edition of the News & Mail

A STRAY tarantula on the loose in a car park by a local service station has been rescued by the RSPCA.

The large, hairy arachnid was spotted by a driver in the car park of Starbucks at the Wisley service station on the south-bound carriageway of the A3.  The motorist managed to carefully catch the creature in a plastic box before reporting the unusual find to the Starbucks counter staff, who contacted the RSPCA for help.

Hitchhiker: Aragog the tarantula after being rescued by a motorist at the Wisley service station

“This was a really big spider – the size of a hand.  It was very hairy and had bright orange knees!  I’m not surprised it gave the motorist a shock,” said RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Jayne Jones.

“The startled driver spotted the animal scuttling across the car park near to the Starbucks café. It has been identified as a Mexican red knee tarantula and we have nicknamed it Aragog, after the ‘Acromantula’ from the Harry Potter stories. Aragog is now being looked after by our Millbrook Animal Centre near Woking and if the animal remains unclaimed, it will spend the rest of its natural life at a specialist facility.”

The RSPCA suspects that the tarantula was abandoned after its owner was unable to look after it properly.

“We are concerned that someone would abandon a spider like this,” said Jayne. “Tarantulas live in a warm and humid environment in the wild and need the same provided in captivity, to meet their needs and keep them healthy. It is also an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to release or allow to escape any non-native species into the wild.”

DOG owners turned out in force to celebrate the 100th birthday of a veteran volunteer at Millbrook Animal Centre.

They fulfilled Sally Field’s wish to stage a 100-dog walk at the Chobham RSPCA establishment on Saturday.

Jenny took three dogs on the walk

Sally was delighted that the event made for than £500 the charity’s funds, through donations and sales of cakes and other refreshments.

“She was really pleased with the number of people who arrived to take part, and it was a lovely occasion,” said Jo Douglas from the centre.

Sally Field with her special cake and the sign photograph of Cliff Richard she received on her 100th birthday

The volunteers who helped organise and run the walk enjoyed sharing a special birthday cake donated by Amy’s Cake Creations.

Sally’s 100th birthday was last December but she decided to wait until the spring for her 100-dog celebration.

She has been volunteering at Millbrook for 45 years, and drivers herself to the centre from her home in Addlestone on two days most weeks.

In honour of reaching her century, Sally recently attended a garden party in the presence of the Queen at Buckingham Palace. She was accompanied by Jackie Huston, who has been a volunteer at the RSPCA for 41 years.

See more pictures in today’s (6 June) edition of the News & Mail

FUN and fundraising were the aims of the dog show at Millbrook Animal Centre in Chobham on Sunday last week.

The event made a total of £5,200 for the RSPCA, as dozens of owners and their pets turned up to take part.

Members of the Mortlock and Frankland families and friends with their dogs.

Extra classes were added to the show this year, due to the high number of entries in 2018. Dogs of all types were welcome – pedigree, non-pedigree or “mix-up”.

Judging took place throughout the afternoon in three different, with prizes for star canines ranging from Perfect Puppy to Best Rescue Dog.

Entrants were also able to show off with classes called Best Three Tricks and How Many Sits in 30 Seconds and have a go at fun agility sessions.

Apart from entry fees, money was raised through volunteers selling refreshments, including cakes and burgers.

“It was a good day all round and well supported,” said Jocelyn Iveson from the centre. “We would like to thank all those who took part and helped on the day.”

For the more pictures get the 30 May edition of the News & Mail

THOUSANDS of people wrapped up on a chilly bank holiday Monday to enjoy Chobham’s biggest community event of the year.

The cool, grey day – in contrast to last year’s sweltering temperatures and cloud-free skies – failed to deter people from turning up to line the streets for the procession and packing the recreation ground for the carnival fete.

West Byfleet Brownies and Guides riding some colourful mounts in the parade

“We were a bit worried that the unseasonal weather would reduce the size or the attendance, but the crowd was probably bigger than last year,” said carnival association chairman Dave Took. “We were all melting by the end of the 2018 event and the heat was too much for some.

“The parade was a bit shorter than last year’s record breaker, but there were some fantastic, really colourful, entries and we’d like to thank everyone who took part for their efforts.

Bull-riding members of Chobham Cricket Club and a young supporter

The procession theme of The Animal Kingdom fuelled the imagination of village organisations and other groups from across the area. The biggest creature was a giant yellow duck on the RNLI lifeboats charity float and tiny dogs accompanied an RSPCA van “dressed up” as a lion.

The overall parade winner was St Lawrence Primary School, Chobham, building on its emblem of a bee with a giant beehive accompanied by children and adults dressed as the insects.

Chobham Agricultural and Horticultural Society won the prize for the best motorised float with its farmyard theme and members dressed as hens.

For the full story and special picture feature get today’s (9 May) News & Mail

AN ANIMAL charity volunteer is seeking 100 people and their dogs to join a fundraising walk as part of her 100th birthday celebrations.

Sally Field has been spending much of her spare time at the Chobham RSPCA centre for 45 years.

Sally Field with Chico the chihuahua-cross

She is a regular dog walker and helps run fundraising events at Millbrook in Guildford Road.

To help mark becoming a centenarian last December, she hopes at least 100 dog owners and their pets will join her event on Saturday 1 June.

“We will be asking the dog walkers who take part for a donation and the money raised will go towards the work that Millbrook does,” said Sally, who lives in Addlestone,

“Spectators are also welcome to come along and give some money and enjoy some refreshments and an ice cream van will be there.”

Sally, who was a cook at Chertsey Fire Station for 23½ years, drives herself to Chobham for her two regular volunteering days each week.

She made bacon rolls and served snacks for a car boot sale at Millbrook last Saturday and has helped run the centre’s annual gala for many years.

Sally has rehomed seven dogs from the RSPCA and her latest pet is a 16-year-old Jack Russell called Roseanna.

Millbrook staff arranged a surprise 100th birthday party for Sally at Hare Hill Social Club in Addlestone, where guests donated a total of £472 to the centre.

The 100-dog walk takes place in the centre grounds between 11am and 2pm. Entry forms can be collected from the Millbrook reception or requested by emailing jo.douglas@rspca.org.uk or calling 0300 123 0740.