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Raccoon dogs ‘becoming more popular as pets’
raccoon dog
RSPCA staff have renamed the raccoon dog Cedric.

RSPCA issues warning after stray pet found

The RSPCA is urging people not to buy pet raccoon dogs following a recent call-out to a stray, which was found by a member of the public.

In recent years the charity has dealt with a number of call-outs to stray pet raccoon dogs that have either escaped or been deliberately released into the wild.

The exotic mammal, also known as a tanuki, was discovered hiding under a water tank in a garden in Kirton Holme, near Boston.

Inspector Becky Harper said: “While he is very cute, we’d like to stress that raccoon dogs don’t make good pets. They are wild animals and, while they sadly seem to be becoming more popular as pets in the UK, we would strongly discourage people from buying or keeping one as a pet.

“They need a great deal of space and their needs cannot be met in a typical domestic environment. If they escape or are released into the wild they are a high invasive non-native species risk to our native wildlife.”

Releasing a non-native species into the wild, or allowing it to escape, is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

RSPCA staff have renamed the raccoon dog Cedric. Despite attempts to trace his owner, nobody has come forward to claim him so he will be rehomed to a specialist keeper.

Image courtesy of the RSPCA

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Endangered turtle born at London Zoo

News Story 1
 An endangered spiny hill turtle has become the first of its kind to hatch at ZSL London Zoo - just in time for World Turtle Day (23 May).

Zookeepers filmed the moment the turtle came out of its shell on a time lapse camera, after keeping a watchful eye on the egg during its 136 day incubation period.

The turtle weighed a tiny 33g at birth and measured just 61mm, although it will eventually grow to around 27cm in size. 

News Shorts
Melissa Donald elected president of BVA Scottish Branch

RCVS Council member Melissa Donald has been elected for a two-year term as president of BVA’s Scottish Branch. She said she was “honoured” to be elected and hopes to provide a strong voice for veterinary surgeons, particularly at a national level. One of her first tasks will be to give evidence to the Scottish government on tail shortening of dogs, before parliament votes on whether to change the current legislation.

Melissa graduated from Glasgow veterinary school and worked as a production animal vet at Iowa State University, USA, for three years, before returning to Ayrshire to work in mixed practice. She then spent 25 years developing a small animal practice with her husband and has been involved with the BVA for many years. Recently, she took the decision to step back from clinical practice and currently runs a smallholding in the Ayrshire Hills.