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Dormouse rescued after getting stuck in garden bird feeder
The homeowner said that birds had continued to feed from the feeder while the dormouse sat inside.

Homeowner baffled upon finding sleeping creature in their garden

A dormouse that had been 'plumping up' for winter got itself into a tight spot when it managed to squeeze into a garden birdfeeder and needed help from the homeowner to get out.

The dormouse was spotted on Tuesday 17 November by the homeowner, who lives on the Isle of Wight. It's thought that the nocturnal animal got into the feeder overnight in search of food and then fell asleep when it became stuck inside.

The concerned Isle of Wight resident contacted the Hampshire Dormouse Group on Facebook, asking for urgent advice on how to get the creature out safely. The group sent them a link to register the animal on the National Dormouse Database and explained how and when to release it.

The dormouse was released successfully and quickly skittered away, apparently unscathed after its ordeal.

Catherine Hadler, a volunteer for the Hampshire Dormouse Group, was baffled when she saw the picture of the trapped dormouse.

“The dormouse had entered the bird feeder and eaten so much bird food that it was too chubby to get out,” she said. "Safe to say this fatty will survive hibernation just fine."

According to the group, dormouse populations in Britain have declined by 51 per cent since 2000. This is largely due to the destruction of hedgerows for housing developments and farmland.

The Hampshire Dormouse Group is urging the public to help dormice by reporting any sightings to the National Dormouse Database (NDD). This will help organisations to gain an understanding of where dormouse are living across the country, and will inform conservation efforts.

Image (c) Hampshire Dormouse Group.

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Vets asked to opt-in to Scottish SPCA fostering programme

News Story 1
 The Scottish SPCA is encouraging veterinary practices to opt into its new fostering programme, by agreeing to register foster animals when approached by one of the foster carers.

The programme goes live in August 2021, and will help to rehabilitate animals under the Scottish SPCA's care until they are able to be properly re-homed. The programme will help the animals to receive care and attention in a stable and happy home environment, as some animals do not cope with a rescue and re-homing centre environment as well as others.

Specific information for veterinary practices on the new programme can be found at www.scottishspca.org/veterinarysurgeons 

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News Shorts
Webinar provides insight into old age pets

A new webinar providing insights into the BSAVA PetSavers Old Age Pets citizen science project is now available free of charge to its members via the BSAVA Library

The webinar presents an exclusive insight into the research process and progression of the study, which aims to help veterinary professionals and owners provide the best care for their senior dogs.

It also discusses the study's research methods, the researchers' personal interests in this area of study, and how they envisage the findings being used to create a guidance tool to improve discussions between vets and owners about their ageing dogs.