Sooty update.

Thanks to our generous supporters, Friends of the Animals has paid £2,000 off his mega veterinary bill.

“Nicola (Sooty’s owner) wrote: “The wonderful Charity Friends of the Animals have been an absolute lifeline to me and my family and we will be eternally grateful for all your wonderful supporter’s donations and kindness. The first few days were like a rollercoaster and when Sooty was critical, a veterinary nurse slept on a mattress next to his cage. Thanks once again kind donors and to the whole team, you truly are fantastic”.

‘Sooty’ the Springer / Staffie X urgently needs your help please.

2018 ended terribly for eight year old ‘Sooty’. He was simply walking on a pathway near his home with his owner Nicola, when the poor dog trod on broken glass.

Unfortunately, part of a discarded broken bottle went through the tendon in one of ‘Sooty’s back legs. What happened next would have been absolutely terrifying to witness. The injury was so severe it caused projectile bleeding and on seeing this, one of Nicola’s sons passed out cold.

‘Sooty’s gums turned pale and his breathing became laboured, time was desperately running out. Meanwhile – having occurred on a Sunday, Nicola was frantically trying to find a Vet to open up. In the end, she had to ring EIGHT Vet’s before she found one that was open 24 hours. She told me the eighth Veterinary Practice was fantastic. In a life or death situation every seconds counts and the wonderful staff were actually waiting on the doorstep for ‘Sooty’ – whose life was ebbing away – to arrive.

‘Sooty’ was rushed in to surgery, but he’d lost so much blood, he had to have a massive transfusion. Unfortunately, his body rejected it and so he still wasn’t out of the woods ! Luckily, a second transfusion donated by another dog – worked well and after a few overnight stays he has just been allowed home.

I spoke to the Veterinary Practice today and discovered ‘Sooty’s life saving bill currently stands at £3,358-22, possibly with a bit more still to come. Nicola already has enough on her plate struggling with serious ill health and what happened to ‘Sooty’ is a massive added worry to the whole family.

The irresponsible person who smashed the bottle is the one who should pay, but sadly that won’t happen. This is why I am asking everyone  to ‘please do something kind’ and start off your New Year by helping ‘Sooty’ and his family. A donation of any size will be most gratefully received.

GINGE had a argument with a car and was in a bad way. We were able to step in and with YOUR help were able to raise the funds that enabled his broken limbs to be repaired and for him to have a second chance.

I’m getting there, one step at a time

And the latest pictures show what a remarkable recovery he has made:-

“Ginge is extremely happy and is now off all medication, he is exploring the outside world. He still has a slight limp, but he is walking and climbing steps, using the cat flap, just not running and jumping yet.

Just cannot thank you guys and your supporters enough for helping to give Ginge a chance to continue his happy life.

He is due to go back for a check up with the specialist in 3 weeks, to check the healing process.

Many thanks again

Regards Richard and Ginge”.

Seven Marathons in 14 Days 2018 Pembrokeshire coast walk raised £4,650.

To follow Steve’s journey please see this page

A message from our patrons,

“Hi Steve and Catherine………………….I have been following your amazing journey in aid of the wonderful Friends of the Animals and can only say as a patron how proud I feel to have people like you on board with your support. 200 miles is a mammoth distance….I struggle with 200 yards.!!! 

Absolutely brilliant……..well done from myself and Ian Lavender and Sue Perkins and Peter Egan and all the patrons ….we take our hats off to you….or should I say “shoes”.

lots of love……….Rick.

Rick Wakeman & Steve

 And from the other side of the world:-

The following message of support was sent by Claude Silavant who lives in Sydney, Australia:

“Hi Steve and travelling partners,really enjoying your daily adventures and to know the animals will be benefited, It is something I would have loved to do before I moved to Australia plus help the charity.

Keep going as it is a really positive achievement in life, Wish I was there to join you, will be sending a donation.

All the best Claude Silavant”

Just a note to all our ‘followers’, both near and as far away as Australia, to say “Thank you” for your encouragement and for your donations to Friends of the Animals which is what this whole challenge walk is about.  Steve, Catherine & Shep

These three animals are a reminder of what Steve and Catherine’s efforts are funding

Veterinary Bills: This little Yorkie was savaged, but happily he is recovering.


Fostering: These seriously cute baby Chinchilla’s are being well looked after and the runt of the litter is being fed every two hours.


Re-homing: This is eight month old Dexter who is looking for a home.

Arriving one morning to open up one of our Charity shops, our Volunteers were shocked to find this little, Collie bitch tied up outside, with a note attached saying simply “I’m unwanted”.We had no idea how long she’d been standing there, but it was raining heavily and she was absolutely soaked. Her legs were weak – probably because she hadn’t been walked and she had a skin condition, which happily soon responded to veterinary treatment.

We named her Lucy and had a queue of people wanting her, and she found the love she was seeking when she was adopted by Jackie & Trevor and their son James.

It is pretty amazing the utter squalor some people are content to live in. Jackson lived in a garden FULL of broken bottles, rusty tins and discarded rubbish of ALL sorts. This  was the only access to the outside world for seven lovely dogs.   Two of our staff had visited the property, where they found this Old English X in an appalling state with an untreated ear infection and a filthy matted coat.

He was one and a half years old and had never left the house; he was petrified of people and huddled himself in the corner of the kitchen. A black and tan dog feasted on rubbish from the overflowing bin and one – who was only a pup herself – was heavily pregnant and a fourth had a badly deformed leg.

The owner insisted the dogs could only be removed one at a time and “Jackson” (pictured), was the first one we picked up and transported to a Foster Home, followed by “Caspar” – who’d been eating from the bin.

It must have been quite an adventure for them. Almost immediately “Jackson” found his forever home, when he was adopted by one of the Veterinary Nurses who had faced the marathon task of shaving off his coat.

This kitten is only a few days old and was found in an alley way off a main road in the West Midlands. We immediately took the tiny animal to a Vets’ in Oldbury for a Vet check and were concerned to learn she has two, seeping puncture wounds, which are thought to be rat bites. Becky, one of the veterinary nurses is brilliant at hand rearing kittens and has very kindly taken this little mite into her care for us.

When we received a call telling us a couple had moved out, leaving their rabbit in the garden, rescuers Anne and Alan Barker were duly despatched. They found the empty house and garden with ease, but the rabbit was nowhere to be seen, in fact the garden was quite empty apart from a shed and a huge heap of rubbish in one corner.

Anne and Alan needed to make absolute certain no animal was there and so they set about removing an abandoned fridge door and then progressed to dismantling the mountain of rubbish and eventually at the very bottom they reached a filthy hutch containing one very unhappy bunny, who had neither food nor water. Gently lifting him out, they wrapped him in a towel and transported him to Elaine who fosters for us and who is our fount of bunny knowledge.

‘JESS’ a 4 year old Staffie, arrived at our office with her alcoholic owner who was about to be evicted and a Social worker in tow.  Poor ‘JESSIE’ was filthy and stank and the lady’s Whisky breath nearly knocked our staff out.

The owner certainly didn’t beat about the bush when she bluntly asked “are you going to take IT, or am I having IT put to sleep” ?  At this point, the Social worker explained that she had tried various Rescue Centres and no one could help and the next number on their list, was the Vet to book ‘JESSIE’ in to be destroyed.

Head down, the poor dog just sat forlornly, totally uncomprehending that her life was in the balance. Fortunately, her life was about to change DRAMATICALLY and for the better and she was taken to one of our Foster Homes, where she was bathed and given a clean bed. She craved love and finally started to learn what toys were for.

‘PATCH’ is just 12 months old and when his owner passed away, a relative tried to help by moving his kennel to their own garden, but it dropped to pieces.  ‘PATCH’ had spent his entire life living outside so unfortunately wasn’t house trained and so the relative was unwilling to have him in the house.

When we went round to assess the situation, she was very concerned to see that poor ‘PATCH’ didn’t have a basket and his only shelter from heavy rain was a table!! Worse still, she knew she just didn’t have an available foster place.

Our sincere thanks to the wonderful Manageress at PETS AT HOME in Oldbury who immediately came to ‘Patch’s aid, by letting us have this super dog kennel and a sack of food free of charge

‘HONEY’ was no more than 5 months old, when she was picked up as a stray in the Midlands. Not only was this poor pup dragging a very badly broken leg, the Vet told us it had been broken for at least three weeks. Much leg pinning later, she was transferred to one of our Foster Homes and began the long road to recovery.

MEGAN was a stray, and survived by scavenging for food outside a fish & chip shop.She had a stomach full of worms and a large abscess on her neck which we soon got treated.