Pet peeps

Our animals and other creatures

2022

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Funding research for canine cancer

Nailsea pet lover Jayne May who launched Zoe's Journey UK to raise awareness of cancer in dogs has raised a quarter of a million pounds for the cause.
It was nearly a decade ago Zoe's golden retriever was diagnosed with stage 3 B cell Lymphoma. 
Jayne said: "It all started back in 2013 when my dog Zoe was diagnosed with Lymphoma. 
"I took her to Steve Tasker, of Watkins & Tasker Vet Group, the same day I noticed her lymph nodes/glands were swollen. 
"The diagnoses was bad with not much hope unless we started chemo immediately."
The vet and Jayne decided to fight to save Zoe and in just eight short days and aged 12 years Zoe went into remission.


While treating Zoe, Steve shared some startling medical facts with Jayne:

  • One in four of ALL dogs will be diagnosed with cancer; and 

  • 50 per cent of ALL dogs over the age of 10 will be diagnosed.


With the support of  the Animal Health Trust and its Canine Cancer Research Unit Jayne started a JustGiving page to help fund research.
Zoe's Journey UK smashed all fundraising targets and continued unstoppable, said Jayne.
An on-line auction site attracted backing from celebrities.

Mark Labbett aka 'the Beast' from ITV'S The Chase came on board as he also owned a golden retriever named Baloo. 

Mark went on to Tipping Point Lucky Stars and won £20.000 for Zoe's Journey.

Uk. Insurance company ManyPets donated £2,500.

Zoe who was 'Interview' in 2016 with Clare Baldwin at Crufts for Channel Four.

Zoe died later that year of old age.

She was nearly 16 years old.

At The Patrons Lunch HRH Prince Harry asked about the dog mascot we were carrying and poised for pictures holding Zoe's mascot. 
The group grew not just to raise money but to help and support animal lovers who have been told their dog has cancer. 

And in July 2022 Zoe's Journey UK announced it had raised a staggering £250.000.00.

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At The Patrons Lunch HRH Prince Harry asked about the dog mascot we were carrying and poised for pictures holding Zoe's mascot. 
The group grew not just to raise money but to help and support animal lovers who have been told their dog has cancer. 

And in July 2022 Zoe's Journey UK announced it had raised a staggering £250.000.00.

Jayne added: "Supporters have done almost everything one can think of from jumping out of a plane, running the London Marathon and moving climbing mountains.
"Sadly, we can't save all our much loved pets but these funds go towards helping research help the puppies of tomorrow so they stand a better chance when cancer strikes
Zoe's funding now goes to the University of Edinburgh where there is a dedicated team of scientists researching canine cancer. 

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Aaron's Pets

121 Station Road

Nailsea BS48 1TA

Usual opening hours:

  • Sunday closed

  • Monday 9am–5:30pm

  • Tuesday 9am–5:30pm

  • Wednesday 9am–5:30pm

  • Thursday 9am–5:30pm

  • Friday 9am–5:30pm

  • Saturday 9am–5pm

Phone: 01275 852030

Trev is radio show snake

Nailsea man Paul Balshaw has spoken out on radio about how rising energy costs could affect certain domestic animals and pets like his snake called Trev.

Paul, aged 54, said: "There are as many reptiles kept in this country as there are cats and dogs.

"Luckily cats and dogs can regulate their own body heat, unfortunately reptiles cannot do this and require large amounts of heat to ensure they have a comfortable life and for digesting food.

"With the increasing cost of energy, it is paramount

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that people really stop and think about getting such a pet.

"Snakes, tortoises, lizards and some amphibians need heat to survive, some snakes and lizards also need UV lighting, so combine a ceramic / light bulb and possibly a heat matt, the energy bills can be huge.

"With big snakes they need big enclosures and the cost to heat these can be huge.

"Anyone wanting to purchase anything that needs a lot of heat, really do your homework and make sure you can afford to keep these beautiful animals.

"The last thing you want to do is purchase the animal and all of the equipment, of which can be hugely expensive, only to return it to the shop or even worse take it to an animal sanctuary, the latter bursting at the seams already."

Currently heating costs can be as expensive as £2 a day in the winter months, said Paul.

He chose the name for Trev who's second birthday is in August simply because ‘I have always loved the name and find it quite endearing’.

Paul’s wife Katrina isn’t so keen on the name or the pet which is why the snake lives in special secure quarters in the family garage.

We don’t know what sons Tobes, 17, and Jude, 20, think of their dad’s love of Trev but bet they are glad not to have got that moniker!

Oddly there is an Australian man called Trev, otherwise known as the Reptile Wrangler, who hates snakes and catches them for a living!

Trev’s diet at present is one jumbo sized dead rat every week but as he grows a couple of rabbits a month will be added, all supplied by Rob Collins of The Ole Hedge Creeper fame.

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Paul added: “I use Rob because he uses humane methods of pest control

and doesn’t use poison.”

Many Nailsea people were tuned in to hear Paul, whose hobby is wildlife photography, raising energy costs concern on the Jeremy Vine Radio 2 show.

Paul was part of a programme in which Jeremy and guests discussed the government's food strategy, flying asylum seekers to Rwanda and the energy costs of pet reptiles.

If you missed the show you can hear a recording with Paul talking here https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0018254.

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We're winging it in Nailsea

Wildlife enthusiast and ace photographer Tracey Thomas took this shot of a buzzard hovering over her Nailsea garden in June 2022.

In a more ominous moment we thought it was a vulture (same family) what with recent reports that the town was dying - see our marketplace page HERE.
We posted it on Nailsea People Facebook page and wow nearly 4,000 readers reached in 24hrs.
Here are some of the comments:
Dave Burrows: "I saw a Red Kite the other day, didn't think they were in the area yet?"
Joe Brake: "Dave Burrows yes mate, saw the first one a few years ago but they are not about often."
Steve Whitwham took the photo of the kestrel at the Ravens ground on Sunday morning.
Joe added: "I’ve noticed a bit of a decrease in numbers in the past 10 years. 
"Loss of hunting habit like meadows and jackdaws and magpies taking eggs.
"We are putting up alot of nest boxes next year to try and help a bit and obviously carrying on with corvid control to help protect the nesting bird species in the area.
"We have a massive amount of birdlife building up at the farm over the past years which is great to see but not as many kestrels."
Cathryn Butler: "They've been regulars over Wraxall for several years. Awesome birds." 

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FRIDAY, JUNE 3: Dog Show at Nailsea Social Club at Chapel Barton. Along with garden games, skittles, membership stand and band The Twice Dailies more details on What's On page HERE

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Bristol Zoo to close in September 2022

Bristol Zoo is closing on Saturday, September 3, this year.

The 12-acre site is to be sold for housing.

Money from the sale will help pay for a new Bristol Zoo being built at the Wild Place Project and opening in 2024.

The new zoo will have conservation, education and sustainability at its heart.

But this is not the end of the story for the famous 186-year-old site at Clifton.

After Bristol Zoo Gardens closes the gardens will be open to the public free of charge for the first time in their history.

There will also be a children’s play area and the theatre building on the main lawn retained for cultural and education talks, workshops and seasonal events.

Much-loved buildings such as the Monkey Temple will also remain.

The zoo is planning a series of special celebration events ahead of its closure.

They will include days when visitors will be able to share their memories of the Zoo and wander around its award-winning grounds.

Bristol Zoological Society chief executive Dr Justin Morris said: “Bristol Zoo Gardens is a special place for so many people and we want to give them a chance to come, to see our animals and the gardens and to talk about their memories.”

The dates for the special events this summer, will be revealed in the coming weeks on the Bristol Zoo Gardens website.

The iconic zoo entrance will become the Clifton Conservation Hub with a public cafe and exhibition space.

It will also become the home of the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project.

Dr Morris said: “This is our legacy.

"Our way of guaranteeing that people throughout the Bristol area will still be able to enjoy the gardens for generations to come.

“They will remain an important destination for people to visit and enjoy.”

Students will also continue to attend lectures at Bristol Zoo Gardens’ Conservation Education Centre until teaching moves to the new Bristol Zoo.

The new Bristol Zoo will have conservation, education and sustainability at its heart.

Throughout that time Wild Place Project, near junction 17 of the M5 Motorway, will continue to welcome visitors as usual.

Since Bristol Zoo Gardens first opened its gates to the public in 1836 it has welcomed more than 90 million visitors and helped to save around 175 species from extinction through its conservation work in the UK and across the world.

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Bird Watch

In 2021, more than one million people took part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

Why not join in and be one in a million for 2022?

We’ve lost 38 million birds from UK skies in the past 50 years, so it really is vital we do all we can to look after our birdlife. 

Taking part is as easy as 1,2,3

1. Watch the birds around you for one hour;

2. Count how many of each species of bird lands on your patch; and

3. Go online and tell us what you saw

For more information click HERE.

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ANIMAL MATTERS: Aaron Pets, at 21 Station Road, Nailsea, is changing its opening hours from Monday, February 1. The store which operates an in-store, collection and delivery service will now open: Monday to Friday 9am-5.30pm and Saturday 9am-5pm. On Christmas Eve 2021 it announced it was closing its branch at High Street, Portishead. For further information call 01275 852030 or go to https://www.aaronspets.co.uk/.

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We don’t want to be alarmist but fears dognappers are active in Nailsea have been raised by a worried pet owner.
A person was walking their dogs in the West End area on Tuesday, February 24, when a suspicious vehicle tailed them.
The red mini slowed down, the occupants looked at them then turned around and sped off.
But within moments the car with foreign registration plates returned this time from a different direction and followed the dog walker and their animals towards Watery Lane.
The incident has been reported to police. 

Dognapper Nailsea warning

2020

Dos and don'ts of duck feeding

Two people were seen taking a sign down from a post at Backwell lake which read ‘Don’t feed the birds with bread’.

They put the sign in a rubbish bin and proceeded to feed the birds with half a bag of bread, according to an alarmed bystander.

Opinion was divided and a malstrom followed when this post was put on Nailsea People Facebook page.

Experts say: ‘Although ducks and swans can digest all types of bread, too much can leave them feeling full without giving them all of the important vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need’.

But other 'experts' disagreed and cited starving swans and dying ducks.

Aaron Pets in Station Road, Nailsea, sell food for wildfowl.

More than 5,000 people click onto the debate on FB.

Here is a selection of comments posted:

  • Sammie MacDonald: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said it was fine to feed small amounts of bread to ducks but people should also feed them sweetcorn, porridge oats, peas and bird seed...adding 'although bread isn't harmful, our advice is to only feed small amounts to birds'.

  • James Wright: I think you’ll find it’s similar to when The Hedgehog Society advised that it was good to give hedgehogs mealworms, it’s not it causes a calcium deficiency.

  • Aarons Pets Ltd: Thankyou for mentioning us. We do indeed sell food for ducks, swans and all birds at the lake.

  • Katie Ridley: The sign I saw the other week isn’t even a proper sign, it will be someone who doesn’t like animals.

  • Jodi Irwin: I took oats peas and broken biscuits and dog biscuits sweetcorn and bread with butter on...there was so many many swans and cygnets and geese asking for food we couldnt keep up.

  • Emily-Jane Tranter: Get a grip! People have been feeding birds bread for years, its fine.

  • Kim Ridley: It was me that took the sign down. It was just a sign some one made. I took it down because I fought if people seen it they wouldn’t feed the ducks and they would get hungry. There saying it’s okay to feed the ducks bread now I’ve been feeding them for nearly three years now and they’ve had babies every year there fine.

  • Dawn Bond:  Bread does not contain the necessary protein and fat birds need from their diet, and so it can act as an empty filler. Although bread isn't harmful to birds, try not to offer it in large quantities, since its nutritional value is relatively low.

  • Anna Reynolds: People were told a while ago that it had been a mistake to tell them not to feed them bread as ducks and swans were starving because people stopped feeding them!

  • Nicky Cooksey: And many wild birds are starving to death because people have stopped feeding them bread!

  • Jo Thyer: I tried feeding them oats once as recommended and they left it and they went straight for the bread!

  • James Wright: Similar to what a child would do if offered vegetables or sweets, obviously the veg is the healthier choice. They throughly enjoyed sweetcorn and peas today, as well as the floating swan and duck food when I gave it to them and enjoyed it every other time.

  • Kayla Caddoo-Frost: We went on Friday and were shocked at how many were feeding bread. We took oats/corn/ rice but there are lots of swans there with babies so be aware as they aren’t always happy.

  • Cara Paterson: When i went to the lake the other day to feed the ducks with a couple of slices of left over bread one of the non official signs was at the bottom of the lake - I doubt that disintegrating plastic is doing them much good either.

  • Anne Williams: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have now weighed in, saying bread isn’t harmful to ducks, but that birds should consume it in moderation, and it should form part of a balanced diet.

  • Kate Haim Downie: The ducks have been fed bread for years I will continue to feed them it if there is no we're near to buy the feed.

  • Sarah Spencer: Official Statement On Bread from the Queen's Swan Marker - The Swan Sanctuary HERE.

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Dog bins at Greenfield Crescent this wee
POO PATCH: Dog bins at Greenfield Crescent this week. Photo Pam Blower
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CAT MISSING: Poppy is newly arrived in Nailsea. One potential sighting - see Nailsea People Facebook page

2019

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NEW TO TOWN: Nailsea's ninth charity shop opens on Friday, November 22 in the shop once run by BHF at Nailsea High Street

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Found - two lost dogs

Pippa the poodle dog got out through a garden gate and went walkabouts on Backwell Common.

Pictured top wearing a blue and white collar he was found and taken to Golden Valley vets.

Pam White said: "What a sweet dog.

"Hope you find its owner soon; they must be so worried."

​Thankfully Pippa was recognised by a Nailsea People Facebook page reader and soon reunited.

The other photo is her back home chewing her chew.

Ivan the Alsatian also went missing in Brockley Combe woods on the same day.

Owner Becky Durbin said: "He has been found!

"Thank you so much for everyone for all your help and hard work, you are all amazing."

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Pets in park for fun day

Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary annual fun day at Ashton Court Estate on Sunday, September 8, was a great success.

Nailsea volunteer Jacqui Nelson was manning one of the stalls and organised the photos for us in the slideshow.

She said there is certainly no shortage of attractions.

From the fun dog show to the ultimate Ninja Warrior dog activity zone it was a pet lovers paradise.

There was also a photo entry cat show, children’s activities, doggie games, refreshments and agility demonstrations from South West Dog Skills to a market place, brimming with everything from fine foods to beautiful artwork and homeware.

The top raffle prizes included £100 cash, Indi Mountain Bike, afternoon tea for two at your choice from more than 400 venues and portable TV.

The profits from the fun day together with support from the Nailsea charity shop will be going to towards building improvements at Barrow Gurney.

Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuaryrescues and rehomes unwanted, abandoned and often mistreated cats and dogs.

It replies on its supporters to keep the kennel and cattery doors open which costs approximately £650,000 every year to run – that’s more than £1,780 each and every single day.

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TOP DOGS: A six week course on Wednesdays, from September 25-October 30 at Golden Valley Vets by Nick's Pet Services. This course will go through all of the basics covering sits and downs, helping your puppy to settle in their bed, loose lead walking and recall. Also helpful advice on how to toilet train your puppy with minimal stress for you and how to help your puppy during the biting phase, along with the best ways to socialise your puppy with the world around them. For more details click HERE or email nickspetservices@yahoo.com

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BEAK TO BEAK: Hot Fuzz police officer captures poorly bird doing walkabouts in Moorfield Road. The swan wasn’t well enough to return to Backwell Lake and is being cared for at Secret World animal sanctuary. Nailsea People Facebook page collected donations for its care...

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Dog Walker at the Park

Dog owners alert

A wicked person is trying to poison pets walking in a Nailsea park.

The linear park which runs behind Kingshill Church School at Pound has been in the news already this week with the overnight stay of a group of travellers.

This incident however is not connected.

A resident walking in the area on Sunday night found eight pieces of raw meat coated in chilli, together with a raw chicken breast that was covered in a white powder and some cooked chicken.

The meat which had been sprinkled in dog treats was left at the bottom of a hedge at the back of the school.

The person who found the items said: "I have removed all I can see but there may be some further in the bushes that I have missed.

"Please keep an eye on your dogs when using the park."

She believes similar incidents have been reported in other areas.Ian Jenkins said he found lots of pieces of unchewed chewing gum- xylitol - which is used in sugar free gums and is poisonous for dogs on the footpaths through the fields off Watery Lane/Causeway.

Ian said: "This lot was collected and disposed of but it could be done again."

The police and local vets have been alerted and a warning posted on Nailsea People Facebook page.

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PUPPY LOVE: Nick's Pet Services is running training classes for puppies (and their owners) from Wednesdays, July 3-August 8. 7.45-8.45pm. At Golden Valley Veterinary Hospital, Nailsea. The course costs £72 in total. No classes on Wednesdays July 17 and August 7. Click image to go to website.
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WALKIES: This dog was spotted wandering on the fields at The Causeway, Nailsea on Saturday, May 25 - no news whether it has been reunited with owner but thought to live in Nightingale Gardens. It has a collar but no lead. Further updates on Nailsea People Facebook page.

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DOG GONE CAT FOUND: The dog has been seen running past Noah's Ark Zoo Farm at Wraxall - and owners of many lookalike cats have ruled out this puss belonging to them. Further updates on Nailsea People Facebook page, posted Wednesday, May 22

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Lost and found

Siamese cat from Nightgale Gardens

Within 20 minutes of this appeal going on the Nailsea People Facebook page Poppy the Siamese cat was found.

Here is what we said: ‘This is Poppy a friendly Siamese cat who has gone missing from her Nightingale Gardens, Nailsea, home.

She was last seen by her owner Lanna Vincent on Thursday, May 9, at approximately 7pm.

Lanna said: "She is very friendly and will come if called but will run away if chased.

"She also likes dogs and she likes to just walk into people's houses and sheds so please check these."

Poppy is chipped and neutered but isn't wearing a collar.

Lanna added: "We are getting increasingly worried about her."

Any sightings either leave a message in a comment box below or call 0758 499 1379.’

Oh the power of social media and thanks to everyone who helped.

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BIG BIRD: Top Linford, the rhea, who was living on an Evesham golf course has a new home at Noah's Ark near Nailsea. Nicknamed Linford because of his speed on capture it was discovered 'he' is actually a 'she' and now goes by the moniker Lynn. Photo © Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. Read more about Lynn and the up and coming June birthday party looking for visitors photos from the past 20 years on the Noah's Ark page by clicking HERE

MOUNTED BEAT: On highway patrol in Nailsea this week were police horses Jubilee, Brunel and Rolo – did you see them? Shame the scaffolding on the Crown Glass Shopping Centre offices slightly spoiled the photograph but hopefully the refurbishments will be finished soon in time for the summer activities...

Poo debate

​When we added this poster to Nailsea People Facebook page and said discuss more than 36 people discussed. The post reached nearly  9,000 and 104 reacted with an emoji. Here is a selection of the opinions expressed.
Hayley Gould said: "It would help if Nailsea (Town Council)  didn't remove all its poo bins."
She stood corrected when councillor Rod Lees said it was North Somerset Council to blame.
Gwen Wolley asked: "Without bins, how difficult is it to take the poo bags home?"
To which Hayley replied: "It isn't and I do! 
"But moving the bins is asking for lazy people to chuck the bags everywhere."
Rebecca Pomery worried: "I have a young child who loves to walk in the side undergrowth rather than the path."
And Rachel Ferguson said: "Oooooh, very controversial!"
Andrew Kelly said: "Rather flick than see poo bags hanging in the trees and shrubs."
Semira Kiss lamented: "Nice walk in the woodland stinking of poo."
Marian Alexandra said: "Pick it up, use a biodegradable bag and take it away - simple."
But then Merrion Popbet threw this quandery into the mix: "We don't bag up badger and fox poo. 
"Fox poo stinks ! 
"I'm all for pushing it under leaves at the side. 
"Raw feed your dog then their poo won't smell and will be like chalk in days."
Muredach Diamond added: "If you are too lazy to bag it and keep woods safe for kids dont get a dog, simple."
There were lots more comments but we will endwith Steve Lewis who said: " The way forward I believe, will be promoting the use of flushable dog poo bags - when their price becomes more affordable."

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LOST: Laura Thayer‎ said: "My cat is new to Nailsea and has only been going out for the past week or so. She hasn’t been seen since last night - Sunday. I know it’s not long but now getting con