Pet peeps

Our animals and other creatures

2020

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

2019

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

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."

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.

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

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...

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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."

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 concerned. She is around The Perrings area. She is microchipped and is called Mila. She is very friendly and will come if called. Anyone in the area please can you check garages/sheds.' Hopefully she is just exploring."
FOUND: Female ferret found in Backwell area over the weekend, very friendly. Any information please contact Backwell Vets on 01275 462691.

Nailsea puppy training classes 

A six week puppy class is running from Wednesday, April 10 at Golden Valley Veterninary Hospital, Nailsea.

Nick's Pet Services is hosting the training sessions which will cover the basics of sits and downs along with teaching loose lead walking, recall and the importance of play.

Nick said: "We will go through solutions to help with biting, chewing and how to help your puppy settle down and learn to relax around the home.

"We will play some fun self-control games to help with everyday life, but also to teach your puppy to listen to you when it gets really exciting whilst out on a walk.

F"amily members are welcome to come along as I believe that training a new puppy should be fun for everyone in the household.

"Only flat collars and my preference is to use a well fitted harness.

"Absolutely no choke chains or prong collars please and no extendable leads as they are difficult to hold while training.

"Please bring plenty of tasty treats with you, I find that cocktail sausages and chicken are a favourite with my dogs!
For more information on how to book click HERE.

DOG GONE: This little dog went walkabout on Sunday afternoon, March 17, in the Perrings area of Nailsea. A missing post on the Nailsea People Facebook page reached more that 10,000 people. Happily the white chihuahua which was chipped and belonging to Michelle Hodgson was found safe and sound.  Michelle said: "She has been found. She is now asleep on my bed, safe back where she belongs, with her collar on. The only reason why she didn't have it on when she went missing was she rolled in fox poop the day before so was drying on the radiator after being washed." And while we are on the subject of walkie why not sign-up for the annual Rotary Nailsea & Backwell charity event and raise money for your favourite cause? To register click HERE.

TOP CAT: Alive and well and scavenging in Nailsea. Apparently this moggie has made its home on the Blackfriars Trading Estate, Nailsea, and is obviously being feed by people who work there. After we posted this photo taken by Lou Dann in February 2019 on our Nailsea People Facebook page she has been contacted by two cat charities offering to help. And many people have come forward to report stray cats in the town and equally lots of owners are still missing their pets. Nailsea People with your help is attempting to reuntied or rehome strays. Email nailseapeople@gmail.co.uk for further details.

FINDING TED: When Nailsea People posted on its Facebook page about a missing dog the post reached nearly 24,000. It was shared by an amazing 310 people and attracted 45 comments and 127 reactions. The original post said: 'Gorgeous Ted was spooked while out walking in Station Road, Nailsea at approximately 10.30am this morning. His owners are besides themselves - any sightings? Ted is still attached to his retractable lead.' Thankfully the story has a happy ending as within just a few hours later this post said: 'Update: Ted was found cowering behind the bins at Golden Valley Primary School and his ‘family’ send a big thank you to everyone who searched for him and shared Nailsea People FB post, xx.' If you were one of those who shared or went looking for Ted thank so much.

Knit piggy a pullover

To help post-operative pets to recover people are knitting jumpers for small animals and donating them to Golden Valley Veterinary Hospital.

Here is Gingernut the Guinea Pig modelling one of the hand-knitted jumpers donated by the mother of a veterinary nurse.

The jumpers do invaluable good keeping furry friends warm while recovering from their anaesthetics.

If you're a keen knitter and fancy knitting jumpers to fit a bunny rabbit, gerbil or guinea pig the vets at Nailsea Park would be happy to hear from you.

A dog is not just for presents at Christmas...

Aarons Pets which has three branches in North Somerset has presents for pooches in stock now.

The Nailsea shop is at 121 Station Road.

Aarons Pets opened its first store in Clevedon in 1993. It then went on to open its second in Nailsea in 2000. And the third shop opened at Portishead in July 2015. The shop was named after Aaron the dog belonging to owner Martin Young.

In its stores they stock a huge range of top brand named products for dogs, cats, small animals, wild and domestic birds, poultry, fish and reptiles.

And they offer a local delivery service.

The pet shop can also offer micro chipping by appointment at in-store or by home visit.

Dogs are welcome to the stores to be fitted with a harness, dog coat, choosing their own toy or just to be made a fuss of and there are dog scales inside the shops.

Dog training

Nick's Pet Services is running a six week puppy training course on Wednesdays at Golden Valley Veterinary Hospital at Nailsea Park.

The training begins on Wednesday, October 24.

Sessions starts at 6.30-7.30pm and costs £72.

Click HERE for more information.

Nick runs a local pet service offering dog walking and pet visits covering Nailsea, Backwell, Wraxall, Tickenham, Clevedon, Yatton, Claverham, Congresbury and Cleeve.

Missing Nailsea pets

Email nailseapeople@gmail.com with any sightings or leave a message on the Nailsea People Facebook page - thanks.

 

UPDATE ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 26: Alan has been found. Owner Ben Caddoo-Frost  said: "Thank you all for you kind help we have found him and he’s having treatment for a abyss from a bite and dehydration!" A pet lover in Engine Lane spotted the cat in her garden and took him indoors while Ben was located.

UPDATE ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 25: Newcomer to Nailsea Ben Caddoo-Frost who lives in the Hazelboury Road area said: "Our beloved black and white eight year old cat Alan has been missing for several days. He is chipped and chopped and we are besides ourself with worry. He managed to de-collared himself the day before he went missing without his new collar. This is completely out of character he doesn’t normally wander far. Alan has a very thick coat but is actually not very large underneath. He friendly to children and adults but Terrified of dogs and high pitched noises and is not very fond of the rain."

UPDATE ON MONDAY, AUGUST 20: Laura McNeill is asking Nailsea People to look for Ted who has gone missing from his home at Riverway Nailsea. Ted has a green collar and name tag with black flea collar. Laura said: "Please check sheds and garages and share."

UPDATE ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 18: Whoa, Mila is back after nine days missing. He returned 'very, very hungry' but otherwise in fine fettle.

UPDATE ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 17: As you can see from photos some pets have been found and another added.

Emma Louise, of the Ridgeway, said her ginger and white cat called Jessie hasn’t come home since Christmas.

She said: I’ve done door to door around my area and even contacted vets with no luck so if anyone has seen one similar or taken one in please get in touch.

Emma Silkstone said: “Brodie the black and white cat is back home safely...fingers crossed for the other owners.“

Lindsay Hutchinson said: I am pleased to report my Bengal cat has been found.

He was found locked. In a house of some people who had gone on holiday!

Kerry Williams said: “My dog Daisy the Jack Russell is still missing.

“So sadly missed by of us. We have offered a large reward for her safe return but still haven’t had any sightings.“

 

FIRST REPORT: Can you help reunite these Nailsea pets with their owners?
At last count we have one missing dog and three missing cats?
The Jack Russell bitch has gone missing from Tower House Lane. Any sightings call 0746 722 3910. 
A much loved black and white cat of a nervous disposition called Brodie has gone walkabouts in the Brunel Road area of Nailsea.
From the Trendlewood area a Bengal cat named Alfie has uncharacteristically spent two or three nights on the tiles.

Alfie is microchipped.

Milo has been missing since Wednesday, August 8.

He is a mix of tabby and white.

His owners live near the Sawyers pub in Nailsea and are offering a reward of £100 for any information that leads to him being found.

Email emilygill2@hotmail.com with any sightings.

All ask if people could check their sheds and garages, just in case.

MISSING

MISSING

MISSING

FOUND

FOUND

found

found

For sale Doggy Popcorn

People love their pets and for a special treat Aaron Pets is now selling popcorn for pooches!

Doggy Popcorn is being stocked at the Station Road, Nailsea, store along with other pet food, treats and accessories. 

According to The Statistics Portal 45 per cent of UK households have a pet.

The most popular pet is a dog with 26 per cent of people owning one.

The least owned common pet type is mice, with just 0.03 per cent of the population owning one.

Cats (18 per cent) are rated second in the popularity list followed by rabbits (two per cent), guinea pigs and hamsters both at one per cent.

Tortoises, turtles, lizards, snakes, chickens, horses, rats, ferrets, gerbils, spiders, pigeons, frogs and toads appeal to less than one per cent of the pet loving populace.

You can buy everything for your dog from specialised food, clothing, leads, beds and carriers, training aids to treats.

But be warned there is a long list of things you should never give your dog to eat or drink including alcohol, avocado, chocolate, coffee and caffeine, citrus fruits, coconut, grapes, raisins and certain nuts, milk and dairy products, onions, garlic, chives, raw/undercooked meat, eggs and bones, salt and salty snack foods and Xylitol a sweetener used in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste, yeast dough

Nailsea Patio Supplies is looking for someone to work a few hours daily with its rescued animals and poultry.

It has ponies, donkeys, goats and alpacas on its field at Station Approach between Nailsea and Backwell.

Duties would including mucking out, feeding, grooming and exercising the ponies.

Text Sandra Marshall on 0783 118 7240 for more details.

JUDGES ANNOUNCMENT: Holly Hedge general manager Sarah Schranz and Bristol City former goal keeper and coach David Coles. David will kindly be bringing along some signed football goods the fantastic raffle. Tickets £1 each available on the day and beforehand at Long Ashton Post Office and the community centre

Save the date

Dog dies from deadly infection at Clevedon

 

Pet owners have been put on alert after a dog from Clevedon died from a deadly bacterial infection.

In a statement, Vets4Pets, which is based at the Pets at Home store in Hither Green, said: “We’re very sad to report that we have had a confirmed fatality due to Leptospirosis.

“Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria that are spread in the urine and faeces of infected animals or infected water.

“It is zoonotic which means it can spread to humans by contact and ingestion of infected urine and faeces.”

Humans can catch leptospirosis if soil or freshwater containing infected pee gets in to the mouth, eyes or a cut or if contact is made with an infected animal’s blood or flesh.

Symptoms in humans include headaches, feeling sick, aching muscles and joints, red eyes or a loss of appetite.

If left untreated, leptospirosis can cause swollen ankles, feet or hands, chest pain and a shortness of breath.

"This is a condition that can be vaccinated against with an annual booster vaccination, which greatly reduces the risk of your dog contracting the condition or recovering if they do contract it."

Lost but found

 

Wisp is a newcomer to Nailsea and in her first few days living at Trendlewood Way she sent walkabouts. We are happy to report she have been found and is back home with her owners. Amy Evans raised the alarm on Nailsea People Facebook page on behalf of her brother who owns the cat. Happy ending.

Aarons Pets at 121 Station Road, Nailsea has lots of Christmas items in stock.

Included in the range are Christmas jumpers and festive stockings for precious pooches.

To learn more go to www.aaronspets.co.uk.

The shop also sells feed, toys, bedding and accessories for all pets including dogs, cats, fish, poultry, .

STOP PRESS: Distressed Bengal-type cat spotted at Backwell lake on Wednesday morning , November 22, with green collar - contact Golden Valley vets if it is your pet. Original Facebook posting below with request to share, photograph for illustrative purposes only

LOST BUT SPOTTED

Merlin is still missing from the Woodland Road area, Nailsea and owner Cassie Brake is offering a reward for his safe return.

Cassie said: “He was last seen on Tuesday, October 24.

“Can everyone please look in garages and outbuildings. 

“The silver and black spotted male has been chipped so if anyone sees him please take him to the vets or contact us ASAP. 

“He has a habit of getting into people’s cars so I worry he could be anywhere.

“Merlin is a much loved pet, we really need him found.“

Please share, thank you and thank you everyone so far for all the help.”

UPDATE; Merlin has potentially been sighted on Silver Street and near Grove Junior School - Cassie said: "Please keep your eye out!! And if you think it’s him grab him, keep him safe and call us." 

MISSING

Amber Walters has been looking for her cat since Friday morning, November 3.

She said: "We believe he may be hiding somewhere from the fireworks or trapped somewhere.

"He cannot meow due to health conditions and is on regular medication which we haven't been able to give him.

"He is a very loving and friendly cat and loves people making a fuss of him, he also loves his food.

"People please take your time to look in your garages, sheds and houses as he is a regular visitor at some of our neighbours houses.

Jake is chipped and was last seen on Friday night at the Royal Oak pub which is quite far from his Rock Avenue home near Nailsea Social Club.

Amber added: "We are really worried about him now.

"He is in and out the house all the time so this is very out of character for him."

REUNITED

Neil Hedger was out trick or treating with his family in the Brendon Gardens/Earlsfield area of Nailsea when he first came across this little kitten.

Despite their scary Halloween garb the small ginger cat followed the family home.

And then he ran into their house where he has been ever since.

Luckly after a bit of door knocking kitten and owner have been reunited.

RETURNED

Squidge is home after being missing since August.

Owner Sharon Rutter siad: "I just want to say thank you for everyone who helped me in the search for my girl squidge after 12 long weeks she finally came home looking very healthy and chubby and clean."

Squidge was our longest missing cat.

The much loved pet went missing despite being chipped and spayed and was last seen with no collar as it keeps being removed.

The brown tabby with white paws and chest was much missed.

FOUND

Sophia Jones' missing cat Pippin finally came home after being missing for nearly three weeks.
The three year old male cat is chipped but wasn't wearing a collar went he went walkabouts from Chancel Close, Nailsea. 
Sophie said: “Thanks everyone who looked out for our cat Pippin.

"He came home very hungry but otherwise fine.

"I really wish he could tell us where he's been."

Animal friendly Sunday Funday

North Somerset branch of the RSPCA is hosting  a fun day with lots of things going on at Brent Knoll on Sunday, September 17 noon-4pm.

They have lots of stalls, games, bouncy castle, refreshments and crazy golf.
There will be animals too - from our own resident cats and dogs that you can see on the way round but to visiting animals from Avon Owls and some llamas!
There will also be agility displays with our own staff and resident rescue dogs!
Admission is adults £2, children 50p and under 5s free.

Dog star auditions for Legally Blonde musical

Is your dog a budding stage star?

The Bristol Hippodrome are looking for local pooches to play the role of Rufus when the National Tour of Legally Blonde comes to Bristol in October.

The smash hit musical based on the best loved movie follows beautiful and popular sorority sister Elle Woods who loves to be pampered and is passionate about pink.

When she is dumped by her boyfriend Warner Huntingdon III for a more serious girlfriend she puts down the credit cards and picks up the books. Packing up her trusty pooch, Bruiser, she bags herself a place at the prestigious Harvard Law School to try and win him back.

Along the way Elle meets Paulette and together they fight to get Paulette’s 'precious baby Rufus' back from her ex-boyfriend.

Could your pawsome dog raise the ruff of The Bristol Hippodrome?

Do they meet the following dogteria?

  • A British Bulldog: We are looking for a British Bulldog. We are open to other breeds, but they need to have that look about them. Fairly bullish and robust.

  • Temperament: Relaxed, laid back, good with people and enjoys a good fuss.

  • Responsive to commands: By this I mean if your dog responds to ‘come here’, ‘sit’ and doesn’t just wander off doing its own thing.

  • Tricks: If your lovable brute has any, we would love to see them. If they’re skills are good enough we could end up using them in the show!

  • Experience: Although absolutely not essential, if your dog has some form of stage experience it will be a huge bonus

If you feel your dog matches these criteria, we would love to receive your application by Monday, July 10, for our doggy auditions at Hotel Du Vin on Saturday, July 22.

For more information or to apply email David Barrett on djebarrett@hotmail.co.uk

BARK IN THE PARK: Fun dog show raised £700 on Saturday boosted by a £200 donation from Long Ashton FC. Dog show judge Monty Halls pictured in white shirt was accompanied by wife Tamsyn Smith and their daughters. Afterwards Monty went to Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary to officially open the new kennels. The fabulous event was organised by Jenny Green despite still recovering from a major operation just nine weeks beforehand.

PHOTOS: Jacqui Nelson

Fun dog show with famous pet person

Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary is a charity which rescues and rehomes unwanted, abandoned and often mistreated cats and dogs.

It receives no funding from the government or National Lottery and rely on the generosity and goodwill of our supporters to keep its kennel and cattery doors open.

It costs approximately £616,000 every year to run – that's more than £1,687 each and every single day.

It rescues and rehomes 800 animals each year finding loving and responsible new homes for each and every one of them.

No animal is put to sleep unless advised that it is in their best interest to do so by a veterinary surgeon, a decision is never taken lightly.

Patron Monty Halls is a TV broadcaster, explorer and marine biologist who has been invited to Bark In The Park on Saturday, July 1, at Long Ashton.

Bow wow for Tesco 

 

Tesco Nailsea is supporting Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary which rescues and rehomes unwanted, abandoned and often mistreated cats and dogs.

The charity at Barrrow Gurney receives no funding from the government or National Lottery and relies on the generosity and goodwill of supporters to keep its kennel and cattery doors open.

It costs approximately £475,000 every year to run – that's more than £1,330 each and every single day.

Tesco Nailsea put up a stall at its entrance with information boards and then several staff members went on a fact-finding tour of the facilities at Wild Country Lane.

Tesco community champion Hayley Watson who was part of the six supermarket team who went to Holly Hedge said: "We spent four hours helping out sweeping up and cuddling the animals and on our tour we were accompanied by Rosie, a Jack Russell/pug cross who lives at the rescue centre."

Saturday, March 25, is the last day to donate and when people from Holly Hedge will be in the 'bagging area' rattling collection tins and collecting donated pet stuff.

Its next fund rasiing event is a fashion show at Long Ashton Community Centre at Keedwell Hill, on Friday, April 7, 7.30-10pm.

Holly Hedge also has a charity shop at 87-89 High Street, Kings Court, Nailsea.

High Street move for vets

Watkins & Tasker Veterinary Group has relocated its Nailsea practice into a larger purpose-designed building a few doors down from its previous property.

The new Nailsea practice which opened on Monday, February  27, is nearly half the size again of the old surgery and waiting room and offers:

  • Segregated cat, dog and small furry/exotic waiting areas;

  • Separate cat ward with procedure room designed to Cat Friendly Clinic Scheme gold standard;

  • Four consult rooms including a cat only consult room and quiet room;

  • Quiet space for small furry patients such as rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets;

  • Imaging suite with digital x-ray and ultrasound;

  • Isolation ward;

  • State of the art operating theatre;

  • Improved staff facilities; and

  • Fully accessible client areas including toilet.

Watkins & Tasker vet partner Liz Watkins said: "This is a really exciting expansion for the veterinary group, and one which should have far-reaching benefits for our current clients, plus potential new clients, and their pets.  

"We had outgrown our current building; the services we wanted to offer were restricted purely by space.  

"It has been another large investment for the company but the opportunity arose and we couldn’t turn it down.”

The move at Nailsea follows on from the successful relocation of the Portishead practice, in November 2015, which has recently won the National Veterinary front-of-house award for its reception and waiting areas.

Vet Steve Tasker said: “Having carried out several moves into various buildings during the past 15 years, we knew what worked and the sense of brightness and space that we have at Portishead was something we were keen to recreate at the new Nailsea practice.

"Adding in such things as the ‘Vet Pod’, an area where vets can write up notes in the heart of the practice and looking carefully at processes has meant we have another great building.”

With the recent hiring of an additional full time vet, taking the number of vets employed by the Group to 10, the number of available appointments will also increase.

With two out of the three practices having moved so recently, Liz added “We have plans to make some minor improvements to the Yatton branch in the summer but as our longest established practice we are happy where we are.”

The lease on the old building has been relinquished back to the landlord. 

For further information on Watkins & Tasker Veterinary Group and its practices in Nailsea, Yatton and Portishead click HERE visit or email vets@watkins-tasker-vets.co.uk 

High Street move for vets

Watkins & Tasker Veterinary Group is moving this month into the old Nailsea Bookshop property a few doors down from its current High Street surgery at number 69.

Nailsea  is closed this week while it relocates to othe new building but pet owners can use the Yatton and Portishead surgeries where addittional appointments have been allocated.

Call 01934 833685 or 01275 397449 for more information.

Zoe’s £100k legacy for canine cancer research

Cancer is one of the common causes of death in dogs, with one in four dogs predicted to get cancer at some point in their lifetime.

These dogs may now have a brighter future thanks to an unprecedented £100,000 raised by the Zoe’s Journey UK campaign to help research cancer in dogs.

Never has veterinary and scientific research charity, the Animal Health Trust, been the beneficiary of such an amazing – and committed – online campaign, created by a group of Golden Retriever owners.

In 2013 Zoe, a Golden Retriever, was diagnosed with Lymphoma. 

Her owner, Jayne May, of Nailsea, had managed to spot then 12-year-old Zoe’s swollen glands immediately and Zoe was taken straight to her vet, Steve Tasker, for assessment.

 Zoe was promptly started on chemotherapy treatment which she responded incredibly well to, despite her age, and was very soon in remission.

Less than two years later, at 14 years old, she was given a clean bill of health for a dog of her age - she had beaten cancer.

While Zoe was battling cancer she became somewhat of a Facebook star between Golden Retriever owners.

Her story gave thousands hope that their dogs could too have a chance if they were diagnosed with cancer.

In January 2015 Zoe’s Journey UK was born, a dedicated online fundraising group to raise money to help research cancer in dogs.

The popularity of this group has gone from strength to strength over the years, supported by celebrity, Mark Labbett, ‘The Beast’ from ITV’s The Chase.

The campaign has now reached the incredible £100,000 milestone - split over two Just Giving pages, one about Golden Retrievers and one about Boxers.

The ambitious target set in August 2016, four months after Zoe sadly passed away peacefully in her sleep from natural causes. Zoe was aged 14 and a half and cancer-free.

Jayne, founder of the campaign, said: “Zoe’s Legacy now lives on in Lucie, her daughter.

“Zoe’s Journey UK exists to improve the future for dogs who are diagnosed with cancer as today, not all of them make it.

“In the future, only through breakthroughs in research, will they have a much better chance.

“We need to reduce the odds of one in four dogs getting cancer, before that awful statistic starts getting higher.

“£100,000 will help researchers at the Animal Health Trust do this.

“£100,000 may even lead to a discovery in dogs that could help humans too, to fight cancer.

“Together, we can – and must - make a difference. Dogs give us so much, we have to help protect them, and help them live the healthiest lives possible.”

The AHT’s research takes several different approaches - in the clinic and in the lab - to help dogs fight cancer.

By combining veterinary and scientific expertise, its aim is to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer for dogs all around the world.

AHT molecular oncology research head Dr Mike Starkey said: “This incredible fundraising campaign is a huge boost to my team’s work.

“Cancer research in dogs, compared to cancer research in humans, has been under-funded.

“Now, thanks to Zoe’s Journey UK, we know that we have the funds in place to help support our work at the Animal Health Trust for the next two years at least, which is making a massive difference to our research.

“There are approximately 200 different types of cancer that affect dogs and we’re currently researching five of the most common malignant cancers to gain a better understanding of how they develop, how they spread and how they respond to treatment, in order to help dogs live healthier and happier lives and to help vets better diagnose, manage and control cancer in their patients.”

“We’re really grateful to Jayne and everyone that has supported Zoe’s Journey UK for all of their hard work, kindness and continued support.

”A lot of our research projects are in the early stages, but we’re really excited about where this money can help us get to, for the future health of countless dogs.”

Peter the runaway puss

Meet Peter, the handsome Bengal with a serious case of wanderlust!

This cuddly cat who looks like an exotic jungle tiger loves to roam.

In 2010 after being missing for two years he was found in Leominster, a market town in Herefordshire, which is more than 75 miles from his Nailsea home.
He regularly wanders around North Somerset making friends with farms and families along the way.

His collar tag helps bring him home but as he proved when he was brought into Golden Valley Vets earlier - he’s good at losing that...

Thank goodness he’s microchipped.

Only two per cent of unchipped missing cats make it home, compared to 58 per cent of microchipped cats being reunited with their families. 

Wherever Peter chooses to roam next, we can rest assured his ‘chip’ will get him home again.

Golden pawprint for pets

A bighearted Nailsea fundraiser is set to raise £100,000 for an animal charity with the help of  a television quiz champion from The Chase.

Taxi driver Jayne May has for the past 18 months has been raising funds for the Animal Health Trust (AHT) after her golden retriever called Zoe beat the odds to overcome cancer.

She initially aimed to raised £5,000 but hugely exceeded expectations and has now received more than £60,000 for AHT.

The facts: One in four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10

 

However, she has now teamed up with Mark Labbett – known as The Beast on the popular daytime quiz show – in an effort to reach the £100,000 milestone.

The renamed campaign, Zoe Brings It Home, was launched tjos August 23 with the help of Mark and the veterinary team at Watkins and Tasker which saved Zoe’s life when she was 13 years old.

Jayne said: “Launching the £100k campaign is unbelievable; I never thought we would raise so much.

“I am so grateful and proud of my group who have made this possible and thank every one of them.

“It is so important for the future of dogs as far as cancer is concerned.

"A lot of people don’t even know that dogs get cancer, and it’s a big problem.

“On our Facebook group, it seems as if dogs are dying of cancer every week and it’s devastating.

“Losing a dog is never easy but if it’s a young dog who has lost its life to cancer, that’s just not right and we need to do something about it.

"Some dogs are fortunate enough to beat cancer, but as in humans, there are no guarantees.

“As an owner, you’re trying so hard to do the right thing by your dog and can feel so helpless.

“My Zoe survived cancer, and it’s only through research that we can find out what makes some dogs different and harness this to one day protect more dogs from cancer.

"Also, any advances made in cancer research in dogs can also have benefits for humans, so it’s even more crucial that we work together to help man’s best friend fight this horrible disease.”

Mark Labbett has a young golden retriever called Baloo.

He said: “Dogs give you so much, it’s important that we’re able to offer them the very best treatment when they need it, and in order to do that, as with humans, you depend on advances being made through scientific research.

“This is a really worthwhile cause and it’s just amazing what they’re trying to achieve.”

More than 600 Golden Retriever lovers have united to fight cancer in their beloved pets under Zoe’s Journey UK.   
In just over a year, more than £58,000 has been raised and the committed group show no signs of slowing down.

In the words of the founder, Jayne May, they want to 'kick canine cancer’s butt'.  

Unfortunately, for some breeds, like Golden Retrievers, cancer seems to pose a higher risk.

The Animal Health Trust is the only UK charity with a dedicated canine cancer research team and it is putting the Zoe’s Journey UK funds towards a new research project into lymphoma, the cancer Zoe had, which is the most common canine cancer.

The donation has also supported on-going research at the charity to develop a new prognostic test for vets treating dogs with mast cell tumours, the most common type of skin cancer in dogs.   
The charity also has state-of-the-art facilities for treating dogs with cancer in its purpose-built Cancer Centre and trains vets wanting to specialise in veterinary oncology.  
Sadly, Zoe, Jayne’s inspiration behind the campaign, passed away of old age at the beginning of April.

She was almost 15 years old and free from cancer. Zoe remains the inspiration for many and leaves a lasting legacy behind her - helping to improve the lives of several other dogs in this important fight against cancer.   

MISSING PET APPEAL: There have been reports of this dog being seen at Backwell Lake but we think the person is mistaken and it is a local pet. Email Nailsea People or  use contact form on page 2 or details on poster to get in touch  

New kennels for Holly Hedge

Holly Hedge animal sanctuary down a country lane near Nailsea is fundraising to build new kennels.

The latest event is a VE Day-style party with a fantastic swing band.

For more details and to buy £12 tickets click HERE.
The rescue centre at Wild Country Lane, Barrow Gurney, takes in unwanted and abandoned dogs, cats and some small furries such as rats, rabbits,  guinea pigs and the occasion ferrets!

It re-homes approximately 800 rescues a year. 

It has planning permission to build to replace its current antiquated, crumbling, draughty and inadequate kennelling but needs to raise £650,000.

If you would like to help pop in the Nailsea charity shop at Unit 1, 87/89 High Street, Kings Court or get a fundraising pack by emailing katie@hollyhegde.org.uk or call us on 01275 474719.

Cool for dogs advice

Summer is coming and Golden Valley vets are warning about heatstroke for dogs.

This little dog called Katie is wearing a 'cool coat'.

Animals do not have efficient cooling systems (like humans who sweat) and get overheated easily.

A dog with moderate heatstroke can recover within an hour if given prompt first aid and veterinary care. Severe heatstroke can damage internal organs, making it deadly and immediate veterinary help is needed.

Dogs can get heatstroke if left in cars, even with windows open, in as little as 10 minutes.

They can also get heatstroke out on a walk!

Lack of shade and water or over exertion can make a warm day unbearable, especially for dogs with long coats or who struggle pant and regulate properly such as pugs and french bulldogs like Katie.
Signs to look for include: rapid panting; bright red tongue, red or pale gums, thick, sticky saliva, depression, weakness and vomiting.

But it's not all bad news!

A few simple steps can help prevent heatstroke.

NEVER leave your dog in a car, even for a few minutes.

Take a bottle of water and collapsible bowl out on walks and if your dog is panting hard or looks tired, find a shady spot to take a break.

Shorter walks or walking early in the morning or late evening can also help. 
A cool coat like Katie is modelling is also a great tip- they are soaked in water and put on your dog before they go out and about.

As the water evaporates it help keeps your dog cool and can be simply re-wetted with a bottle of water.

These coats can be easily found online or at your nearest pet shop.

Amazon sell them at £39.

If you have any questions about heatstroke or are worried your dog may have overheated, call Golden Valley Veterinary Hospital anytime on 01275 852552

SASSY- found
LILY - still missing
MILLY- found
POLLY - found
OLLIE - still missing

Lost and found pussy cats

 

IIt was a scary weekend at Nailsea with lots of felines getting lost or going walkabouts.

The first reported missing to Nailsea People Facebook page was a precious black cat called Milly.

Nearly 10,000 people read the Facebook plea to look for Milly with 96 people sharing with family and friends.

Luckily after three days Milly was found locked in a shed.

Vicky Furlong told us that Milly was her dad's cat who she has been looking after since he died three years to the day that she went missing.

Vicky said at the time: “Milly went missing from the Strawberry Close area of Nailsea.

“She is black with a bald lump above her right eye so is very obvious even from a distance.

“Please check anything and anywhere a cat could get shut in and ask everyone you know who lives in this area to do the same.

“She is so loved and missed and very special to the family.”

Thankfully this story had a happy ending as after a long and anxious weekend looking Vicky was able to say: “Milly came back after being locked in a shed at the bottom of my road for three days.

“Thank you everyone for your messages, help and sharing.

“It shows how nice people can be to others even if they don't know you.”

But how did the other cats fare?

Well with news that a well-meaning old man living at the bottom of Union Street was feeding what he deemed to be ‘stray cats’ even going as far as re-housing one young cat people everyone got fearful.

But the biggest worry was a repeat of the ‘anti-freeze’ poisoning episode last summer when many pets were found dead.

Thankfully this proved unfounded.

Then Polly a playful six-year-old rescue cat went missing from Goss Lane.

She came home pretty sharpish after owner Bethan Smith appealed for help finding her – 665 people read her plea.

Then there was another report of lost and found story when a timid kitten cat called Sassy went missing on Friday evening from Union Street and black and white puss called Lily was lost from Blandford Close.

After hundreds of hits owner Jamie-Lee Mason posted: “Sassy has just strolled home!

“Thank you all for sharing.”

But a report by Sue Kathleen Ford said; “On the weekend a black and white cat looking like Lily was outside our house in Ploughed Paddock.

“Our neighbour has a black and white cat which is much fatter and a male.“

At first I thought it was our neighbour's cat but realised it wasn't as this cat was much smaller.

“It was timid and would not let me stroke her. “I don't want to get your hopes up but I thought I should mention it.

“I hope you find her and will keep my eyes open.”

Lily is still lost.

And then to add to the list Sarah Louise posted; “Our 14 month old boy Ollie is missing from Tickenham Stone Edge Batch just up across fields from fire station at Tickenham.

Ollie was wearing a red collar on with two bells on it when he went missing more than a fortnight ago.He is still missing and his owner is distraught.

So people we are still looking for Ollie and Lily - email nailseapeople@gmail.com with any news or go to our FB page. 

  • Also while British Rail look for the owner of the bulldog pictured right we heard of a missing cream coloured pooch getting lost on the outskirts of Tickenham - wating for update... 

OLLIE - still missing

Zoe never forgotten

 

A treasured dog whose story has inspired hundreds to fundraise for the Animal Health Trust has sadly passed away.

Zoe, beloved pet of the May family, was nearly 15 years old and had battled and overcome lymphoma.

Zoe recently passed away in her sleep but her legacy will never be forgotten.

Fourteen months ago Zoe’s Journey UK was created by Zoe’s mum, Jayne May, and to date more than £50,000 has been raised in Zoe’s name for cancer research in dogs.

In addition to this amazing achievement, just a few weeks ago Zoe appeared on the biggest dog show in the world and joined Clare Balding on ‘the Crufts sofa’, getting the Zoe’s Journey UK message out to millions as well as sparking an important conversation about cancer research in dogs and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

Zoe has helped to pave a brighter future for all dogs fighting cancer through increased awareness and funds generated by the amazing campaign, Zoe's Journey UK.

Her bold personality, naughty streak and endless energy will be missed by many, but most of all her family who we are thinking of at this sad time.

Read more onine at Zoe's Journey UK and the support given by Steve Tasker of Watkins & Tasker Vet Group at Nailsea by clicking HERE

Nailsea vets in top 4 

 

Golden Valley Vets is 'outstanding' and that's official.

The veterinary hospital at Nailsea Park has achieved two top ratings for its customer and In-patient service from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

The Nailsea vets is one of only four practices in the country to achieve this status.  

The RCVS inspector reported that Golden Valley Vets were ‘overall a most impressive practice’ adding ‘I gained an overall impression of a...well-motivated team committed to providing the highest standards of care to their patients'. 

Golden Valley Vets has had the highest level of accreditation under the RCVS practice standards scheme for nearly 50 years so were keen to test themselves against the standards of the very latest awards which focus more on how well they do for their clients and less on facilities.  

The client service award covers all the areas that any client using the practice could experience for themselves while the in-patient service award look more at the behind the scenes care and attention - things not in the public eye. Golden Valley Vets clinical director David Holmes said: "For or us to achieve outstanding in both categories is a fantastic and a true reflection of the level of skill, care and 

commitment provided by the whole team for our clients pets.

"We all have our own pets and this is the standard of care and attention we would want them to receive, so why would we give less to our clients?" 

Judged in a similar way to the Ofsted reports ‘outstanding’ is the highest standard possible and Golden Valley vets dropped only few points in a couple of categories so clearly merited the award.  

Free microchipping for dogs

 

Dog owners are being offered the chance to microchip their dog for free before it becomes compulsory next month.

But the offers is not for Nailsea but neighbouring towns so if you don't want to pay you and your pet will have to travel!

From Wednesday, April 6, it will become law to microchip and register a dog.

Owners who fail to do this could face prosecution.

North Somerset Council is holding a series of events on its MAVIS (multi-agency vehicle in service) bus where people can bring their dog along for a free microchip.

The events will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, March 22, 10.30am-3.30pm, Princess Square, Weston-super-Mare;

  • Tuesday, March 29, 10.30am-3.30pm, Salthouse Fields, Clevedon; and

  • Tuesday, April 5, 10.30am-3.30pm, The Lake Grounds, Portishead.

Dog owners are invited to turn up with their dog – there is no need to book an appointment.

Alternativel if you wanted it done locally Golden Valley veterinary hospital at Nailsea Park charge approximately £20 for the service.

All 01275 852552 to make an appointment.

Puppy, Beginners and Intermediate Classes at the Atrium, Nailsea School, Mizzymead Road on  Monday and Thursday evenings

 

For further information and bookings contact Louise Perry

 

by emailing

mutleys.northsomerset@gmail.com

 

alternatively call  

0747 119 9380

 

or go online at www.mutleysdogtraining.co.uk

No cases of killer dog disease reported in North Somerset

 

Despite reports to the contary on social media there are no confirmed cases of Alabama rot affecting dogs in North Somerset at this time.

Vets Watkins & Tasker treated a dog with 'cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy' two years ago.

This animal caught the disease while on holiday in Cornwall.

Other than that the nearest known cases were at Matlock, Somerset.

And a spokesman for Golden Valley vets at Nailsea Park said: "We have not seen any suspected cases at this point but if you are concerned, do not hesitate to call us."

Alabama rot is of unknown cause that affects dogs causing skin lesions and kidney damage.

It is thought to be caused by toxins excreted by bacteria but the exact cause and transmission of disease is still unknown.

Although Alabama rot can be very serious if not treated promptly, the number of confirmed cases in the UK remains low compared to other serious canine diseases.

Owners should be vigilant but at the time of writing the last confirmed case in the Bristol/North Somerset area was in March 2014, say Watkins & Tasker who have a surgery at High Street, Nailsea

So what can dog owners do?

Regularly check for sores or lesions on your dogs skin, paws or any signs of lethargy or illness.

Wash off mud from your dog after woodland walks.

Although an environmental correlation has not been confirmed it would be wise to keep skin clean of any bacteria and enable you to check for early signs of Alabama Rot lesions.If you see a dog licking any skin lesions, ulcers or sores not caused by a known injury, call for an appointment without delay.

While most cases will NOT be Alabama rot, rapid treatment can prevent irreversible kidney damage if it is diagnosed.

Reports or social media - see below - that a dog at Leigh Wood was affected have since been denied and it is thought the canine came from Leigh in Yorkshire.

Between November 2012 and May 2015, 56 dogs in the UK have been confirmed with Alabama Rot.

Pet's festive pantry 

 

Tis the season for pets eating things they shouldn't!
Here is a festive warning from the vets at Golden Valley: "In the last couple of weeks we've seen lots of pets who have eaten potentially poisonous things, including a few repeat offenders just days after their first trip to hospital. 

"This year we're particularly seeing chocolate poisonings; we saw two cases in one day in the weeks leading up to Christmas alone! Both of these dogs had eaten well over the toxic dose. 

"We thought we'd give you a handy reminder of what to keep out of reach this christmas- not just up on surfaces but ideally in cupboards...we all know how sneaky pets can be.

"Have a safe and happy Christmas and don't forget we're always here, call 01275 85255 asap if you're concerned your pet may have had access to any of the above; the sooner we can treat the better."


CHOCOLATE: Including those on the tree! Best to hang these at the top or keep them hidden away and hand them out later.
 

RAISINS AND GRAPES: Mince pies, Christmas pudding... dangers hidden everywhere.
 

TINSEL: And other decorations make very attrative toys but if eaten they can cause a dangerous obstruction, possibly leading to surgery. Make sure your Christmas tree is secure and pets are supervised at all times.
 

COOKED BONES AND FATTY FOODS: Cooked bones can shatter, making them very sharp and if swallowed can get stuck in the throat or intestines. Fatty foods can cause serious tummy upsets so care if you plan to share your christmas dinner. A bit of plain chicken or turkey and some vegetables makes a safe and tasty treat.
 

NUTS: Certain nuts, including macadamia nuts can be toxic to dogs. Take care to keep all snacks out the way of your furry friends.
 

ONIONS: This vegetable is toxic to cats; avoid treating with food containing these, including stuffing.

Pets corner

 – including local vets

 

Aaron Pets

121 Station Road, Nailsea, BS48 1TA

Tel: 01275 852030

 

Dogs Palace

98-100 Hgh Street, Nailsea BS48 1AH

Tel: 01275 541438

 

Equicraft

Station Road

Backwell BS48 3HW

Tel: 01275 463933

 

Golden Valley Vets

Nailsea Park

Nailsea BS48 1BD

Tel: 01275 852552

 

Pets Corner

Unit 2 , 6 Hannah More Road, Nailsea

BS48 4RZ

Tel: 01275 858197

 

Watkins & Tasker Veterinary Group

69 High Street

Nailsea BS48 1AW

Tel: 01275 858628

Missing Meg is found

 

Police dog Meg was found safe and well after going missing for more than two days.

She was taken to Golden Valley veterinary hospital at Nailsea for a check-up.

A Golden Valley spokesman said: “For those of you following the story of missing trainee police dog Meg, we are pleased to announce that she has been found.

“She's been in for a check-up and apart from a few stitches she's doing well, definitely glad to be back home with her handler.

“Huge thanks to everyone who shared the post or reported a sighting of her.

“Who doesn't love a happy ending.”

The seven-month-old Belgian Malinois – which is a short-haired lean version of the Belgian Shepherd dog and is the same size as a greyhound – escaped from her handler home.

With a black muzzle, black ears and has a short haired coat which is foxy brown in colour and wearing a distinctive red collar police put out a ‘missing dog’ alert. 

Meg is currently undergoing assessment for use as a general purpose police dog and being looked after by police dog trainer and instructor Lee Webb who keeps her at his Clevedon home. 

Meg escaped on Friday morning from the Kenn Moor Drive area of Clevedon. 

With a reported sighting in the fields at Tickenham landowners and farmers were asked to keep a lookout for Meg.

And Lee posted flyers and took to social media to appeal for help.

Dogs Palace

walks

 

Dogs Palace is moving back to Portishead.

The High Street dog grooming shop opened with a big fanfare at Nailsea in October 2006.

For 12 months previous it has been renting an old outbuilding at Portishead.

Established since 2005 and boasting more than 1,000 customers the announcement has come as a shock to many pet owners.

Owner Carolyn Price said the business will close in Nailsea on Saturday, September 5, for the relocation.

She said the lease is up on the Nailsea premises.

The Portishead property was a bridal shop.

New home for police horses and hounds

 

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has bought the equestrain centre at Clevedon to house its mounted police and dogs teams.

The Hand Equestrian Centre at Davis Lane was closed due for financial reasons in December 2014.

It was put on the market with a price tag of £950,000.

The agreed sum has not been disclosed but the sale of the 12.5-acre site is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.

The police’s current base in Bower Ashton near Bristol will close as a result.

Avon and Somerset police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the constabulary to move into a state-of-the-art facility which will enhance the public order training for police officers and potentially others across the region.

"It will also provide a better environment for both their staff and animals.

"The police has for some time been telling me the current base in Bower Ashton no longer offers the flexibility needed, and it is also in need of considerable repair.

“By moving into this base it will give us a modern facility fit for the 21st century, improve the training the police can do and offer more opportunities to work with partners and our regional colleagues.”

The site was bought in 2007 by businessman Nick Davies, who spent millions of pounds upgrading the facilities, which were used by a number of top-level horse-riding organisations including the British Show Jumping Association.

The Olympic-approved venue, which boasts two outdoor arenas, a grandstand and 68 stables, was also known for hosting regular car boot sales on Saturdays and events including Zero to Hero white collar boxing.

Straight from horses mouth

 

Just down the road from Nailsea at Bower Ashton is the home of Avon & Somerset Constabulary mounted and dog section.

Here North Somerset officers train their dogs and horse.

You wouldn’t think a nine foot bobby weighing ¾ tonne, travelling at five to 10mph would have an advantage over high speed police vehicles would you?

But the officers from the mounted police section would tell you otherwise.

They consider it a privilege to ride our 17 hands plus, Bay or Black Geldings as part of their working day.

PC Ted Grabowski has been an officer in the mounted section for 18 years and a total of 32 years in the police force.

He tells us about life as an officer on hoof with his horse Lewis.

He recalls a routine beat at St Pauls, Bristol: “A high value Mercedes had been stolen overnight and all city traffic units were out looking for it.

"We came across the car with two suspects inside at traffic lights.

"They saw us and they sped off at 60mph.

"With our extensive local knowledge we were able to take short cuts though side roads and back lanes and although only travelling at 10mph, we managed to recover the vehicle and arrest one man.”

Roles within the mounted section are highly competitive and don’t come around very often.

Ted said: “The role differs greatly to any other job in the force, you are more visible, perceived to be unusual and the public are more likely to engage in conversation with you.

“Because we do travel at 5mph people are able to chat with us and tell us about their concerns or an incident that may have just occurred.

"The horses are a great icebreaker.”

The horses are deployed to areas of need to tackle both rural and urban crime.

Their size makes them more visible, able to peer over high walls, and garden fences; all the things an officer on foot or in a vehicle can’t do.

Ted said:: “We immediately make an impression and residents feel reassured, we calm the atmosphere and often deter criminal activity just by being there.

“I was always aiming for the mounted section.

"I learnt my skills as a PC and it took eight years from my first application to be successful in gaining a place with the horses.

"It’s highly competitive and not many people move on.

“The first thing I do at the start of my shift is to make sure my horse is fine-tuned like a Ferrari.

"Our shifts vary and we cover a 24hr clock.

"We could be covering the night time economy in Bristol City centre on a Friday or Saturday evening or we could be at a football match.

“Football matches and maintaining public order at events are a core part of our work.

"In 2013 there was derby match between Bristol City and Bristol Rovers.

"This was the first time in six years the fans had met and there were large numbers of known trouble makers in the crowds.

"Fans stormed the pitch at the end of the match; it took eight of our horses to clear the pitch by moving sideways to disperse the crowd.

"One horse is the equivalent to ten officers in a crowd situation.”

Traditionally, officers used to do the grooming and muck out the stables, now civilian groomers and stable hands are employed to assist with getting the horses ready.

They keep the yard tidy and ride the horses on the officer’s day off.

This means officers are free to focus on policing matters.

It may surprise you to know that not all police officers in the mounted section come from a horsing background.

The most important criteria is to be an experienced police officer.

Ted added: “You need to be a certain type of person to be here but it doesn’t mean non horsey types won’t make it.

"You can carve out a very good career.

"The last two officers recruited are not horse enthusiasts.”

"However, you do need to be physically fit and able to mount the horse from the ground unaided.

"New horses come to us on trial for four to six weeks.

"They are exercised in urban areas and other environments they are not normally conditioned to.

"Our experts assess whether they are suitable to join our ranks.

"When a horse is selected, they are given their own prestigious force name which means something to the area – we currently have Redland, St George, Quantock and Sedgemoor among others.

"Lewis is named after Lawrie Lewis, retired Head of Operations.

"The learning process continues after the horse joins us.

"All horses are matched to an officer and it takes time for them to learn to respond to their voice.

"There are three categories of horse and rider: standard, intermediate and advanced.

"Some horses’ manner means that they are categorised as standard throughout their career while others progress naturally to more complex situations.

"They are trained to help during riots and protests.

"Their training includes more challenging exercises such as jumping through rings of fire.

"Advanced horses can withstand more extreme situations, such as potentially stressful and noisy situations like football matches.

"We have 13 horses in total and they have one day off a week.

"They all have their own diary listing their activities, diet and health.

"Our horses retire in their late teens to early 20s and they tend to go to Horse World for the rest of their life.

"We often send them there for a holiday too.

"But until that time they enjoy life in the force and meeting members of the public.

“We often attend football events, areas that may need crowd control.

"Other times we take part in community engagement at a show or maybe in the city centre. I remember one time in the City; I had just dismounted to have a cuppa.

"I stood by my horse, paper cup in hand when a lady put a pound in my cup of tea!

"She thought I was collecting for charity.”

You can follow our horses on twitter @ASPoliceHorses.

One man and his dog

 

A 34-year-old man who sold all his worldly goods to go travelling on his bike with his faithful dog made a pit stop at Nailsea on Friday.

Former saleman Joshua Sivarajah thought there was more to life than working nine to five to pay the bills and this summer he made the monumental decision to opt out of the rat race.

But for Joshua leaving his dog behind wasn’t an option and with little money he made the big decision to fit a plank seat on the back of his two-wheeler and take Nero, aged four, along for the ride.

In just a few months the pair has covered from Cornwall to Scotland and will be heading to Europe next setting up their tent by the roadside on route.

Originally from Cambridge but having spent the past few years in the Bournemouth area Joshua decided it was time to seek new horizons.

Joshua said: “We set off in July with the intention of finding adventure.

“It’s not the destinations, it’s about the people, the memories, the surprises and living for those moments that takes your breath away.”

Camping in the grounds of a castle was one such experience when they were spooked by what Joshua swears was a ghost and another when a kind-hearted fellow cyclist dismantled his own bike to use bits as spare parts to mend a broken wheel for Joshua.

Joshua and Nero popped into Dogs Palace, the High Street holistic grooming spa for the collie to freshen up after days on the road and help owner Carolyn Price launch a Christmas appeal to help other animals.

Carolyn had rolled out the red carpet after seeing Joshua and Nero appear on local television earlier this week.

She said: "We have asked Joshua to come to Dogs Palace so we can help him by giving his dog a nice warm bubble bath.

"While Joshua and Nero were here we announced our Bark Box appeal for old or unwanted dog toys, collars or leashes, dog food, treats an owners dog doesn't like, dog beds, and/or blankets.

"This will be put together as gift boxes for homeless dogs during the next month then taken to the RSPCA Bristol Dogs & Cats Home just before Christmas.

"We hope to encourage people to drop their unwanted  'pre-loved dog items' into us at Dogs Palace where we will box it up and even wrap up any toys and treats ready for the unloved dogs at the home."

Joshua is documenting his journey with the hopes that in the future he may be able to pen a book on the lines of Marley & Me based on the memories of US writer John Grogan and his cantankerous yellow Labrador Retriever.

Nero on the other hand is amazingly good natured and well behaved even when being bathed by Carolyn and crew!  

CHRISTMAS APPEAL: Joshua and Nero were at Dogs Palace his week when they visited Nailsea High Street holistic grooming spa. Pictured left with owner Carolyn Price is Nero having a quick bath before launching the Christmas appeal for Bristol Dogs & Cats Home. Top and below are the Joshua and Nero on the road

Nailsea's top dog Tango

 

Who is a pretty boy and won the photo competition at a Nailsea pet shop – why it’s Tango, the collie.

Dogs Palace the High Street dog grooming spa, boutique and K9 cafe attracted lots of entries for its portrait competition.

Proud owner Rihanna Harmen collected the dog portrait prize and a free Santa pamper for her pet.

She passed on the free limo ride and opted for a second pamper for her other small Shetland sheepdog.

Owner Carolyn Price presented the prizes at the Nailsea salon.

On Friday midday the grooming store is entertaining a special visitor when Joshua Sivarajah of Nero And Me fame takes a break from his travels and pops in.

Joshua with his dog and his bike is busy travelling the around the UK spreading a message of joy and positivity to all mankind.

And on ruote he is helping people out wherever he goes.

Carolyn said: "We have asked Joshua to come to Dogs Palace so we can help him by giving his dog a nice warm bubble bath to get him all cleaned up  for the homeward bound journey.

"While Joshua and Nero are  here we will launch an appeal for old or unwanted dog toys, collars or leashes, dog food, treats their dog doesn't like, dog beds, and blankets.

"This will be put together asgift boxes for homeless dogs during the next month then taken to the RSPCA Bristol Dogs & Cats Home just before Christmas.

"We hope to encourage people to drop their unwanted  'pre-loved dogs items' into us Dogs Palace where we will box it up and even wrap up any toys and treats ready for the unloved dogs at the home."

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