the last person to want to stop people keeping pets and graduating
to more and more complex exotic creatures.
As a boy, this was the route I travelled. I remember precisely my
first mouse and his distinctive and not unpleasant smell.
He was followed by a tame green budgie, who laid mountains of eggs
and bit chunks out of any ear she could sidle up to.
My first hamster sired hundreds of babies and taught me all about
breeding patterns and varying fertility levels.
From there I moved on to tropical newts, tortoises, terrapins, snakes,
parakeets, love birds, diamond doves and so on, a pattern followed
by thousands of enthusiasts.
At every stage, with every species, I read all I could lay my hands
on. These days, there are books or booklets on virtually every pet
The array of toys and equipment is similarly mind-boggling, as are
the cages. There must now be a cage for hamster, rabbit or cage
bird to suit virtually any human household.
I am now collecting old cages as they are given to us at the Zoopark,
because I am sure they will turn into antiques in the future.
Home Comforts for Pensioner's Pets
trauma faced by the elderly of having to give up a beloved pet when
they move into a retirement home is, sadly, very common.
report in 1999 " Losing a Pet to Find a Home " by the Anchor
Trust, revealed that 38,400 pets were destroyed each year in the
UK because their owners had to move into homes.
the 526 veterinary practices surveyed, 76% said that they had put
animals to sleep because there was no-one to care for them.
it was against this background that I read about the " Waiting
for God " kennels in Thornton, near Kirkcaldy, Fife, the country's
first retirement home for old and unwanted dogs.
kennels were created by Mrs Ina Croyon , from Dunfermline
in memory of a friend, Mr George Carter , who died in November
Carter had always wanted to set up such a place. He donated some
land to Mrs Croyon and her husband in the hope that it would one
day be used for this purpose.
Croyon raised an additional £8,000 to help make his dream become
Carter used to run his own kennels with his wife Phyliss in Thornton,
where the new centre is situated, and devoted much of his life to
looking after and re-housing abandoned animals.
World of Pets
Welcome to the "WALTHAM World of Pet Care" - and everything you
ever wanted to know about owning and looking after dogs, cats,
fish and birds. WALTHAM (r) is the world's leading authority on
pet care and nutrition and is the science behind the world's leading
petcare brands such as Pedigree (r) and Whiskas (r).