Celia Hammond Animal Trust
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Rescue Stories
Animal Rescue Stories

Rescue Stories from our Kent, Sussex and London Shelters

Please be aware that you may find some of the stories/images on this page upsetting



A happy ending for Bagpuss...


At the end of May last year you operated on an elderly feral tom we brought to you, known in the neighbourhood as Bagpuss. He needed to have an infected eye removed, his teeth sorted plus abscesses treated and other problems. He was pretty close to dying.

He is still in our neighbourhood and now lives with an elderly man now who feeds and spoils him. He has put on weight and now has a shiny coat. We see him often as he wanders around. Definitely a success story.



Xena relaxing in her bed

Xena - a stray cat who had been hit by a car and suffered terrible injuries

Xena came in to our Lewisham clinic as a stray, having been hit by a car. She had terrible facial injuries and it was really touch and go as to whether she would make it.

She had to have an eye removed, her jaw wired, tongue stitched and skin wound stitched up. We put in a feeding tube as her mouth was too sore for her to eat.

Amazingly she made a great recovery and had her jaw wire removed and everything had healed really well. However, she was refusing to eat. She was hungry and would run to the food cupboard and meow at our staff members for food when they were making everyone's breakfast but would turn her nose up at everything. Our staff tried everything to get her to eat: pain relief in case she was sore, every type of fresh meat or fish, pâté, appetite stimulants, anti-nausea medication. Nothing was working and this went on for months!

Our veterinary staff were still feeding her via a tube in her oesophagus otherwise she would lose lots of weight. They were starting to despair and thought that maybe she had lost her sense of smell with her injuries. Then last weekend when one of our vets was on call they decided to try some acupuncture as a last resort. To their amazement 30 minutes after her first treatment she ate for the first time in 3 months!

At first she would just lick the food and only small amounts at a time. Our vet repeated the acupuncture, mainly putting the needles around her head and neck, a few days later and she has continued to improve. She is now eating like a horse and is so much happier in herself!



CHAT received a distressed call from a member of the public who had found a dog in starving condition, cowering under a bush in a park in South East London.

Two of our rescue workers went to collect the dog and were utterly shocked at his condition. On arrival at the clinic, he was immediately seen by our vets. A young adult male Staffordshire Bull terrier, estimated by his teeth to be around 3 years old, should weigh a minimum of 20Kg. Finn weighed 7.3Kg!

Finn was struggling to support his weight and was in a near collapsed state. Finn was put on a drip and is now being fed small frequent meals to gradually build his weight.

All animal charities in the London area are very concerned about the plight of Staffordshire Bull terriers. Staffordshire Bull terriers are typically being acquired by inexperienced owners who see them as having a 'macho' image.

Staffies are being bred and sold for profit by people who have no concern as to their future wellbeing. Some dogs are encouraged to be aggressive or even used in illegal dog fighting.
finn when we rescued him weighed only 7.3 kg his normal weight should be 20kg! Once the novelty of owning one of these dogs has worn off, many end up dumped or handed in to rescue centres. Rescue centres in the London area are struggling to cope with the numbers of Staffies in their care. For those dogs that have been encouraged to be aggressive, their fate is usually euthanasia. For the rest, they struggle to find new homes because the previously good name of Staffordshire Bull terriers has been tarnished by their new image and bad press.

Finn is a good natured dog who most certainly deserves a second chance.

Somebody with no conscience bred from Finn's mum and sold him.In London, Staffie pups are regularly sold through free-ad papers and websites with no checks being made as to who is buying them. Many dealers purchase animals of all descriptions from these websites and classified ads. They pose as genuine homes purchasing animals that are then resold at a higher price.

Our advice to anyone with a Staffie who has any conscience is to neuter your dog or bitch so that you are no part of this trade in misery.


Sam after being rescued at the rubbish tip.

Sam was thrown away with the rubbish...

Sam is a tame kitten who was deliberately thrown down a rubbish chute at a tower block into a communal waste skip.

The skip was emptied by a compactor lorry which then drove to a local waste transfer site where the contents were tipped out onto the ground.

A digger was then used to shovel the waste across the ground where to the drivers horror a tabby kitten staggered out of the rubbish.

He was brought straight to our veterinary clinic where it was clear that he had suffered a blow to the head. Sam's fur absolutely stank of rubbish and we think that he may have spent as long as a couple of days in the communal skip.

Sam, 72 hours after rescue. After three days of care at Canning Town Clinic Sam had made good progress, we were initially worried that he was blind, but he can now see and the bruising and swelling is subsiding.

He was still not quite "with it", though and and we needed to wait and see to what extent he would regain his faculties.
Sam and friend. Sam had continued to make progress, although he was not 100% fully recovered.

Sam was given a new friend as a companion - an 8 week old female kitten.

Good news - Sam and his new friend have found a new home together! Sam is still not totally recovered, the best way to describe him is that he is a little slow, whereas his friend leaps around and reacts to the slightest movement or sound, Sam takes time to think before he reacts. Their new owner is a Doctor and their new home is a safe spacious, indoor only flat.

We can rescue them only you can save them.
Help save a life today, please donate
to us online via the



Molly was living stray in an elderly woman's garden and was reported to us because of her sore scabby ears.

Molly had white ears and had developed skin cancer from sunbathing. In order to stop it spreading further her ears had to be amputated - don't worry she can still hear it's just the ear flaps!

Cats with white ears and noses are at risk or developing skin cancer if they spend too much time lying in the sun. Owners can protect their cats by applying sun block to vulnerable areas on sunny days. If you spot red, sore scabby ear tips or scabs on your cats nose that don't heal they may have skin cancer so take them to a vet to be checked. If caught in time your cats life can be saved.

See Molly in the video clip below...

Molly is a friendly, adult cat who loves attention, she has now found a new home.

Molly, Kiki and Jilly!

The cats in the front garden

24 cats rescued by our Canning Town branch

We received calls from concerned members of the public reporting a large number of hungry cats that had appeared and were trying to get into houses through windows and via cat flaps.

It was not difficult to locate the source of the cats and we visited to offer assistance.

It turned out that the cats owner had got two cats - one male and one female, both unneutered, two years ago. The cats had kittens and then the cats kittens had kittens and he now had 24 cats.

The property was rented and the Housing Association took out an injunction against the cats owner banning him from keeping them, so he had put all the cats outside his flat and shut the window.

The hungry cats had little shelter and some were wet through as it had been raining. Many were just waiting patiently, hoping the window would be reopened so they could get back into the flat.

PHOTO: Some of the cats in the garden upon our arrival.
Cats in the garden The cats were all very thin and had been without enough food for some time.

The owner explained to us that he had tried to get help and showed us a list of places he had tried. He could not afford to feed or care for them properly and the situation had got out of control.

Most of the cats are quite friendly and we were able to pick them up and put them into cat carrying baskets. A few of the more timid cats had to be trapped.
Cats at Canning Town Branch The cats were brought to the Canning Town clinic where they were all been neutered, vaccinated, treated for fleas and worms and microchipped.

They were all thin but once provided with regular meals and sufficient food began gaining weight. They are mostly very pretty semi-longhaired cats and although some of their coats appeared rather scrawny initially they soon become beautiful looking cats again.

The cats were transferred to our sanctuary near Hastings (East Sussex) in order to find homes


One eyed Jack

Jack wandered into someones garden in a desperate state, his eye ball was a seething mass of maggots.

They quickly took him straight to their local vet, where they were offered the option of putting him to sleep.

Fortunately for Jack the kind person who found him wanted to try and save his life so they phoned our Canning Town Branch where we agreed to try and save him. Jack was raced to our veterinary clinic where our staff where waiting to immediately attend to him.

On the journey to us Jack's eye ball actually fell out.
As soon as he arrived Jack was anaesthetised and the maggots were individually removed with tweezers. The empty eye socket was then cleaned and sutured.

We have taken photos of his operation which some people may find upsetting. To view them please Click Here

We usually do not share images of some of the worst cases of suffering that we encounter with you, our supporters, because we appreciate that they are unpleasant and distressing.
We have decided to enable you to see these photos so that you can see how much C.H.A.T's veterinary clinics and rescue teams are needed.
In order to be able to help as many animals as possible, we do rely on your financial support and generosity to fund our rescue work, because cats like Jack need you.
If you can make a donation to help fund our rescue work we would be very grateful.

For Jack there will be a happy ending, he is making a good recovery at Canning Town Branch and will soon be ready for a new home.

We can rescue them only you can save them.
Help save a life today, please donate
to us online via the

Colin after


Cat collars can be very dangerous, the term 'collar wound' refers to the often terrible injuries that are caused when the cat gets a leg, two legs or a jaw through its collar, if not promptly freed from the collar the collar will start to cut into the flesh.

If a cat is stray and does not have an owner to remove the collar, it will continue 'sawing' into the cats flesh, the wound then becomes infected and in the summer months will attract flies and become fly blown.

We frequently rescue cats that have got one leg caught through a collar and have a deep wound under a leg which requires surgery and a relatively lengthy time to heal as it is an area where there is a lot of friction as the cat moves around.

Colin's case is the most shocking 'collar wound' cat that we have ever come across.

We debated whether this was too shocking to share with you, our supporters. It is cases like this that really hit home why our work to help stray cats is so important, work that we are only able to carry out thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

Colin is now pain free and recovering well.
Colin The collar was cut out under anesthetic and Colin was put on
antibiotics until the infection was under control and we were able to
close the dreadful wound which encircled his whole body.

This all healed very well and Colin went off to a loving home!!
Squalid shed

204 Yorkies Rescued from Squalid Puppy Farm

Please Click Here for a full report on the Yorkshire Terriers rescued by the Trust on Easter Sunday back in 2006

We can rescue them only you can save them.
Help save a life today, please donate
to us online via the

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