Strays and Wildlife
Priory Veterinary Group can provide emergency treatment to strays and wildlife at their hospital in Christchurch.
First-Aid and Treatment for Strays and Wildlife
We will administer first-aid, and emergency treatment to any injured or unwell strays and wildlife at our Christchurch hospital. Please call the RSPCA prior to arriving, to obtain an incident log number, which must be provided to the veterinary practice.
However, if you find any ‘non-injured’ stray pets or wildlife, we must ask that you contact the appropriate authority, as we are unable to ‘board’ these animals, due to limited facilities and the potential risk they pose to our patients. Please see below for more details:
If you find a stray dog, please contact the Dog Warden on one of the following numbers:
Alternatively, call the council for the area. All information can be found at: https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/Communities/Animal-health-and-welfare/Dogs/Report-a-stray-dog.aspx
For out of hours help please call: 0800 0281870
Please remember, it is a legal requirement for all dogs in public places to wear a collar with the name and address of the owner, and for all dogs to be microchipped. It is important that the relevant microchip database is notified of any changes in address, telephone number or ownership. If you need to update these details, please visit the pet log website at: https://www.petlog.org.uk/pet-keeper/updating-your-details/
Similarly, if you have lost your dog, you can inform the chip company, so that an alert is set up when your pet is scanned.
Stray cats often have a home locally, so it is advisable to ask around your local area if you find a stray cat. Alternatively, please call the Cats Protection League on 01202 946303, or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. During practice opening hours, we can scan a stray cat for a microchip to locate an owner. If no microchip is found and the cat is healthy, we advise taking the cat back to where it was found.
The government has announced that it is set to become a legal requirement for all cats to be microchipped before they reach the age of 20 weeks, and their contact details stored and kept up to date in a pet microchipping database. Owners found not to have microchipped their cat, will have 21 days to have one implanted, or may face a fine of up to £500.
If you have found a wild animal that may be sick or injured:
- Observe from a distance. Many wild animals that are brought in, are neither sick nor injured. Young animals may seem abandoned, but the parents are often nearby, refusing to return whilst people are in close proximity. Young birds who have just left the nest, may look ill, and will sit under bushes for 1-2 weeks whilst learning to fly, while the parents continue to feed them. Therefore, initial advice is to observe from a distance.
- If an animal seems ill or injured, you should either contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999, or Mike Meeks Wildlife Hospital in Ringwood, on 07884226540. They may advise how to safely catch the animal for transportation to our Christchurch branch. If provided with an incident log number, please provide this to the veterinary practice.
- Transport to our Christchurch branch for emergency first aid - The decision on whether to treat or euthanise a wild animal is based not only on whether the condition is treatable, but also on whether the animal will be able to make a full recovery and be able to support itself in the wild. There are many conditions that, although treatable in a pet, would prevent a wild animal from surviving in the wild.
For more information on wildlife please see the following RSPCA sites:
Injured Wild Animals: www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/wildlife/injuredanimals
Orphaned Animals: www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/wildlife/orphanedanimals
Hedgehogs are rapidly declining in the UK, with at least a third lost since 2020. There are many things we can do locally to support hedgehogs in the area. Hedgehogs under 600 grams may need help before hibernation in the autumn months. If you see a small hedgehog at this time, and are worried it weighs under 600g, please get in touch with Mike Meeks Wildlife Centre, Ringwood on 07884 226540, as it may need to be overwintered. Please see the links below for more information on how you can help: