Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Animal Matters

RESEARCH carried out by White Cross Vets in Hyde, has revealed the most popular names for cats and dogs, as well as offering a fascinating insight into how these compare to pet names from more than 80 years ago. 

The practice researched the names of all the pets they saw in 2018 and compared them to the hand written ledgers from when White Cross Vets opened its first practice in West Yorkshire in 1937.  The data revealed that Bella, Alfie, Charlie, Lola, Poppy, Molly, Daisy and Oscar are all currently in the top 10 for both dogs and cats.

By comparison, none of these names ranked amongst the most popular monikers in White Cross Vets’ ledgers dating back to 1937.  At that time, Susie, Sally, Judy, Penny, Candy, Sam, Betty, Simon, Wendy and Bridget, made up the top 10 cat and dog names registered with White Cross Vets.

More recently White Cross Vets, which is part of leading veterinary services provider Independent Vetcare, has also seen a surge of pets named after TV and film characters including Elsa from Frozen, Baloo from The Jungle Book and Peppa, inspired by the cartoon pig.

The number of cats and dogs sharing names with Game of Thrones characters, including Khaleesi, Sansa, Brienne and Tyrion, is also into double figures, along with 16 pets called Olive, which is the name of David Beckham’s Cocker Spaniel.

Mike Robinson, from White Cross Vets in Hyde, said: “Pets are such an important part of the family, so choosing a name for them is a big and very personal decision.  The most common names in our research reveal a leaning towards giving pets human names.  It’s fascinating that this has gone full circle and was also a trend in the late 1930s, before names such as Fido, Patch, Sooty, Duke and Fluffy became popular with cats and dogs.”

The lists below show the top 10 most popular names for dogs and cats currently registered with White Cross Vets.

For more information about White Cross Vets visit






Are you fed up with your job? Facing a life change? Would love to work with animals?

Digs for Dogs, a leading home boarding and dog walking service, are bringing an amazing opportunity for dog lovers across Tameside to run their own business, after already proving a huge success in the borough.

As a franchise network, Digs for Dogs is offering a fantastic opportunity for a start-up dog walking business, suited to people who are looking for a flexible role to fit in with their lifestyle. The franchise would complement a highly successful Home Boarding business in Ashton-Under-Lynne run by Philippa Cooper.

Digs for Dogs was launched in Lancashire in 2012 and has gone from strength to strength. As demand for the service has increased, the company has grown beyond its Bury roots, spreading across Greater Manchester.

Digs for Dogs is now looking to expand its offering and has identified Tameside as the perfect area to give dog lovers the chance to set up their own business venture – and spend all day with their canine companions.

Debbie Pomfret, Managing Director of Digs for Dogs explains:

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able bring this amazing opportunity to Tameside. With our existing Home Boarding Franchise in Ashton, we know the area has many dog owners and a real need for this service. Digs for Dogs is a proven, successful business model and our franchisees can grow their business as big as they like, with exceptional support from the Head Office Team.

“Our franchisees come from a variety of backgrounds, from students to high-flyers who are desperate to leave the corporate world to spend more time with their loved ones. Overall, we are looking for people who are passionate about dogs as well as being enthusiastic, sociable and warm hearted, with the ambition to grow a successful business. It’s our vision to be the UK’s leading provider of pet services, and this is a fantastic opportunity for people across Tameside to be part of that.”

For the more information on becoming a Digs for Dogs Franchisee, please call 01204 895 355.



On Saturday 13th APRIL 2019, you can come face to face with a life sized dinosaur who’ll be lurking in the shops and stalls on the Hyde Town Centre Jurassic trail.

Organised by members of Hyde’s Town Team, together with Hyde Markets and The Clarendon Centre, and generously supported by Philip Harris – the UK’s leading science equipment supplier to schools and Colleges, together with assistance from The Tameside Reporter, this event has been created as part of a programme of events, designed to actively promote the Hyde Town Centre shopping experience through a wide range of tactics that help increase awareness of the varied range of retail outlets in the town centre and to encourage patronage of both the local indoor and outdoor markets stalls.

The huge dinosaur will be stalking the town, plus, visitors and shoppers can find out more about dinosaurs and their long lost relatives inside The Clarendon Centre at their fossil finding event.

Also on the day, children have been invited to show off their model making skills by entering their model dinosaurs in the Town Team/Tameside Reporter competition, where the winning entry will win a voucher for £100 courtesy of Philip Harris – making Hyde Town Centre on the 13th April the ideal playground for young palaeontologists.

Dinosaur are fascinating to kids and seeing one ‘close up and personal makes learning about Natural History fun and interesting. Bring your children along were they can discover and learn all about some of the amazing dinosaurs that once roamed the earth.





In the show’s 127-year history the annual Dog Show CRUFTS has seen many milestones, from the show being postponed during the First and Second World Wars, to its first televised showing to the nation by the BBC in 1950.

This year, there were 27,000 dogs taking part, with just under 21,000 in breed judging, leading towards the Best in Show finale.

That of course was over three weeks ago, but yet another milestone reached at the show was the success of the ‘Northern Rally Obedience Team’ which is still very much in the minds of the members of NAABTS and The Greenfield Dog Training Club.

This is the third year running that the popular and ever growing Rally Obedience has featured at Crufts and each year the Northern Rally Team has moved up in the loadings, and this year they reached their highest achievement when they came 2nd..

The award for 2nd place was for the whole team rather than individuals. However the single award for Best Rally Obedience Bitch for 2018 went to – Welsh Sheepdog, Nanhoron Gloria’s Ginger owned by Denise Byrne, who also showed her other Welsh Sheepdog bitch, Nanhoron Elsi Peabody on the Northern team.

Another club member, Chris Schwartz also worked a superb round with a tiny Schnauzer called Bisley.

Proud owner Denise said, “We all received rosettes and a medal making it a day to remember for all of us. Also one of our dogs from NAABTS won Dog of the Year (Bitch) in Rally Obedience, amassing the most points at the top level (Level 6) in 2018.

Denise concluded, “I am extremely happy and still a bit shocked. Both my dogs put it together on the day and produced really good rounds, but I’m made up and enormously pleased for the whole team!”



A cat lover is calling for a change in the law so that owners can find out when their pets are killed or injured in road accidents like dog owners do.

Helena Abrahams, from Bury, said currently cats could be thrown into landfill without the owner’s knowledge.

Her online petition, calling for cats to achieve equality with dogs, has collected more than 74,000 signatures.

The Government says it is good practice for dogs and cats to be scanned for microchips following an accident.

Dogs must be micro chipped and drivers are legally obliged to report any accident involving a dog.

However, Ms Abraham’s petition urges a new law to insist that cats injured or killed in a crash should be checked for a microchip.

Her campaign Gizmo’s Legacy is named after her own pet who was killed by a car and cremated without her knowledge. “She was thrown away like a piece of rubbish,” said Ms Abrahams. And ‘Left on landfill’

She added: “If she had her chip scanned I would have had my baby back and I could have cremated her like all of my other cats.”

Ms Abrahams continued: “People have witnessed cats being thrown into the back of refuse trucks. I don’t want a pet being left on landfill sites.

“I am absolutely furious because to scan a cat takes seconds and these scanners are very cheap,” she said.

Emmerdale actress Samantha Giles aka Bernice White on the ITV soap, is also backing the campaign and said: “It is very, very important that the owners find out when their cat goes missing.”

The Government said: “It is already good practice for local authorities and Highways England to scan any cat or dog found on our streets so that the owner can be informed.”



After a heavily talked about TV show named the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as the UK’s favourite dog breed, White Cross Vets in Hyde has revealed how they have actually been hugely popular for more than a decade, a trend that had largely gone unnoticed until the programme aired.

ITV’s Britain’s Favourite Dogs, which was hosted by Ben Fogle and Sara Cox, polled 10,000 Brits to create a ranking of the top 100 dog breeds in the UK. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, often referred to as the Staffie, came out top, followed by the Cockapoo in second place and the Labrador Retriever in third.

Figures from White Cross Vets confirms that Staffie puppies are one of the most common breeds the veterinary group has seen across its 19 practices in the last 12 months, along with French Bull Dogs. However, White Cross Vets also sees more Staffies than any other breed, aged over 10 years old, suggesting they were equally as popular a decade ago.

Mike Robinson from White Cross Vets in Hyde, said: “In the past Staffies have had a mixed reputation due to them being part of the Pit bull family, which led to accusations that they are an aggressive breed. However, although they might react when provoked, in the right hands they are generally extremely friendly and loving dogs. Anyone who owns one knows what fantastic pets they are and it’s great to see them being portrayed in such a positive light by this programme.

“The reality is that their popularity is nothing new. We have more Staffies, aged 10 and over, registered across our 19 practices than any other breed and we’d expect to see them continuing to grow in popularity now they’ve found TV fame. We’re delighted that after years of being the underdog, they’re finally managing to shake off their poor reputation.”

For further information about White Cross Vets, visit


As it comes into its 30th year of saving, adopting and caring for vulnerable animals of all shapes and sizes, Haywill Animal Rescue desperately needs donations.

Their appeal comes after the charity’s main sponsor was forced to stop donating £500 a month due to personal circumstances – an amount that was vital to the self-funded initiative and those it supports.

The shelter not only rescues vulnerable animals from homes and farms, but has also been providing “animal-assisted therapy” to those with special needs, mental health issues, disabilities and behavioural difficulties for eight years.

Their roster currently boasts cats, dogs, pigs, sheep, chickens, ponies, guinea-pigs and even turtles and terrapins who are looked after by the Haywill team, with some going on to be adopted by members of the public.

Over the Christmas period, Glossop’s Aldi Superstore generously donated their leftover vegetables that would have otherwise gone to bio-waste, but that supply has since run out.

Founder and Special-Needs Teacher Lynn Haydon-Williams, 58, said that the rescue is a lifeline for both people and animals, but is struggling under the financial strain.

Lynn, who also has degenerative disc disease added that the shelter is what keeps her going, admitting she’s a “soft-touch” when it comes to animals in need.

She said: “This place helps me, but it also keeps a lot of people who come here going too… it’s a real labour of love.

“We really need sponsors, general donations and even kind donations of things like fresh fruit and vegetables, bedding, horse feed and hay bales.

“Even if you can’t give money, we would love to have those who want to volunteer, there’s something for everyone here. If you can DIY, make a website or want to muck in, we care about what you can do – not what you can’t.”

If you would like to donate to Haywill Animal Rescue or find out more, you can visit their website at: or email:


GREATER Manchester has been honoured as an ‘Innovator of the Decade’ for its work to make sure pets are looked after at times of emergency.

The RSPCA has announced that the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities Civil Contingencies and Resilience Unit (CCRU) have won its most prestigious award, the Innovator of the Decade. The unit is one of just two organisations in the whole of England and Wales to ever be given the accolade.

The award is recognising the work that has been done to ensure that pets and animals are among the priority considerations during an emergency response thanks to Greater Manchester’s use of the pioneering 3Ps during evacuation and shelter planning: People, Pets, and Possessions.

In Greater Manchester a Strategic Multi-Agency Pet Evacuation Plan has been developed, giving guidance to all responding agencies on what they need to consider in relation to pets during a major emergency, including identifying space for pets in rest and evacuation centres and giving guidance for dealing with lost and left pets.

The need for a proper plan for animals in case of an emergency was highlighted in June 2012 when a large explosion seriously damaged a number of homes in Shaw in Oldham, sadly killing toddler Jamie Heaton and leading to the evacuation of nearly 250 properties.

As the explosion had taken place during the day, many residents were at work and the pets had been left behind, as people returned home, they gathered at the cordon worried about their pets and some even considered going through the cordon to get their animals.

The council started a detailed spreadsheet with a variety of information, including the details of any pets left in properties which was then used throughout the process of rescuing pets from homes and reuniting them with their owners. All the pets, including dogs, cats, hamsters, tortoises, ferrets and terrapins, were rescued and returned to their owners thanks to this method.

The incident highlighted that during emergency evacuations pets could be overlooked and that the approach across Greater Manchester for pets was varied and inconsistent, emergency services also had little plans in place for what to do. The 3Ps now ensure that pets are at the heart of our emergency response.

Kathy Oldham, Greater Manchester’s Chief Resilience Officer said: “People’s pets are very often part of the family so it is only right that at times of emergency, we look out for them as well. When people are forced to leave their homes it can be extremely stressful and making sure their pets are included in our planning can help to make things that little bit easier for people.

“It is a real honour for Greater Manchester to be given this award and we will continue to work hard to put animals at the heart of the work we do.”

The 3Ps was highlighted during the Wing Fat wholesale company fire in October 2017, which evacuated many properties. One couple with a dog attended a rest centre and could not stay with family and friends. The tactical officer from the local authority and the reception centre manager went out of their way to find the couple a pet friendly hotel and arrange transport for them.

Staff from the Unit attended a Winners Reception in London yesterday (Tuesday, November 27) to collect their award.

Rachel Williams, senior parliamentary advisor for the RSPCA, said: “The Innovator of the Decade judges wanted to recognise the unit for the 3Ps contingency planning work as they are still, so many years after the tragic gas explosion that inspired it, the country-leaders in this area.

“Their proactive approach to recognising and promoting animals in their contingency planning work is unmatched – and has a clear and tangible effect on both animal and human welfare.”

A so-called mystery killer dog disease that is prevalent during the autumn, could be prevented with a flea and tick treatment, as well as checking dogs’ paws for dust mites after walks, according to a Hyde veterinary practice.

White Cross Vets in Hyde is regularly inundated with enquiries from dog owners at this time of year who are worried about Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI), which generally strikes between September and November. The first cases of SCI were reported in 2010 and symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy that will appear within 72 hours of dogs walking through woodland in autumn.

Mike Robinson, from White Cross Vets, said: “Although SCI is often making the headlines at this time of year, the reality is that it’s only a tiny percentage of dogs that become ill from it. Most medical evidence suggests that it may be caused by harvest mites that are particularly active at this time of year and latch on to a dog’s paws, legs, chest and tummy, often resembling red dust that becomes stuck in the fur.

“Whilst we always advise dog owners to be vigilant, most don’t necessarily need to change their habits in order to try to specifically avoid SCI. However, it’s useful to know that harvest mites are only active during the day, so walking dogs early in the morning or after dusk is a way of evading them. They also often lurk in long grass and vegetation, with the worst infestations happening when the dog sits still.

“It’s worth discussing with your vet whether the products you’re currently using provide appropriate protection for your pet’s needs.”

Anyone wanting further information about SCI should call White Cross Vets or visit


The Northern Alsatian and all Breeds Training Society,(NAABTS) based in Greenfield, is a small, friendly dog club that hosts weekly meetings in and around the Mossley/Saddleworth area where they provide dog training from puppies onwards.

NAABTS are a purely voluntary organisation who has been serving the local community by offering dog training for all breeds.

This special event is to celebrate a very important milestone in the club’s history as its 90 years old this year. There will be Fun classes, stalls, demos etc and hopefully a visit from our oldest member who is also 90!

The fun day will be held at the club on Sunday 2nd September 2018 from 10.00am till 4.00pm

Denise Byrne, Vice-President, said; “As well as all the usual stalls and attractions, we will have demonstrations running throughout the day to show people what you can learn at the club.  We also have the missing and lost animal scanners coming along who will scan dogs’ chips to check they are still in place and offer missing pet advice.

The Kingfisher pub across the road from us are also holding their Fun day, which will feature a number of fairground type attractions in order to raise funds in aid of the Oldham Mountain Rescue Team –as a big thank you from the community for all the work they did supporting Firefighters who were engaged in combating the recent moorland fires and will be demonstrating their services. So hopefully Sunday 2nd September will be a busy and enjoyable family fun day for Greenfield.”

The club is sponsored by Skinners who will be sending some donations on the day. As the club is a voluntary organisation the money raised will go towards the upkeep of the club.”

Make sure you don’t miss out on what promises to be an ever popular great day out for dog lovers and their dogs.

You can find the event in Greenfield near Tesco (OL3 7AE).