Speedy the Iguana
Speedy lives in Maghera with Leontia McKenna and her mum Carmel, taking pride of place in his 6 foot vivarium that sits in their kitchen. He likes strolling round the house, eating salad, taking baths and Leontia describes him as the love of her life “he’s been there for me through everything in my life, he never judges you”
Vet Michael Griffith is one of the top exotic animal specialists in Northern Ireland, and had a surgery full of Bearded Dragons belonging to Lorraine when Anne Marie went to visit. Michael talked her through the essentials of reptile care, including common health problems and common sense routine health checks. And did you know that Dubai cockroaches only contain 2% shell? Ideal for reptiles watching their weight!
Cecil the police dog
Cecil may look like an adorable family pet, but he is actually one of the top victim recovery search dogs in the country, and lives at home with his police officer handler who says “you spend more time with your dog than you do with your family” Anne Marie visits Steeple barracks in Antrim to meet the PSNI police dog unit to learn more about the unique bond between handler and dog, and watches new dogs being taught how to attack and bite. She also sees Cecil at work, demonstrating his incredible sense of smell, and discovers why he does the ‘Cecil shuffle'
Cats Protection Adoption Centre
Stray and unwanted cats are a big problem, and Cats Protection do their best to rehome as many as they can. Anne Marie takes a tour of their Dundonald adoption centre with manager Bel Livingstone to meet some of the residents, like Sir Tatsalot pictured above, and Baloo, shown below. Sir Tatsalot was once a long-haired cat but had been so neglected that his fur became very ‘tatted’, hence the name. Bel explains where they’ve come from, what kind of home she hopes they will go to, and the problems of rehoming older cats like Sir Tatsalot.Cats Protection Belfast
Baloo the cat