RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? - Monday September 3 - Friday September 7

rspca: have you got what it takes? (1/13)
18.30–19.00

Beginning on Five this week is a 13-part documentary series that follows the stories of six trainee RSPCA inspectors as they attempt to make it onto the front line of animal welfare. During a punishing, seven-month course, the hopefuls are tested across a diverse range of activites and learn some surprising lessons along the way.

All 19 trainees undertaking the course dream of working with animals, but not all are prepared for what lies ahead –abseiling, power boating, working undercover and quelling the wrath of dangerous pythons are just a few of the pitfalls that they must overcome if they are to complete their course.

The rookies, including an ex-prison officer, an estate agent and a hairdresser, will come face to face with some shocking and inhumane cases of animal neglect, but will need to keep their emotions in check when dealing with aggressive and irresponsible pet owners.

As the course progresses, they will learn every element of how to work with animals and their owners. Not everyone will make it through the training, and those that do must be ready to move anywhere in the country. Will they have what it takes to make it in the RSPCA?

In today’s programme, we are introduced to all the trainee inspectors as they are given the lowdown on their course and assigned their first tasks. Pam O’Neill is placed in a snow-covered Middlesbrough; Helen Archer is given a lesson in snake handling; Melissa Furey meets a cat with a possible infection; Andrea Middleton is in Leeds to investigate a dog complaint; and Becky Carter visits the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria.

On Tuesday, Helen Archer is in Liverpool with chief inspector Martin Marsh to investigate a complaint about a neglected German shepherd. In Surrey, meanwhile, inspector Paul Adams introduces Helen Bestwick to his area. Their first call is to rescue a terrapin from a polluted pond. They take the animal to a local sanctuary where they clean off what turns out to be glue. Will the animal make a full recovery?

In Wednesday’s instalment, the trainees pay a visit to Plumpton Agricultural College in Sussex to learn about livestock. Here, they must vaccinate piglets, treat foot rot in sheep and de-horn calves. Elsewhere, in Cumbria, Becky Carter and inspector Cathy Hyde are called to look at a foal and its mother on the side of the road.

In Thursday’s show, the hopefuls head to a commercial slaughterhouse to learn how to put down larger animals using a captive bolt gun. Ian is at the Sea Life Centre in Scarborough to help head keeper, Derek Scales, treat an injured seal pup called Foss.

The final edition of the week, on Friday, sees Andrea Middleton spend the day monitoring a cattle market in Yorkshire. Elsewhere, a visit to a wildlife park in the New Forest forces trainee inspector Amanda Seth to rethink her views on keeping animals in captivity. And in Yorkshire, Ian Muttitt has an unpleasant duty to carry out while on his first placement. When assigned the task of putting down two pet dogs, he finds his emotions tested to their limits.

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  • John Devlin

    Today was the first time I had watched Channel 5’s “Have You Got What It Takes?”, but the lovely Andrea Middleton is my favourite already. I hope she passed all her examinations.

  • D cooper

    Great series !!! Is there anywhere I can download the series!
    Melissa Furey is a STAR !! YOU DID GREAT CHUCK!! WELL DONE !!
    I will be honest,NO I have not got what it takes! I Wish I did have what it takes,but the “slaughterhouse part” would have reduced me to
    a trembling wreck.

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