An ambulance and the RSPCA were both called to the home of Maisie MacDonald yesterday in the centre of Glasgow. A doctor visiting the house in answer to an emergency call discovered the most bizarre collection of animals who share the house with Maisie. While  the ambulance was speeding to the local hospital with 83-year-old Maisie, a team of RSPCA vets and Edinburgh zoo-keepers were trying to solve the problem of who would look after Maisie’s pets during her stay in hospital.

John Mclnnes, the Head Keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, had this to say:  ‘I have never seen so many different kinds of animals in anybody’s home. I am staggered that anyone could look after so many creatures, especially at the age of 83! Maisie has done a wonderful job and none of the animals has been neglected in any way.’


Alan Marsh, 32, an assistant keeper, said, ‘She has close to two  dozen cats in there and four fairly big dogs, but they’re not interested in fighting. It’s unusual to find such placid animals as these. They live mainly on the ground floor. The rest of the house is huge. There seems to be something different in every room.’

RSPCA Inspector, Bill Miles, told our reporter, “We are making  every effort to keep Maisie’s pets alive and well until she is released from hospital. I think we will have to consider the possibility of fostering many of them with families around Glasgow! The others can be taken to the zoo.”


So what exactly did they find in Maisie’s house? There were cages  of birds of all shapes and colour going up the three {lights of stairs. A goat and several families of rabbits shared a room on the first floor. The bathroom had been taken over by a pair of mallard ducks and a Canada goose, a giant fish tank in another bedroom housed a collection of terrapins and salamanders. Yet another fish tank held a  pair of baby alligators. But the top floor was the most surprising of all. A fully grown tiger was living in the attic!

However, the zoo-keepers reported that it was as tame as a kitten and they had no trouble persuading it to get into the van to go to the zoo. From her hospital bed Maisie, suffering from a broken hip, said,  “My animals are my whole life. I was cleaning out Rajah the tiger’s room this morning when he got too playful and knocked me down. I managed to drag myself out and called one of the dogs. I often send him to the post office with a note to get things for me, so this time I sent him with a note asking for help. Everyone has been so kind, but 40 I’m terribly worried about my pets

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