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Vote a new Humphrey into Downing Street

With a rodent problem at Downing Street having been highlighted by the appearance of rats on not one but two broadcasts from outside Number 10 this week, it seems that Humphrey, the former feline resident, is sorely missed.

The slithering prizes: Python thefts lift lid on trade in exotic pets

John Harrison walked into his son's shop earlier this month to find thieves had broken in and stolen some of his most prized merchandise – 63 royal pythons and three rare Kimberly rock monitor lizards.

Video plea over 'misunderstood' staffies

A viral video aimed at helping the Staffordshire Bull Terrier shed its associations with gang violence and anti-social behaviour has been launched by an animal welfare charity.

Does the hamster need rescuing? That'll be £600, please

Horses in pools, cats up trees... animals cause so many 999 calls. But that could be about to change. Matt Chorley says budget cuts will be bad news for pets in distress

Chickens, the productive pet, win a role in the new good life

Why did the chicken cross the road? To reach the back garden, where it is fast establishing itself as one of the country's favourite pets.

Pet of the week: The Mini Lop

For those of you who have marvelled at the Dwarf Lop's compact form, meet its even more gadget-sized baby brother, the Mini Lop. In a world that values size reduction without the loss of essential functionality (in this case, twitchy nose, floppy ears, cute, hoppity motion), the Mini Lop is the teeny-tiny bun that packs a lot of fun

Your Questions: 'Do I need to "crate train" my puppy?'

I'm getting a puppy soon and have been reading up on training. One idea I can't get my head around is 'crate training'. Do I need to do it? I was wondering if you could give me a bit more advice. Leonard, South London

Your Questions: 'How can I ensure my rat doesn't jump out of the window?'

Q. I had a lovely hamster who used to roam around my flat. Last time he disappeared, I found out that he had jumped out of my second-floor window. I've bought a rat now and want to ensure it doesn't happen again. Have you got any advice? Laura, via e-mail

Pet of the week: The Frog Beetle

Beetles are quite fascinating members of the insect world. There are more than 350,000 different types of beetle, more than any other species on the planet, and they are crucial to the life cycle of their natural habitats. They may be small, but they have a huge impact on life on earth.

Big names 'paws' for thought

Tracey Emin, John Barrowman, Dame Vera Lynn and Ronnie Corbett are just some of the big names 'lending a paw' to raise money for the Cats Protection feline welfare charity.

The pet detectives

Dawn raids and undercover operations are all in a day's work for the police. But these officers aren't chasing robbers, they're saving animals. By Rob Sharp

Win a memorable Husky riding experience for two

The leaves are falling, the nights are closing in and the shop displays are lighting up. It can only mean one thing: Christmas is in the air!

Your Questions: Why won't my Corgie let me groom him?

Q. I have an eight-month-old male neutered Corgie and I have a real problem trying to groom him. He won't let me touch his paws or clean his eyes and last week he growled at me. I'm worried and I'd like to get on top of the situation. Mark, via e-mail

Pet of the week: The Syrian hamster

Undeniably cute with his twitchy whiskers, pouchy cheeks and shining eyes, it's easy to see how the hamster has snuggled his way to our hearts. Unlike Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny, the hamster has never needed an animated alter-ego equivalent to do the talking for him. Not unless you count Richard Hammond...

Drunken dog owner jailed for animal's bridge death

The owner of a dog found hanging from a bridge where it was left chained up was jailed for 10 weeks today.

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General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power