|Harriet new arrival|
|Vince settling in|
It’s arrived! It’s been nearly two weeks now so I think we can finally say our much longed for lull has arrived. It feels like an overdue reprieve but we can’t help but think for how long.
This week calls have begun to mount from people whose cats have been ‘caught’, or people who believe that it’s the ‘right thing’ to let their cats have a litter before getting them neutered, or the ones that make me really mad – people who let their unneutered toms or kittens out to play before being neutered. Kittens can, in theory, fall pregnant as young as 4 to 5 months of age.
Daily we are inundated with calls to adopt kittens. The sad fact is that in little over 6 to 8 weeks time we will yet again be bursting at the seams, begging for kitten food donations, begging for homes and begging for people to neuter their animals.
The branch is keen to help with neutering pets whose owners are on low incomes and will hopefully be exploring some new project ideas very soon. But sadly this all costs money and at the moment it would be accurate to say that our finances are not at their best. They are, in all honesty, at an all time low due to a variety unavoidable expenses, investment in our flagship boutique charity shop in the Northern Quarter and the massive amount of animals we helped in 2012, and are continuing to help.
In 2012 we helped a record 469 animals. This number of admissions is on a par with many branches that actually have rehoming centres. So when you consider that we achieve this number without a centre and with minimal resources it puts into perspective what an achievement this is and how vital our role in the community is.
In recognition of our work we have won an award from the national RSPCA for prioritising the admission of animals ‘generated’ by the RSPCA. What this means in real terms is that we are the only branch without a rehoming centre to have prioritised as many of our spaces as we have for animals rescued by the RSPCA. In total 468 of the animals were animals rescued for concerns over their welfare, including cruelty, neglect and abandonment. That means just 1 animal came in as a result of an unwanted pet.
By prioritising our spaces for animals rescued by the inspectorate it means we can help animals to be rehabilitated and rehomed quicker. This sounds quite obvious and simple, and frankly a no-brainer to me. You see if there aren’t spaces at branches and rehoming centres then the animals have to go into temporary boarding, waiting in limbo (and therefore taking longer to find new homes) and costing a lot of money that could be better spent elsewhere. But for me, the main reason for prioritising the work of the inspectorate is to enable them to help alleviate the suffering of animals quicker and more efficiently.
Let’s face it, if you are rescuing animals from dire straits then you want to feel reassured, first and foremost, that there is somewhere for them to go and that they have the very real hope of a happy future as quickly as possible.
Certainly at our branch we do our utmost to help the national RSPCA’s team of amazing rescuers to do their jobs. As a local branch our primary purpose is to support their work and if we ever loose sight of this then we don’t deserve to call ourselves ‘RSPCA’ Manchester and Salford Branch. It’s what we are here for, it’s what we pride ourselves on and it’s why we will be accepting our award with thanks for recognising what we do best – helping society’s most in need animals and working as a team.