We are delighted to report that the first six months of 2012 have seen a huge upturn in our branch activity despite the prevailing nationwide financial difficulties. From 1st Jan to the end of June we have:

• Rehomed 183 animals, up 50 on same period last year

• Welfare neutered 44 animals, up 38 on same period last year

• Welfare microchipped 225 animals, up 111 on same period last year

• Provided welfare assistance to 205 animals, up 78 on same period last year

• We have admitted 247 animals (100.0% were categorised as RSPCA generated animals)

At the end of June the branch had 86 animals available for rehoming in its care of which:

– 74 animals (86%) had been in branch care for less than 3 months

– 2 animals (2%) for 3 – 6 months

– 10 animals (12%) for over 6 months (these were all rabbits)

Baby rabbits born into our care last month

Few other animal charities can boast of such achievements, especially in light of the fact that we do not own an animal centre. We are, of course incredibly proud of this activity but recognise that we simply cannot do it without the donations, legacies and shop income we so desperately rely on.

DISPATCHES FROM A VOLUNTEER

Local blogger, writer and branch trustee Dave Hartley reflects on Summer Fun & Fundraising

I write this during the first half of the not-so-glorious summer of 2012; half the country seems to be underwater and when the shy sun does decide to grace us with its presence we are all so busy expecting rain that we miss it. Maybe August will be better. But maybe not.

It’s a shame because the summertime has a great potential as a fundraising season; find a park, hire a bouncy castle, bake a few cakes and lay on some entertainment and the people will come in droves. At Manchester and Salford RSPCA, the annual dog show at the summer fair always pulls a big crowd, and is always big fun, but events like this are dictated by the Great British Inclement Weather. Last year, sadly, was a wash out. And there’s nothing worse than a soggie doggie.

So we resolved this year to think of new ways to fundraise, ways that avoid the downpour but still grab the right kind of attention, and the right kind of return. It has taken some feats of original thinking, and we are still keen for new ideas. Answers on a postcard, please!

One successful new event took place 101ft in the air on a windy (but thankfully not rainy) day in May. Thirty brave souls, including myself, threw ourselves off the top of Leasowe Lighthouse, supported only by the most terrifyingly thinnest of ropes. And yet, despite the fears, the event was a great success and we raised over £3k in sponsorship.
Next year we are upping the extreme sport stakes; a zipwire challenge over the Imperial War Museum at Salford Quays in an event that will celebrate our 50th anniversary as a registered charity. If you fancy taking up the challenge, and raising us some much-needed money, watch out for the call out soon.

Truth is, the people of Manchester love a good summer event, and some will even defy the rainclouds to get to one. But we must entice them all, and we can only do that with fresh, original fundraising ideas. It costs us around £30K a month to keep the branch going, and something as simple as rain can make a huge dent in the recuperation of that figure.

So we need you, people of Manchester, citizens of Salford. Had a lightbulb moment? A flash of inspiration? Don’t be afraid to get in touch; we’re a forward thinking lot over here, and not afraid of good challenge. Whatever the weather.

LEARNING ON THE JOB

Trustee Sarah McConville shares her first-time experience of fostering a rabbit.

Claude teaching proper rabbit care!

“I was asked by Susie, our Branch Manager, to look after one of her foster rabbits (Claude) whilst she went on holiday and I excitedly accepted the challenge! I have probably only really learnt about how complex rabbits are in the last 2 years, mainly down to Susie, Hannah (our Chair) and my other rabbit-mad friends. Before that I knew very little and was probably like the majority of people in thinking that rabbits were just an ordinary pet! How wrong I was!

When Susie came to pick up Claude I told her that if people actually realised how much work and care goes in to properly looking after a rabbit most people would be shocked. Don’t get me wrong, I can honestly say that I loved every minute of looking after Claude; from spending lots of time sitting on the floor just simply stroking him and watching him explore his surroundings, but you do spend a lot of time cleaning up after them!
Claude had a habit of waiting until I’d cleaned him out to then go and then use his litter tray straight after, and his aim was a little off so a lot of time was taken up putting fresh newspaper down and sweeping up, again! Claude also liked to “help” me when I was cleaning, sadly he actually just made things worse but it did make me love him a little bit more! Oh, and he would always try and climb in the hay bag and sit there happily looking like he was in heaven!

As he liked to explore I often had to point him in another direction, and being a slightly stubborn bunny he would always go straight back to where he shoudn’t be! And usually somewhere that involved wires or electrical equipment!

One thing Susie had tasked me with doing was monitoring his water intake. So every morning I would keep a record of how much he had drunk through the day. Claude also had problems with his eyes, which meant they would get a little sticky and unpleasant for him, but he would always allow me to wipe them for him and often seemed to enjoy the fuss.

I think my favourite part of looking after him was watching him happily munching on his veg and then coming to join me for a snooze and cuddle on the couch! It was definitely a lot work but it was so rewarding that even when you’ve had a long day and the last thing you want to do is spend an hour cleaning you do it without grumbling! But I don’t know how Susie looks after as many as she does!”

What Bugs a Bunny? Check out the national RSPCA’s campaign pages to learn more about these complex creatures: http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaigns/companion/rabbits

PURRFECT PARTY 2

Following the success of our fundraising evening at The Worsley Court House last year we will be repeating the event on Saturday 13th October 2012.

It will be relaxed affair with a sumptuous 2 course veggie and vegan hot buffet, post dinner entertainment in the form of a cabaret duo and a live band so you can dance the night away and of course an auction and raffle to raise those extra pounds!

Tickets are on sale at £20 per person with £5 from each ticket going directly to the animals. If you would like to book your tickets then please get in touch with Susie.

If you are unable to attend but would like to support the event we are looking for small amounts of sponsorship (to cover costs) along with raffle and auction prizes.

GET INVOLVED

Vintage Bazaar

Sun 29th July 12-4pm

A massive range of vintage goodies at sensible prices at a one off event at our Chorlton shop.
Free Microchipping

Sat 18th Aug 11-3pm

At the annual EST Donkey Sanctuary Fair in Abbey Hey. No cats please!

See our website for more info

Flixton Carnival

Saturday 1st Sept TBC

Free Microchipping and Teddy Tombola – please come along and support us!

Rabbit Awareness Week

15th – 22nd September

Check out our website for competitions and special offers for you and your rabbits!

Purrfect Party 2

Saturday 13th October

Fundraising evening at Worsley Court House for all the family.

Tickets £20 pp