Batten Down the Hatches!

Good intentions are all well and good but when you hit a crisis period you have to do all you can just to keep afloat. That’s what happened back in April when our only full time animal staff member Catherine fell suddenly ill and ended up being off work for two months.
When you are such a small team as we are (1 x f/t and 1 x p/t animal staff and a branch manager) any loss of staffing, for any amount of time, has a considerable impact.

But, after a very tiring and challenging period for all concerned we are pleased to report that Catherine has made a full recovery and is back work. However, it has meant that our plans to deliver a monthly newsletter will remain on hold for the foreseeable future, as we ‘batten down the hatches’ once more as the dreaded kitten and holiday season comes into full swing.

ANIMAL MATTERS

We’ve got off to a good start this year with animal adoptions and seem to be having particular success with rabbit and dog rehomings. But we have not seen the adoption figures increase any on last year and we doubt we will see the numbers being adopted like we did back in 2008 and 2009, but perhaps that’s not such a bad thing if people are being cautious and careful about making a such an important commitment.

To date we have rehomed an average of 22 animals per month:
17 dogs, 22 rabbits, 91 cats, 3 g’pigs in total. And we admitted a total of 135 animals in the last 6 months, 98% of which have come from RSPCA generated sources.

Unfortunately we have had to scale down our animal welfare promotional work because of the lack of funds, but the branch did take part in the Rabbit Awareness Week and assisted 121 rabbits and guinea pigs in receiving free health and dental checks by exotic vet specialists.

We have also run low cost microchipping initiatives and to date chipped 114 animals.

DISPATCHES FROM A VOLUNTEER
Local blogger, writer and branch trustee Dave Hartley reflects on new adventures in Didsbury.

Didsbury. A leafy green suburbia; back garden to a great city; home to the country’s poet laureate; wonderful Didsbury. Were Didsbury a bird, she’d be a peacock; grand, proud, colourful and just a little bit posh. Of course, Didsbury and our feathered sky-friends have a long and happy history – here being the location of the founding of the RSPB in 1889. Ah, Didsbury and its cafe culture aspirations and its happy-go-lucky, charitable peoples (the Didsbronians?). Perfect place for a charity shop, no?

Well yes, as it happens, although it’s been a long time coming. The financial climate being what it currently is, finding a suitable spot and opening a new shop has been a tricky endeavour by all accounts. But the branch is not short of wills, and after pounding the once-cobbled streets a spot has been found. So, naturally, we are delighted to announce the grand opening of the Manchester and Salford RSPCA’s charity shop number three; 19 Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury on Saturday the 23rd of July at 12 noon!

Roll up, roll up indeed. This is great news for the branch, and couldn’t have come at a more needed time. Most folk, Didsbronite or otherwise, probably don’t realise that a rather large majority of the branch’s funds come through the shops, and that’s after staff wages and rent costs have come off. Being a separately run charity from the national RSPCA means that we have to find our own ways of bringing in the dough, and a shop, once it is up and running and getting the customers, can be one of the most reliable sources.

Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t be dropping a few quid into our boxes whenever you see them – we need all the pennies we can lay our grubby paws on – but what we do need, now more than ever, is the three ‘D’s. Donations, donations, donations. Lost weight since joining the gym in the new year? Give us your old clothes. Just bought a Kindle and your books getting a bit dusty? Clear them out, and chuck ‘em our way – books is a goldmine for charity shops. And what about unwanted jewellery (no questions asked…)? Board games you’re bored of? Ornaments disrupting your feng sui? We only say no to electrical goods, everything else is fair game. Think about what a Didsburyite would like and treat yourself to a belated Spring Clean.

And while you’re dropping the stuff off, have a mooch around our new digs. Keep what you’ve learnt in mind; the shops are our lifeline and without them we’d be round your house at all hours shaking tins and pleading with puppy dog eyes. And I do some things for this branch as a volunteer, but I won’t do that. Leave my beautiful puppy eyes out of it, thank you. Instead, by departing with your cash at the shop you actually get an added bonus to go with your sense of wellbeing, and the real puppies get the help they deserve. Quite apart from which, Manchester’s finest trendy suburb is just beyond the door. Whatever the heck the residents may call themselves.

Dave Hartley blogs at abarrelroll.blogspot.com and can be found on Twitter (@lonlonranch.) The branch has also been known to tweet. Find us at @rspcamcrsalford

Super Sonic Supporters!
We have been the very grateful benefactors of several ‘sponsored endeavours’ this year and the wonderful ways in which our supporters raise money for us is simply inspirational.

First up, trustees Sarah and Hannah (pictured) took up running in January and set themselves the goal of completing the Manchester 10k. Not only did they finish the course in 1 hour 12 mins, they raised the fantastic sum of £800!

Then two weeks later Clare Goss (pictured) threw herself out of a plane above the Hoover Dam in Vegas and raised a phenomenal £870 in the process!

July sees our Urmston Shop Manager’s son, Rob Lowe, taking part in the Manchester to Blackpool 60 mile Bike Ride in aid of the branch. This is all the more impressive when you learn that Rob only started training a couple of months ago!

If you would like show Rob your support please go to:
http://www.justgiving.com/RobLowe1981

And if all that wasn’t enough, in October Jess Leech a seasoned runner will be undertaking her first ever marathon in Liverpool and doing all for the animals in our care! You can show Jess your support at:
www.justgiving.com/Jessica-Leech2

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Summer Fair & Fun Dog Show – Sat 16th July 12-4pm –
There will be something for everyone this year from Punch & Judy, craft workshops, circus skills, bouncy castle, stalls, food and much much more.

Head for Chorlton Park Visitor’s Centre, off Nell Lane, M21 7FZ FREE ENTRY FOR ALL

Grand Shop Opening – Sat 23rd July 12noon
Come along and show your support as we open our 3rd charity shop at
19 Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, M20 6TN.

There will be bargains galore and light refreshments to enjoy and a chance to meet your local RSPCA inspector!

Yappy Days! Sat 23rd & Sun 24th July – Queenston Arthouse in Didsbury – Weekend of Animal Art & Animal Fun, £5 Pet Microchipping 12-4pm, Plus Dog Show

Wardley Community Fun Day Sat 30th July time tbc
The branch be offering free microchipping to all pets. Please note this is an outdoor event.
Rainbow Community Rooms – Grand Refurb Open Day -Saturday 6th August 11.00 -3.00pm – The branch will be offering low cost neutering for cats and dogs to pet owners on a low income.
EST Donkey Sanctuary – Summer Fair – Sat 20th August 11.00-4.00pm -The branch will be offering £5 microchipping to all pets. Please note this is an outdoor event.
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