The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has been rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals since 1824 and their vision is: ‘to work for a world in which all humans respect and live in harmony with all other members of the animal kingdom.’
In just one year, the RSPCA found new homes for 55,459 animals, micro-chipped 58,922 animals and investigated 150,833 cruelty complaints. This is made possible via a network of 166 branches around England and Wales. The RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch is a small, self-funding, independent animal charity working under the guidance of the national RSPCA.
With no rescue centre, they rely largely on the volunteer foster carers who provide a safe place for the animals that are collected and rescued. They rehome over 100 animals each year and run a trap, neuter and release service for feral cats.
The majority of pets that come into the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch’s care are cats and rabbits but they also have dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets and sometimes more unusual animals such as pigs, parrots and lizards. Some need urgent – and often costly – medical treatment, whilst others may just need a short period of rehabilitation before they can be rehomed. It costs £5 every day to look after one healthy cat, and £8 every day for one healthy dog.
Because there are so many unwanted animals, the branch campaign to get more people to neuter their pets. Kittens can be neutered at four months old and neutering is the best way to ensure a healthy, happy cat that doesn’t want to wander too far from home.
Branch Manager, Cheryl Bishop says:
We know people love their cats and want the best for them, but the idea that cats should have a first litter of kittens is an old wives tale!
The branch receives dozens of calls every month about lost pets and encourages people to microchip their pets so if they do go missing they can be returned home safely.
Many ways to help
Adopt – Check the website or call the branch to find out who is waiting for adoption – there is bound to be one you love.
Volunteer – Cheryl explains: “We rely entirely on volunteers and couldn’t help animals in our local area without the wonderful people who give their time to run and support the branch. We need
foster carers for our cats and rabbits, and home checkers as well as help in our shops – whether it’s on the till, behind the scenes sorting out donations or volunteering to help with fundraising.”
Support the shops – Bedford has two shops – one in Thurlow Street by the bus station and the newly opened shop on the High Street, opposite Debenhams.
Jenny Eden, RSPCA Branch Support Specialist, has been involved in setting up the newest shop. “We’re constantly in need of stock so please donate any unwanted clothing, bric-a-brac, DVDs, CDs, books, toys, jewellery or small furniture. Whether it’s a single item, or several bags, we’d be delighted to see you!”
As well as donating items, making regular visits to the shops and buying from them helps enormously.
Donate while you shop
Additionally, donating is now made easier through visiting easyfundraising.org.uk and selecting RSPCA Bedfordshire North. This enables you to donate to the charity whilst doing your online
shopping. It doesn’t cost you – the online retailer you are shopping with donates to your chosen charity!
RSPCA Week 14th – 22nd June 2014 and a Fun Day on 23 August 2014, 10am – 4pm at Milton Ernest Garden Centre. Stalls, face painting, children’s’ fancy dress competition & much more.
If you would like a stall contact: email@example.com
Over half of the national RSPCA’s work is paid for by gifts people leave to them in their Wills. By specifically naming the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch in your Will, you can ensure that your gift goes directly to local animals. Supporting the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch ensures that this local charity will always be here for animals – protecting them and giving them new beginnings.