Many of us enjoy a bit of reality TV. It is an immersive and engrossing experience following individuals through highs and lows, watching them fighting against the odds; let's face it so many of us root for the underdog! Funnily enough this pretty much sums up our experience of rehabilitating and rehoming National RSPCA rescued animals.
Sometimes it feels like our work is akin to a ‘journey’ like that of a reality TV star. It is frequently over-flowing with feelings as we lunge from one emotion to the next as we take into our hearts and our care individuals who need us the most. Often in one day we experience euphoria, hope, frustration and sometimes despair. Having an animal to hug when times are tough should not be underated!
Nursing animals that seem beyond hope, seeing a previously abused animal find a loving new home or being thrown a lifeline when treatment options are running out is what our days are made of. It is an upsetting job to do, especially when in so many instances animal suffering could have been prevented.
2017 was a really tough year for the volunteers and staff at the Manchester and Salford branch. Nearly 600 animals came into the branch’s care, many with problems we just couldn’t overcome due to the nature of the neglect and/or cruelty they experienced. However, 482 did find homes by the end of the year whilst the rest got to sit it out a bit longer waiting for a special home to call their own. Our staff and volunteers work so hard for each and every animal and we are so grateful to them.
|Handful of the 482 animals who found loving homes in 2017|
Helping the most in need
A highlight of 2017 has been working closely with the RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital taking in cats that have had extensive fracture repairs and in need of long term rehabilitation. We are always happy to help, whenever we can, with animals that need months of additional care before they are ready to be adopted. Our spaces are limited as we are only a small charity that rely on foster homes but we do make a difference to cats like Dennis…..
Dennis was reported to the National RSPCA in mid-2017. He was reported to have been found alone, dragging his leg behind him and in a rather terrible state. He was quickly picked up and brought to the local animal hospital. X-rays showed he had a femoral head fracture. It was thought that the leg could possibly be saved but after many operations vets had to admit defeat and remove the leg entirely. Poor Dennis was now a tripod! After several months of treatment and rehabilitation he was finally put up for adoption towards the end of the year.
It's clear that Dennis is in no way phased by having one-less leg and now just need that forever home to call his own. Sadly Dennis is now our longest stay cat, as such we've popped him back into a foster home as he wasn't keen on the cattery. If you'd like to meet our boy have a read of his write up then give us a call 0161 882 0680 option 4!
|Dennis much happier out of the cattery in a foster home!|
Staff changes & a new charity shop!
We start the new year in a unique position with two new rehoming staff, Angela & Vanessa and two new retail staff, Carmen and Caroline . It's been years since we've had staff changes, hopefully testament to having a happy staff team. We are also looking forward to opening a new shop in Withington very soon and will be our first new shop in 5 years, so we are all really excited about this new opportunity. If you live in the area keep us in mind as we'll need lots of good quality donations when we first open! Our charity shops fund the majority of our work so they really are truly vital.
|Angela (L) and Vanessa with baby bunnies!|
Update from our Deborah
Our regular supporters will know that last November our long serving staff member Deborah was one of the lucky applicants selected to start training to become a National RSPCA inspector. Although we are a separately registered charity to the National RSPCA, we work closely with them and the vast majority of our animals come from their rescues. We asked Deb for a little update to share with you all two months into her training!
After working at the RSPCA Manchester and Salford Branch for 6.5 years I thought I had a good idea of what being an inspector involved but as I approach the end of week 10 (of 31) I cringe at how clueless I was. Last week me and my group of 24 other trainees finally left the classroom where we'd spent 2 months studying the English legal system, police powers, the Animal Welfare Act and various other bits of legislation. Considering the National RSPCA inspectors have no legal power it's amazing how much they need to know and how dependent they are on the Police and on good animal welfare laws to back them up.
After talking about what we can and can't do we finally got to put some of our new knowledge into practice with 3 weeks of field training; I've been sent to the Shropshire group which covers a vast, rural area. So far I've checked on chickens, sheep, a few dog welfare concerns and have a meeting booked in regarding puppy farms. It's very different seeing these things in real life to on the TV especially when you don't know what's waiting for you behind the front door but it's great to finally start helping the team.
Thankfully we did get a little light relief before the real work with a visit to one of the four National RSPCA wildlife hospitals. I spent two days at West Hatch in Somerset learning handling techniques as calls to attend injured wildlife are by far the most common. A Barn Owl, a hedgehog, a bat, a very angry swan and over 30 juvenile seals (very cute but very aggressive!) had the pleasure of my company but I fear after practising catching and bagging, the swan may never speak to me again.
We have more exams, more legislation and thankfully plenty more practical learning sessions such as boat training and large animal care lined up for us over then next 20 weeks but looking forward to seeing some of the animals I've rescued going up for adoption at the Manchester and Salford Branch, only 5 months left to wait!
We need your suggestions!
In particular we need suggestions or offers of venues we can use for a few hours to hold clinics. In the past we've used scout huts, churches, community centres and sports halls. We need space to set up several tables to complete registration and a waiting area with chairs. If you have any ideas of good locations in our area please get in touch! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 882 0680 option 4.