Sunday, 31 July 2011


The week has been dominated by just one thing - the birth of baby Claudia on Wednesday. Her proud mum and dad are trustees of the branch and very dear friends to us all. The birth did not go to plan and little Claudia was in an incubator until yesterday but is making great progress and will hopefully be able to come home next week.

We all know just how precious babies are but when things don't quite go to plan it somehow makes them all the more special and worrisome. Kittens Ollie and Lily (above) have befallen a similar fate. They have been with us far longer than they should have been and over the 5-6 weeks they have been waiting for a home they have gone from being little bundles to adolescents.

I always think that when kittens grow up in our care it is nothing short of criminal. But, thankfully, the saying '3rd time lucky' came true yesterday when the 3rd family to visit them decided they would like to give them a home - hooray!

All in all we've had a very uplifting week. The new shop has done well and turned a good profit, we've had 3 kittens and 2 cats reserved and Merlin the bunny hopped off to his new home with his girlfriend Carroty, but undoubtedly our best news of the week (aside from Claudia) was the reserve on Dexter the dog.

Dexter has been with us close on 3 months, far longer than he should've been because he is a cracking dog. But a family in Harrogate fell in love with him from his write up and came to visit him on Wednesday and fell well and truly for him. So please keep everything crossed that he will be on his merry way soon!

Of course amongst the wonderful highs, plenty of lows have punctuated the week. Kittens season is well and truly in full swing and there just isn't the space in the region to accommodate everyone rescued. It's simple maths - if we don't rehome animals we can't take new in, and with record low rehoming figures for the branch this month the pressure has felt far worse than usual.

Whilst I was at head office in Horsham this week I learnt that rehoming figures are down this year for all the leading animal charities, but this is small comfort when in 2 days more cats/kittens have needed to come in than we have capacity for. I'm guessing it's all about 'consumer confidence' - money is so tight and jobs scarce, that people are sensibly not taking on other commitments.

A new dog admission this week has also rocked everyone due to his state of neglect and emaciation. Things don't look great for Benny at the moment but only time will tell.

And the 3 community events that we've attended recently to promote microchipping weren't too successful for us and only 4 animals were chipped On one of the events we were doing chipping for free! So, yes, highs and lows all round but Claudia will remain, uppermost in our minds, and rightly so I reckon!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Grand Opening

I have spent the week in a bubble. A bubble of charity shop! Myself and shop manager Stephanie have worked round the clock this week to make sure we opened our new Didsbury shop in time yesterday and I can tell you it was well worth the hard slog.

We were graciously officially opened at 12 noon yesterday by Chief Inspector Cathy Hyde and Jack our rescue greyhound who is looking for a new home.

We raised a fantastic £400 in just 5 hours and we are hoping they'll be many more successful days to come. We will be open 7 days a week and specialising in high quality high street and designer gear. We currently have some amazing, brand new Penguin and Humor mens clothing and lots of lovely Monsoon too.

So please come and see us at 19 Barlow Moor Road....

I can't wait to get back to the animals. We haven't rehomed a single one in 2 weeks. I really don't know what is going on and it's a tragedy.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Very proud

This is Buddy and Cleo. They were adopted from us about 2 years ago. They were born in our care and adopted by wonderful bunny mum Heather.

Buddy and Cleo have become stars over the last 2 years because of Heather's incredible photographic skills and have appeared all over the net, magazines and calendars and won loads of photo comps.

But what is particularly proud making is that the bunnies are the stars of the RSPCA's rabbit welfare promotional campaigning now and in the future.

The piccie above has been taken by the RSPCA photographer.

So very proud indeed. And thinking about it, their siblings came along the rabbit roadshow this year and they were looking equally stunning (they were formerly called Clover + Mint, I think).

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Great British Summer

Despite, possibly, the worst weather in the 4 year history of our Summer Fair and Fun Dog Show, the show went on yesterday thanks to the amazing attitude and commitment of our incredible volunteers and staff and to the passion and love of our supporters.

Yesterday's weather was tantamount to bloody awful but what kept me going all day long was the incredible spirit exhibited by everyone, even at 9.30am in the morning in torrential rain setting up marquees!

At one point it was looking like we wouldn't break even on costs, but as brief (10 min) spells of sunshine falsely lured people out of their houses it meant that we actually managed to turn a profit! Not the £2k we usually manage but a good £500-600, so all was definitely not lost. And, we have finally dried out!

I love British Summer's, but I love our volunteers, staff and supporters even more! Thank you all so much for making it a day to remember, rather than a titantic disaster, ha!

The pictures above have been taken by Mercedes Jacques and Hannah Brookfield.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Summer Newsletter

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.


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.

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 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:

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:


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.