Wednesday, 7 March 2012

With a little help from our friends

I’m going to be honest with you – I’m angry.

I have worked for the RSPCA for a number of years now, and like most people, I came here because I care about animal welfare and believe that showing compassion to all other living creatures has an impact on the well-being of us humans too.

I see my friends and colleagues hard working every day – sometimes against a tide of public apathy or hostility.

I hear the criticisms that we have “loads of money in the bank” and yet “sit around in our shiny HQ” enjoying our “fat-cat salaries” and do not care for animals, or only do so “when a TV camera” is there.

And this is why I’m angry - because we do care. We care an awful lot.

So let’s get this straight - the RSPCA relies totally on public donations. Although we have legally required reserves in the bank and a large 10-year old headquarters in an industrial estate in a sleepy village in West Sussex – we are not ‘fat cats’ sitting around wearing coats of money...we are real people and professionals in our fields: whether we are welfare scientists, campaigners etc.

We do it because we care, and frankly we couldn’t do it without the help of volunteers and support from other organisations, businesses and donors.

So, I am going to think of some nice examples of help and support that we have received recently, to help quell my rising anger!

Stepping in and Stepping Up:

Fresh Cargo (a fair trade clothing and fair trade gifts company based in Nottingham), helped to finance an RSPCA fund raising expedition by RSPCA inspector Emma Timmis to South Africa. On the 11th hour when airlines were not able to support the event, Fresh Cargo made the decision to back the fund raising campaign.

After a year of gruelling preparation, Emma Timmis, ran 1,500 miles across South Africa in order to raise £15,000 in less than two months. To find out more about Emma’s amazing journey go to:

Doggie defence!

Dealing with animal attacks has always been a posties worst nightmare...until now...

Recently the RSPCA joined forces with the UK’s largest mail ordering company, Postal Audits, to help tackle the problem of how to deal with ‘dangerous’ dogs.

The company [that provide mail auditing, measurement and postal consultancy services in the country] donated £20,000 to fund a role within the RSPCA’s companion animal science department, to look specifically at how to work with dogs with aggression or behavioural problems.
RSPCA dog behaviourist Jenna, with Bennie the dog!

At first the research will be used to help staff and volunteers working with animals in rescue and re-homing centres, but in the long term the RSPCA hope the tips and tricks can be used by anyone coming into contact with dogs on a daily basis – such as postmen, district nurses, utility workers, home care and social workers.

Food for Thought:

When it comes to animal welfare, food labelling is confusing. All too often, meat products are labelled with terms like ‘farm fresh’ or bear pictures of animals in fields. These labels don’t indicate how the food was produced and, with 80% of the EU’s farm animals reared on intensive farms, often these labels are misleading. Describing the method of production for each animal product clearly indicates the quality of life they are likely to have experienced.

Recognising the existence of this problem in the marketplace, a coalition consisting of RSPCA, Soil Association and World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has started work on a new campaign that will call for clear, honest labelling of the method of production on all meat and dairy products across Europe.

The coalition is looking forward to officially launching the campaign later this year.

One of our farm animal scientists, checking out the chooks

When businesses, individuals or other charities are able step in and help support the work of RSPCA, we are able to make so much more of a difference to the lives of animals in this country and abroad.

So who could possibly stay angry - when you have a little help from your friends?

Calie Rydings
Snr Press Officer

No comments:

Post a Comment