How you can help the RSPCA help animals
IWOULD say that around 50% of the calls received at the animal centre are regarding animal cruelty and neglect, and the rest are in relation to adopting an animal.
Well, fair enough, you would think, but unfortunately that means that half of the contact made with ourselves has to be redirected to the national RSPCA, as most alleged cruelty cannot be dealt with directly at the Southport branch.
The majority of the public regard the RSPCA as one big organisation and each of its branches deals with every aspect of animal welfare, from farm animals, through pets to wildlife. However, this is not the case. Understandably, you may now be totally confused!
Put in the simplest of terms, the national society is like an umbrella organisation, covering the full range of animal welfare.
The branches, around 150 of them, are all separately registered charities that either have an animal centre rehabilitating/rehoming, or if not, provides other forms of welfare to the general public.
Again, trying to keep it simple and going into great detail, you could say that the national society is the main interface for the general public in respect of reporting cruelty, working towards prevention, or in dire cases, of which there are many, prosecution of those that have harmed animals.
They are the people you see on TV, to us known as the Inspectorate, together with other central support and specialist resources and personnel.
The national society is a separately registered charity, as are the branches, all reporting to the Charity Commission. The society as a whole, including the branches, is also governed by a separate Act of Parliament.
There’s a potted history of the RSPCA on the national society’s website, if you are interested – www.rspca. org.uk
So, back to the issue of us having to refer you on to the national RSPCA to report animal cruelty, etc.
Unfortunately, as separately registered charities we are not all on one “big switchboard” and cannot transfer you. The level of detail required and logging of all calls is done at a national call centre, as, too, is the tasking of work to the inspectors. In the branches, we are not equipped or resourced to respond to these calls, so all we can do is offer advice and point you in the direction of the national cruelty line.
So, please, if you have any animal welfare emergency, concerns or wish to report cruelty and neglect, call 03001 234999, or report it online at www.rspca.org.uk
There is also a link on our own website, www.rspca-southport.org. uk to the national online reporting facility.
So, turning to the branches, including Southport, Ormskirk & District Branch, each operates at a local level, offering advice, microchipping, and limited subsidised veterinary help /neutering (for those on means-tested benefits), as well as rehabilitating and rehoming animals taken in from the Inspectorate, or some straight from the public.
As I’ve mentioned before, the branches are all self-funding in the main and run on the generosity of the people in the areas in which they operate.
However, it should always be borne in mind that, if you wish any donation to be used locally, you must always make that donation directly to the branch concerned.
Similarly, leaving all of your money to the RSPCA, as used to be the case years ago, but not so often these days owing to changed social responsibilities, will see your gift go to the national society and not your local branch.
If you want your money to be used to help animals during their rehabilitation and whilst in our care at Southport, you must say so by naming our branch or our charity no. 232258.
Finally, don’t forget our Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 1, at Greenbank High School, Hillside, Southport, with doors open at 11.30am.
This was one of three neglected dogs taken from its owner, which resulted in prosecution and a three-month custodial sentence. The dog has since been found a loving new home