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#614083 - 2nd Nov 2011 3:49pm Wirral & Chester RSPCA staff asked to volunteer..

Wirral & Chester RSPCA staff asked to volunteer for redundancy as charity’s financial struggles continue

THE RSPCA’s Animal Centre in Wallasey is making further cuts and asking staff to volunteer for redundancy as its financial struggles continue.

Last November the charity’s Wirral and Chester branch closed its clinic in Birkenhead – which was running at a loss of £20,000 a year – after trustees decided to focus resources on its centre in Cross Lane.

At the time the branch, which has been in existence for around 120 years, was said to have just a year’s worth of running costs in reserve.

Now trustees have decided their only option is to reduce staffing costs and an animal welfare assistance scheme.

From this week the scheme, which provides treatment for pets owned by people on low incomes, will be replaced by an emergency vet consultation.

Eighteen members of staff employed by the branch have entered into a 30-day consultation period.

Branch manager Peter Hattam said that without the cuts or increased donations, a “worst case scenario” could see the centre being forced to close altogether.

He said: “Whilst everything is being done to try to maintain the animal centre and to continue to offer re-homing opportunities for unwanted/ neglected cats, dogs and rabbits, trustees have found it necessary to reduce further the schemes of animal welfare assistance and are having to reduce staffing levels via voluntary redundancy as a first step.

“Rehoming of dogs in particular has fallen significantly over the past two years due in part, we believe, to the worsening economic climate and the need for individuals to tighten their belts.

“We have also seen a reduction in demand for larger breeds of dogs and particular breeds like staffies.”

“Although we are a charity, we are affected like any other business. Without further streamlining leading to a further reduction in our costs, and/or increase in financial support, then the current reduction in provision will unfortunately lead to the closure of the animal centre towards the end of next year.”

Mr Hattam said other options to reduce staff costs included pay cuts or reductions in hours.

With effect from November 1, the emergency vet consultation scheme will enable eligible owners to see a vet to establish the extent of an illness.

Owners will then have to decide on the future course of treatment that they can afford to pay.

Mr Hattam said trustees were “determined to continue to take the necessary actions” to keep the Cross Lane centre open.

He said: “It is with regret that they seek applications from staff to take voluntary redundancy and that they can no longer maintain their animal welfare treatment scheme.”

Donations can be made online at, email or call into the Animal Centre on Cross Lane.


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#614086 - 2nd Nov 2011 3:51pm Re: Wirral & Chester RSPCA staff asked to volunteer.. [Re: ]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5360
Loc: Birkenhead
Bet they could save a few bob by cutting down on the silver braid on their "uniforms". Why do they have to dress in a para military style, even with the same rank markings, bloody amazing. Use cotton, it's cheaper.

Not having a rant but its always been a bugbear with me.

Edited by BandyCoot (2nd Nov 2011 3:59pm)
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

#614126 - 2nd Nov 2011 5:10pm Re: Wirral & Chester RSPCA staff asked to volunteer.. [Re: ]
Razzi Offline

Registered: 29th Oct 2008
Posts: 123
Loc: Bidston
Just goes to show how much the RSPCA can twist things to gain support, because i seem to remember the local papers reporting they had closed the birkenhead clinic because of the horrible abuse of it's staff by some of the customers,but not because of any financial reasons.

#614750 - 3rd Nov 2011 8:09pm Re: Wirral & Chester RSPCA staff asked to volunteer.. [Re: ]
Katryn Offline

Registered: 11th Jan 2010
Posts: 413
Loc: Birkenhead
makes for good reading!!

The RSPCA is one of the richest charities in this country. In the last four years alone, it received a total income of £444,664,000. The bulk of this staggering sum came from the general public. £20,686,000 of it came from its investment portofolio over that four year period. Imagine how many millions of pounds it must have tied up in in investements to bring in that kind of return!

It is currently holding approx £70,000,000 in free reserves and has total current fixed assets of £164,824,000, not to mention a further amount of current £32,970,000 in other current assests which include a massive £13,444,000 cash at bank and in hand, As for the £70m free reserves, this is £38m less than at the bank and in hand. As for the £70m free reserves, this is £38m, less than at the end of 2007. Where did that money go? Was it used to shore up losses in the value of fixed assets? If so what is the legal basis for using free reserves for such a purpose?

It should be pointed out at this juncture that we do not believe that any of the 174 local RSPCA branches receive any of this vast accumulated wealth. They are all independent separately registerd charities which in fact have to pay RSPCA headquarters a sum of money as and when required, and this sum of money must take precedence over any other payments the branches need to make in the running of their business.

Despite the fact that all the branches state that they receive no financial assistance, the society claims to support branches annually to the tune of several millions. In 2008, the figure claimed as being spent to support branches was £8,422,000. Would the RSPCA care to clarify this anomaly?

Despite its vast wealth, the RSPCA when questioned about its poor animal response times or lack of action when someone reports a concern about animal welfare, will consistently use the excuse that it is a charity with limited resources and it only employs 325 inspectors who have to cover large areas of the country.

Current concerns among the general public are to do with what the RSPCA is doing with its money. We know it is not going to the local branches and we know it is not being used to emply sufficient inspectors in the field.

We do know that a massive £22,519,000 was spent on generating further funds in 2008. Just think of how many animals could have been helped with half of that money.

We also know that £11,125,000 was spent on prosecution costs in 2008. Although it is to be applauded that the RSPCA have taken out private prosecutions as and when necessary, we are also concerned that the they will spend large sums of money on bringing relatively minor offences to court, such as the case reported on 2nd September 2009 in The Times where an owner was fined for allowing her dog to become too fat and yet they will often fail to act in cases of genuine cruelty such as many that we have reported.

RSPCA figures for 2008 show that they destroyed 8313 dogs and 12,329 cats and they state that healthy animals are destroyed because they are opposed to keeping dogs in kennels for lengthy periods.How long is too long? That is a staggering 22 dogs and 33 cats per day.The RSPCA state that animals of unknown origin will be euthanised after only seven days! And only this year, there was a report of someones much-loved cat being euthanised by an RSPCA inspectorwithin hoursof it being mistakenly reported as a stray. When it comes to animal welfare with the RSPCA it's all down to cost. It is much cheaper to euthanise a cat or a dog than it is to spend time and money on boarding costs or rehabilitation.

#614771 - 3rd Nov 2011 8:47pm Re: Wirral & Chester RSPCA staff asked to volunteer.. [Re: Katryn]
mrhanky Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 1st Dec 2010
Posts: 1236
Loc: my house
rspca have always had a terrible reputation

#615415 - 4th Nov 2011 10:00pm Re: Wirral & Chester RSPCA staff asked to volunteer.. [Re: ]
Greenwood Offline

Registered: 20th May 2011
Posts: 615
Loc: Greasby
It seems a shame that the hard-working local branch that (as far as I know?) doesn't receive any money from the national RSPCA and has to raise its own funds, is still tarred with the same brush as the national organisation. We've bought two dogs from Wallasey RSPCA, and my daughter was a volunteer dog-walker there for a while.

#617595 - 8th Nov 2011 9:20pm Re: Wirral & Chester RSPCA staff asked to volunteer.. [Re: ]
Boosh24 Offline

Registered: 1st Oct 2011
Posts: 3
Loc: Prenton
The RSPCA Wirral and Chester branch is a self funding centre receiving no government funding or RSPCA funding. The centre is a non destroy centre they never put any animal down. They do their job because they love the animals and are all a group of VERY hard working individuals. You really can't judge anyone until u have walked a mile in their shoes and done what they do every day


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