Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Gung Ho! 2016

Our branch is famous for coming up with wacky ideas to raise money for our animals. Whether it's abseiling down a lighthouse, zip sliding across the Bridgewater Canal or shaving our heads - we'll do most things to help more rescued animals! Sadly, the demands on us continue with increasing numbers of unwanted, neglected and abused animals in the local area needing our help. It costs us nearly £30,000 per month to run the branch and we have to raise this money from public donations.

So what have we decided to tackle for our next big fundraiser? 

Well, on the 30th April 11 amazing volunteers (including 2 of our super duper staff) will be tackling something quite different. Not your usual road race, oh no! We'll be doing a 5K but taking on 10 of the greatest inflatable obstacles on the planet! This includes the world's largest inflatable obstacle and the finale is Europe’s biggest ever inflatable slide! Most of us are afraid of heights so it definitely should be interesting.... Our target is £750 can you help us?

You can sponsor Team M&S easily online by clicking here or by texting GUNG55 £1/2/3/4/5 or £10 to 70070

 So who's taking part and why?!

Name:  Dave Hartley 
Role at the branch:  Volunteer at events and generally help out as much as I can!
Involved with branch for:  6 years
Why I volunteer:  I genuinely can think of so many amazing animals that the branch has helped I really wouldn’t know where to start. As they prioritise the animals most in need (those rescued by National RSPCA inspectors) the majority of the stories are pretty horrendous. However, whether it’s a rat or cat, rabbit or guinea pig the branch will do their best to bring them back to health, get them trusting people again and find them a well-suited, loving home.
Thoughts on Gung-Ho!:  I don’t do any proper exercise so the whole experience is going to be very interesting but I’ve abseiled down a lighthouse, the Trafford Centre and across the Bridgewater Canal in Salford Quays for the branch so how hard can it be…….!?

Name:  Deborah Beats

Role at the branch:  Animal Welfare co-ordinator and foster carer to furry things. 
Involved with branch for:  4.5 years
Favourite animal:  There have been too many, my heart belongs to hundreds of small furries. But I guess it would have to be Cheryl, my old black foster cat who hung around the cattery and then my house for a total of 6 months. She had IBD, bald patches and struggled to gain weight but in the end we got her fit and well and she found the best home imaginable with one of our long term volunteers. Happy ending!
Thoughts on Gung-Ho!: I’m dreading running, and just moving at a pace faster than strolling really. My greatest fear is getting left behind and watching everyone else who is much fitter than me vanish off over an inflatable bridge. I am looking forward to sliding down an inflatable slide though, there is one right!?

Names:  Donna Lloyd and Martin Farrell
Roles at the branch:  Volunteer cat foster carers, but we’ve done all sorts over the last 8 years including dog walking and office support
Involved with the branch for:  8 years
Favourite animals
:    We've really loved having our little foster cats to stay with us and they're all really special but I think Rumple and Rocky our 3-legged cats have definitely stolen our hearts and of course the lovely Hedgehog, our most recent house guest, who was just a star!
Thoughts on Gung-Ho!:
We're really looking forward to this event - spending the day bouncing around on bouncy castles sounds brilliant and not something you get to do very often at our age!

Name:  Hannah Brookfield

Role at the branch:  I run the social media and the website. I also do home visits, events, fundraise, design posters, foster and some dog walking and cat cuddling in my time too! All on a voluntary basis

Involved with branch for: 7 years

Memorable moment:  A case of over 300 rabbits and guinea pigs that we helped with. We agreed to take on about 35-40 of the animals (the rest going to other branches) and my gosh, it was a real eye opener! It was hard work transporting them all (I think the rescue was Hull way), health checking and getting them settled in. Many had terrible conditions particularly bad. The staff and volunteers spent so much time getting them ready for adoption and it was so rewarding to see them eventually find loving new homes.

Thoughts on Gung-Ho!:  I’ve run a marathon for the branch so you’d think this would be easy! However, it’s a totally different kettle of fish so I’ve been practising with some resistance training for those climbing walls! Hopefully, the fact we are in a big group will help push me on – I don’t want to let anyone down, including the animals we need to rescue in future!

Name:  Ian Collins
Role at the branch:  Volunteer fundraiser, photographer and foster carer
Involved with branch for:  2 years
Memorable moment:  How everybody fell in love with the rats and they all found new homes so quickly

Thoughts on Gung-Ho!:  I'm super excited to bounce around like an idiot whilst raising money for all the lovely animals

Name:  Joy Carvill

Role at the branch:   Volunteer cat cuddler, cat home visitor and event support.

Involved with branch for:  Just under 2 years

Memorable moment:  The one that sticks in my mind the most is of course Toby; a stray found with a sore paw in late 2014. I hadn't been cat cuddling very long and found a lump behind his ear at the cattery. I was shocked and saddened when it was found to be an airgun pellet under his skin which had to be removed by the vet. Despite what had happened to him Toby was a quietly trusting, lovely-natured boy who found a good home through the branch.

Thoughts on Gung-Ho!:  I am looking forward to tackling Gung Ho with the RSPCA team but apprehensive about getting over high obstacles - my upper body strength is rubbish!

Name:  Lucy Swinton
Role at the branch:  Vounteer cat cuddler, previous dog walker, and new ratty foster-er!
Involved with branch for:  2 years
Memorable animals:  I'd have to say the rat boys in my care at the moment! And Nico the dog. And Randall the cat.
Thoughts on Gung-Ho!:  I've done a similar event to this before - so looking forward to it, especially inflatable obstacles!

Name:  Michelle Flower
Role at the branch:  Animal Welfare Assistant
Involved with branch for:  4 years
Favourite Animal:  Teddy the Lhasa Apso stands out in my mind. I collected him in October 2014 from an inspector who had rescued Teddy from a home where his owners hadn't cared for him properly and let his coat get severely matted. We didn't know, until he literally tumbled out of the van, that his eyesight had also become impaired. It was touch and go with Teddy for a while as he was in such a sorry state, but after a spell in foster care he was adopted. Last year he came to support us at the Big Walkies and it was lovely to see him so happy and well. I cried. A lot.
Thoughts on Gung-Ho!:  I am concerned my big fat arse will be mistaken for an inflatable obstacle.

Name:  Tom Hammersley

Role at the branch:  Manager of the Didsbury Charity Shop

Involved with branch for: 5 and a half years

Favourite animal: In the early days of our fostering we had a beautiful fluffy black cat called Cherry in our care. Despite having had a tough start in life living on the streets before she was rescued by the RSPCA, she was an incredibly affection cat. She’d always be sweetly mewing and nuzzling me or standing on her hind legs and waving her paws around for my attention. She was such a good fit with our family that I couldn’t imagine a life without her. We adopted her and renamed her Ponyo and we’ve been best buds ever since.

Thoughts on Gung-Ho!:  As a clumsy man, I am looking forward to running around in a soft inflatable environment in which falling over doesn’t hurt. However I am little concerned I’ll overdo it and throw up in front of everybody.

To get in the spirit of the challenge ahead check out our video!

You can sponsor Team M&S easily online by clicking here or by texting GUNG55 £1/2/3/4/5 or £10 to 70070

Thank you for your support, we'll be sure to update you with pictures after the event!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Update on our Orphaned Baby Bunnies!

We wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone that has donated to our Orphaned Baby Bunnies Easter Appeal. Thanks to you we've raised a fabulous £414 so far! Some of this money has already been spent on vaccinating the gang and getting them health checked. If you'd still like to donate the appeal is still live on Just Giving - just click here!

The babies are growing by the day and they are looking more and more like the distinctive little Rexes they will become! 5 boys and 1 girl are now available for adoption as house rabbits all thanks to our generous supporters, read about the homes they are looking for below!

You may recognise these gorgeous babies, they were the stars of our Easter Appeal! They will be 8 weeks old w/c 4th April and are looking for homes where they will live as house rabbits in the heart of your home.

All the babies are incredibly confident and cheeky and will make ideal family pets. Nothing phases them and they do not think twice about bouncing all over you and reaching up to give you nose to nose nudges.

They have been fed a hay based diet and introduced to a small variety of leafy green veg. They have fantastic appeptites and do mainly all their toilet in litter trays. They love jumping on and off boxes, binkying and exploring.

We cannot stress just how special these babies are. They are incredibly friendly, have very gentle natures and enjoy a stroke. They are easy to handle and are used to receiving lots of kisses! They really are perfect for a family and will really enjoy your company.

Rex rabbits are known for being super intelligent and you will enjoy a relationship with them much the same as a cat or dog. You may even be able to clicker train them, such is their propensity for engagement with people and activities. They have already been taught to go back into their pen with the rattle of a treat box! Above all you will not be short on entertainment with one of these furry folk in your home and you will have a true best friend in no time.

Currently available for rehoming are:
4 black males, 1 agouti male and 1 agouti female.

The babies have been vaccinated, will be microchipped before they are adopted and will be neutered by the branch when old enough. Due to the age of the boys and their pending puberty they need to be rehomed on their own as house rabbits. 

To adopt one of our beautiful youngsters as a house rabbit please contact us on 0161 882 0680 option 4 or by emailing


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Orphaned Baby Bunny Easter Appeal

Can you help us secure the future of 

nine orphaned baby bunnies this Easter?

One baby bunny being a little more greedy than the rest in their foster home!

Martha and her siblings were rescued by the National RSPCA field officers from a home where dozens of rabbits were being kept in small, dirty hutches, never fed hay and being allowed to breed out of control. Their mother was on her fourth litter, her previous litter, as with this one, had 11 babies! 

Tragically one baby was dead at the scene and a second died a few days later. To add to this terrible tragedy their mum was suffering with many health problems; we did the kindest thing we could do and put her out of her pain and distress. However, the nine tiny baby bunnies were sadly left motherless. It was heart-breaking to see, but thanks to an RSPCA foster carer and the tenacious Martha they are all thriving and getting up to baby bunny mischief. 

Lady and the Tramp moment for the babies!
The RSPCA Manchester & Salford Branch is one of only three RSPCA branches in the North West region that takes in rabbits. In 2015 we took in 123 and rehomed the greatest amount out of all these branches, a total of 84. So far this year (up to end of February) we have admitted 35 and rehomed 20. The number of cases of rabbits in need is ever growing and the space to take them in diminishing, as the cost of rehoming rabbits is so high.

Before each animal is rehomed they are:

·     - Examined by a rabbit specialist vet

·     - Neutered

·     - Vaccinated

·     - Microchipped 

This is to ensure we reduce the number of unwanted rabbits*. The cost of doing this, along with boarding costs**, is between £310 and £345 depending on the sex of the rabbit. (This sum does not include associated staff costs.)

Bunny feeding circle!
We ask for an adoption fee of just £30 because the sheer numbers in shelters waiting for new homes is so high. £30 in no way covers the £310-£345 care costs per rabbit so we try to raise money through fundraising events and our four charity shops. Alas this is never enough so this Easter appeal is to ask for help with the rehoming costs of these orphaned babies. £1,000 will help to cover the food bills for the next 6 weeks whilst they are in foster care, until they can go up for adoption, and then the cost of ‘kitting them out’ for rehoming with vaccinations, microchipping and neutering costs in the future.

We don’t want to turn our backs on rabbits; there is nowhere else for them to go. So can you help us secure the future of Martha and her siblings and many more like her this year? What you can donate to pay for:

     £3 will pay for a microchip

     £5 buy a box leafy greens

     £8 bale of hay

     £15 will pay for a vaccination for protection against myxomatosis and rabbit hemorrhagic disease

     £25 will pay for a veterinary consultation

     £65 will pay for a male to be neutered

     £100 will pay for a female to be neutered

Our branch runs entirely on the kindness of your donations.

 To donate please click here!

Alternatively TEXT  to donate:
ORPH09 £1/2/3/4/5 or £10 to 70070

If you make a donation please let us know and we will enter you in a prize draw to win this yummy chocolate hamper! Just email

Hamper can be posted to any UK address!

* Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund estimate there are 67,000 rabbits in UK shelters at any one time.

** Average length of stay for a rabbit in 2015 was 4 months.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Happy New Year! Looking into 2016

Happy New Year!

Kingston, who was adopted from us, showing off his festive attire!

2015 was a busy one at the branch and despite having a part-time member of staff on maternity leave all year we achieved a huge amount for animals in need. Of course none of this would have been possible without your incredible generosity and so we wanted to share with you how your contribution has benefited the animals in our care.

Animal Activity

In 2015 we:

* Admitted 419 animals (we admitted 352 in 2014)
* Rehomed 352 animals (17 more than 2014)
* Completed 355 pre-adoption home visits
* Microchipped 254 animals at community events
* Neutered 31 owned ‘at risk’ cats at a cost of over £1200

Newly admitted animals waiting to be health checked at the vet
Lenny - 1 of the 238 cats adopted this year!

The Big Events 

We had two big fundraising events this year. In September 24 brave souls abseiled 170ft down the Barton Square clock tower at the Trafford Centre raising a grand net total of £5830 in sponsorship! Big Walkies was at the start of October and saw 117 dogs trotting round Clifton Country Park to help raise over £2,300 for the branch. I’m sure you’ll agree these are both fantastic sums of money and it has meant that we’ve been able to help fund the care of many more animals in need. They’ll be another Big Walkies in September 2016 and a really daring challenge event in June!

Our abseil down the Trafford Centre Bell Tower raised £5830! Amy Lewis wins the competition for best photo though...
117 dogs took part in our Big Walkies event in Clifton
A few other things...

Donating pet food and providing neutering vouchers at the Manchester Food Bank

Staff member Deborah at the University of Manchester Volunteer Day - looking for new recruits!
Staff member Michelle ran a half marathon for us!
Hip-hop duo Run The Jewels donated copies of their limited edition EP for us to sell in our Northern Quarter charity shop! One of the more random points of the year!

Looking forward to 2016

There is plenty to look forward to in 2016!

  • Our part time animal staff member Catherine is back in January following maternity leave for her second child. She returns just two days a week but will be working Saturdays so we can get even more out of our week.
  • Our Urmston charity shop has reopened after a year of closure and we hope it will bring in some much needed funds.
  • Friday 26th Feb will see our first venture into a vegan pop-up cafe at the Nexus Art Cafe on Sidney Street in the Northern Quarter. We hope you can join us (it’s not all lentils, we promise!).
  • A 1950s prom themed Murder Mystery Night is set for Sat 23rd April thanks again to the generosity of the Manchester Murder Mysteries Mistresses!
  • And please put Saturday 4th June in your diaries as we'll be arranging a treat for our supporters with an afternoon tea and revealing talk about the RSPCA (for more info please get in touch).
Our Urmston shop reopened in December 2015

What else will we be up to?

  • We already have two community welfare events lined up in Irlam and Blackley offering free and low cost microchipping and there will be many to follow. (Don’t forget in April it becomes the law that all dogs in England are microchipped.)
  • We will be working in partnership with Cats Protection League (CPL) to get owned ‘at risk’ cats to the vets for neutering. We will provide the transportation and free microchip and CPL will pay for the neutering.
  • We will be funding and overseeing ‘The Reptile Project’ based at the RSPCA adoption centre in Pets at Home’s Stockport store. The custom-made vivaria has been kindly funded by Pets at Home. Currently there is no provision for reptiles in Greater Manchester rescued by the national RSPCA inspectorate, so we are aiming to provide a much needed service for admission, rehabilitation and rehoming of all things scaly!

So, as you can see there is plenty to look forward to in 2016! Thank you for being by our side all the way.

All the very from RSPCA Manchester & Salford Branch :-)

Our very special team: Michelle, Susie & Deborah