We are a local independent charity that rehabilitates and rehomes animals rescued by National RSPCA inspectors from cruelty, neglect & abandonment. We have over 70 cats, rabbits, rats, reptiles and guinea pigs at any one time in our care. Adopt a locally rescued animal! www.rspca-manchesterandsalford.org.uk
I have written and rewritten the start of this blog post
countless times. The story needs to be told but how to do it justice weighs
down heavy; the responsibility so great. I feel I must start by saying what a
privilege it has been to care for this animal, to have been entrusted with his
care and to be thought so capable of doing my/our level best by him. His name
is Bobby and his story distressing, the images revolting, but I will not shy
away from showing you what the work of the RSPCA involves.
Bobby on arrival
Bobby came to the RSPCA Manchester & Salford Branch at
around 7 weeks of age. When his condition was described to me over the phone I
recoiled, but not half as much as I did in reality when I touched his tiny body
for the first time. Bobby had been kept in a 4ft hutch along with his sizeable,
and unneutered, mother and father. Predictably mum had conceived once again,
soon after giving birth to Bobby. As is the case when a doe is due to give
birth she typically attacks the remaining litter to alienate them and protect
her new young. But in a 4ft hutch with nowhere to go the injuries inflicted on
Bobby were the worst I have ever seen in the 19 years I have been working in
It’s not uncommon to see injuries on the first litter when
another is due, and over the years I have commonly seen missing or mutilated
ears, injuries to the nose, eyes and bobtail, but never to the extent had I
seen on Bobby. The entirety of Bobby’s back can be best described as feeling
like a shell, like a tortoise shell. From neck to tail he was one undulating
mass of dense, infected scab. The repeated attacks this bunny must have endured
defies comprehension, how he was alive seemed nothing but a miracle. He could
not use his back legs, but it was unclear whether this was due to the extensive
wounding or a birth defect.
Bobby's back, the fur all matted, masking the extent of his injuries.
The situation really did look bleak but he was eating well
and enabling us to handle him to give him medication, so we kept him confined
in an indoor cage to prevent him from
over exerting himself, although I needn’t have worried about that because it
soon became apparent just how restricted his mobility was. Yet still he had a
ferocious appetite and healthy poops – a good sign a bunny is doing well.
As time went on the scab started to raise and as gruesome as
this sounds you could see daylight through it as it literally began to lift
from his back.
As the scab lifted and dried the infection became more
apparent but with air getting to the site it started to improve. It took several days before it came off altogether and then
he looked like a burns victim. He looked so raw and sore but the relief the
scabbing had gone was immediately evident because within 20 minutes he was
standing on his back legs for the first time since he had arrived. I confess I
got over excited about this, but it was just an absolute joy to see.
We then gradually gave him more space to play in and he each
time he grabbed the chance to explore. Within three days he was free-roaming
and loving having the freedom to move. His back legs gradually began to regain
function, and aside from the scarring on his back, the only other tell-tale of
his past was the way he held himself. Best described as looking like his skin
was too tight, which it probably was as the healing was taking place.
The scab that came off Bobby's back
It’s been nearly 3 weeks since Bobby came into our care at
the RSPCA Manchester & Salford Branch. The physical scaring maybe nearly
gone but the emotional damage is not. It is unlikely Bobby will want any
contact with another rabbit in the future, and his flighty, timid nature will
likely see him wait many months to be adopted, but regardless of these
impediments Bobby will remain with us until that day a special person comes
along to offer him a home.
I hope I never see another ‘Bobby’ for as long as I live.
What he endured, how he suffered, should never been allowed again, but we all
know that there is always going to be an animal somewhere suffering, in need of
the RSPCA. Myself and all my colleagues, whether that is branch, national or
front line field staff value your support so much, you keep us going. But it’s
the Bobby bunnies that actually motivate us to get us out of bed each day. Thank
you for enabling us to do what we do, it is an honour.
To help with Bobby's recovery and care please consider sponsoring our staff Susie and Deb who are shaving their hair to raise money for the care of the animals. Donate here.
Well, the Great British Curl Off is less than 3 weeks away, as well as several lovely supporters taking up the challenge 2 of our staff members have also decided to put their money (and hair) where their mouth is! Donate today!
Deborah, animal supervisor at RSPCA Manchester & Salford
Branch, explains why she is taking part in The Great British Curl Off to raise
money for the RSPCA Manchester & Salford Branch.
''So why the head shave, I hear you ask? Well I’ve been
super brave over the past few years and have zip wired from the Imperial war
museum, abseiled down Europe’s tallest brick built light house and last year
almost bottled it over abseiling down the bell tower at the Trafford centre. I
felt like all my bravery had been used up so what option did I have left but to
make a fool of myself. Obviously I do this on a daily basis but it needed to be
something quite shocking to raise as much money as possible for the animals, so
a head shave seemed to be the obvious choice.
For the past few years my hair has been pretty short
and I’ve even had a good half of my head shaved by choice, but losing my long
blonde streak that sits proudly across the left side of my head will be
painful. Not only does it keep my head warm but it also hides my many blemishes
and general dirt that builds up throughout the day. I will be very sad to see
it on the floor being swept away. But I love animals too much to be shallow,
thinking about all the cute cats, kittens, rabbits and guinea pigs, oh not forgetting
rats that need rehabilitating and rehoming by our RSPCA branch makes it all
worthwhile. Plus I may look cool and New Age and not at all butch or ill, we
shall find out on June the 4th. I’m just praying that there isn’t a
giant birth mark or strange skin flap lying under my blonde baby hair!''
Susie, Branch Manager
at RSPCA Manchester & Salford Branch, explains why she is shaving off her
''When Deborah first came up with the idea of shaving our heads to
raise money for the branch I instantly thought, I can do that. But then I
spent the next three months thinking about it, after all, a fat, middle aged
woman going bald is hardly an attractive proposition! But once I decided I was
going to commit to it I thought I had better break the news to my husband. I
needn’t have worried, he was ace. He was totally supportive from the moment the
words came tumbling out of my mouth and has now decided to shave his long locks
off too (they are past his shoulders).
Shaving my head has now become a bit of bucket list thing
for me and even my best mate Julie has decided to join us and get the lot
lopped off. For me this shows how much love there is for our charity and the
animals we care for. Me, my husband and our Julie are all middle aged and really
should know better, but what’s a bit of humiliation amongst friends, work
colleagues, family, the wider public? Oh no, the stares, the gawps the pointing
of fingers –what have I agreed to do! I’m seriously going to need an audience
on the day to make sure I go through with this challenge, so we have a special
event taking place for our volunteers, staff and supporters to watch us go
through with it.
The Fire and Ice challenge I did for the branch in 2014 saw
me pretty much reduced to tears as I had to face walking on broken glass, the
hot coals not so much, but the glass saw me reduced to a wobbly mess. Shaving my head hair off maybe
lunacy, and I may very well live to regret it, but if we raise plenty of money
for the animals it will be worth have a sunburnt bonce for summer.''
deep and donate.
Deborah, Susie and all our participants need the encouragement to go through with this one!
I keep hearing about The
Great British Curl Off but what is it all about?
We are offering
you the chance to be part of the ultimate fundraising event on Saturday 4th June 2016. But
this event is not for everyone: this takes guts, determination and hair! Head
hair, leg hair, chest hair, back hair and even, maybe, your eyebrows? That’s
right; we are asking for you to lose your locks and fling out your follicles to
raise money for the animals in our care and are looking for fearless folk to
take part in this hair-raising fundraiser.
Challenge 1: Be Bold, Go
Dare you go bald for bunnies and get an all-over cut
We are looking for plucky people who are willing to
undergo the ultimate challenge and shave their head! Watch your family and
friends’ faces as you lose every single one of your lovely locks. There are
sure to be tears in the house but think of the relief of not having to wash and
style your hair for the following weeks!
NB If your hair is a minimum 7” in length you can donate
it to The Little Princess Trust who make wigs for children suffering hair loss.
Challenge 2: Wax On, Wax
Bring out your inner reptile and get rid of your body
hair. Choose from a chest, back or leg wax – or maybe pledge to do all three!
Only hairy people can apply for this option, or else
where would the challenge lie? You know what they say – no pain, no gain!
Challenge 3: Raise a few eyebrows
This is truly not for the vain! Have your eyebrows
removed and discover what the inner alien in you looks like!
you’ll help our animals
Ever wondered what it would take for you to shave your
hair off? Or how much people will pay to see you suffer in pain as your back is
waxed? Or what you would look like with no eyebrows? Well now is your chance to
return for taking the challenge
If you pledge your vanity to us not only will we be
forever indebted to you for helping us to care for so many fluffy, furry, hairy
animals but we will treat you to afternoon tea beforehand and a motivational
insight into the work of the RSPCA Manchester & Salford branch. You and
your guests (up to 3) can spend a fun afternoon with our staff and volunteers
indulging in cake, quizzes and quips about our work.
Doors open to participants and their guests (max 3).
The afternoon tea and talk for our brave Curl Off'ers and their guests
The Great British Curl Off will commence from 4.30pm. Please feel free to invite as many family and friends as you like to watch the main event but no earlier please!
If you would like to discuss The Great British Curl Off with the organiser please contact Susie
Hughes on 0161 882 0680 (select opt 4) or email email@example.com
Our next blog will feature our brave staff who will be joining you on the day to take the ultimate challenge too......