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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Appeal as Furness charity sees huge drop in donations

ANIMAL campaigners in Furness have made an urgent appeal for support after witnessing a 40 per cent drop in donations.

The Furness and Barrow branch of the RSPCA has launched a fundraising webpage to encourage people to dig deep and donate to the cause.

The Justgiving site appeals for donations from the community “as donations dwindle, the number of animals in need of care and protection has mushroomed”.

The RSPCA has seen a 65 per cent increase nationally in the number of abandoned animals in the past five years while the Barrow branch has seen a 40 per cent drop in cash donations.

Claire Pettingale, honorary treasurer for the Furness and Barrow branch, said: “Our local branch, like all RSPCA branches, is a separate charity in its own right and responsible for its own fundraising. The bulk of our income, therefore, must come from local fundraising.”

Costs for the Barrow branch have risen and with an increasing number of abandoned animals, the charity is in urgent need of help.

Mrs Pettingale, who works at the Church Street branch, said: “At the same time our veterinary expenditure has increased by a similar margin. Last year, our combined veterinary and kenneling costs were over £30,000.”

Neutering, micro-chipping and inoculating a dog in care can cost up to £350. For a cat, average costs are around £150 and other veterinary care costs can easily double the total amount needed for each animal.

Mrs Pettingale said: “Our branch does offer welfare assistance in the form of vouchers for neutering and veterinary care to those on specified benefits.

“However, as our income has declined and our costs increased, we have had to put stiff limitations on this assistance.

“The local community has high expectations of the RSPCA. We embrace this, but we cannot continue to meet the challenges which face us unless the local community supports our work.”

To give to the Christmas appeal, people can donate online to http://www.justgiving.com/RSPCA-Furness-and-Barrow-Christmas-Appeal or by texting CHAP66 and the amount they want to donate to 70070.

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