Appeal to help Animal Centre through crisis

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An appeal is being launched today (Thursday) in response to a financial crisis at Sheffield Animal Centre, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary.

The RSPCA Sheffield branch in Attercliffe is recognised as one of the best in the country, providing shelter, treatment and rehabilitation for thousands of animals a year, many the result of cruelty cases.

But it is facing “dire financial constraints”, with the risk of having to reduce the number of animals it can help. The charity is not part of the national RSPCA and receives no funding from them.

Since moving from the city centre to Attercliffe four years ago, the operation has never been able to operate to full capacity and now the situation has deteriorated.

Treasurer and trustee Roger Billing said: “We have seen a dramatic decrease in legacies and this will affect our ability to provide animal welfare. Our aim, with the public’s assistance, is to achieve a position where regular income can sustain our day-to-day operation without the dependency on legacies.

“This is a tall order as our operating costs are around £2,000 per day. We run as commercially as possible and are always looking for new ways to support ourselves such as the recent opening of new charity shops that are helping to fund us.

“However, on a day-to-day basis we trade at a loss and this restricts our activities. We really want to fully utilise the excellent facility we have built and we desperately need the help of Sheffield people.”

Ironically, the more animals treated, the bigger the loss because of the cost of vaccinations, micro-chipping, veterinary fees, food, care and training.

The appeal is for a one-off or regular donations. “If only 10,000, about 3% of people in the Sheffield area, out of a population approaching 600,000, were to donate just £2 per month to our centre, we could transform our situation and vastly improve the lives of more animals,” said Mr Billing.

General manager Stella White said: “The country is in the middle of an animal welfare crisis and to ensure we can continue to help animals in our local area we must increase our income.”

Without a public response, “we are seriously looking at reducing the number of animals we can help.”

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