RSPCA home in call for help as expenses rise sharply

A HOME that has been rescuing an increasing number of unwanted and badly treated animals since 1990 is at risk of closing due to rising expenses.

The Danaher Animal Home in Wethersfield has revealed net losses of �130,000 in 2010 (compared to �73,000 in 2009) and, with no sign of the economic climate improving, the fundraising committee has admitted times are tough.

Lucy Smith, aged 24, is one of the many volunteers at the home, and she has decided to do something about it – by sleeping.

“We need to raise more money as we are a completely self-funded and we look after a lot of animals,” she said.

“With the current economic climate animals are constantly coming through our doors or being found abandoned, and vet bills, food and utilities all add up very quickly.

“We are desperately looking towards the public to help us keep caring for these poor innocent animals which urgently need our help.”

Miss Smith, who has been a volunteer and friend of the home since she was 10, has arranged a sponsored ‘sleep-in’ with the animals on Saturday August 27.

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It will involve at least a full night’s kip inside the kennels and all the money raised will go directly back to the RSPCA facility to keep it running.

At least eight volunteers are involved and the plan is to see what life is like for a rescue dog that has just been brought in.

Miss Smith added: “Our target is to raise at least �500. It will be an interesting evening, but we are doing it for charity not comfort. I hate to see the home struggle.

“The animals have all suffered enough and desperately need us to save them and take care of them – but we cannot do this without sufficient funds.

“It would be lovely if companies could sponsor us for this unusual event as well as the general public. Times are hard, and more animals are coming in all the time.”

Currently, the centre is licensed to hold a maximum of 84 dogs and is almost full. It also holds a large amount of cats, birds and small animals – all waiting for new homes.

The home relies entirely on income from donations, re-homing, grants, legacies, and the success of two shops in Braintree and Witham. Funds are also raised by an active ‘friends’ fundraising committee.

- If any person or business would like to sponsor the sleep in or donate to the home, visit, or send cheques to RSPCA Danaher Animal Home, Thorley Farm, Hedingham Road, Wethersfield, Essex, CM7 4EQ. For more information e-mail