RSPCA still struggling to rehome abandoned pets in Norwich

A local animal charity has told how it has beaten its rehoming records in the past year, but is still struggling to help as many animals as possible.

The RSPCA Norwich and Mid-Norfolk branch had an impressive 2011 – rehoming 366 cats and 56 dogs – an increase of more than 20pc on the previous year's figures.

However, the charity is still struggling to take in more animals as abandonment rates increase.

Animal care manager Claire Feek said: 'We have seen an increase in animals coming in from the public. We know that more animals are coming into us because people are losing their jobs – money gets tighter. Unfortunately, we have had to take in more animals as owners are looking to save money from the monthly outgoings and cancelling their pet insurance.'

The charity strongly advises people to insure their animals and to not see their pet insurance as a way of cutting costs. The branch introduced its Pet Check Sessions in 2011 for owners to drop in and see the veterinary nurse for basic things such as claw clipping and weight advice as well as being offered low cost flea and worm treatments.

The number of calls to the RSPCA about abandoned animals has risen 31pc since 2007. Wendy Dowding, chairman of trustees, said: 'The charity has moved forward tremendously in 2011 and we have big plans for 2012.

'With the opening of our charity shop in Magdalen Street to bring in much needed funds, we are all set to make 2012 an even better year for rehoming – but this can only happen with the support of the communities around us'.

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The branch is a self funding charity and the money raised in Norfolk stays in Norfolk. Mrs Dowding said: 'We are also looking for people to join our board of trustees. We are pushing the charity forward onto bigger and better things and we need like-minded people who are passionate about animal welfare.'

The pet check sessions run each Saturday from 9am to midday on a drop in basis at its Barrack Street Paws Centre in Norwich. The charity is keen to stress that these sessions do not take the place of a veterinary consultation and if an animal is distressed and needs treatment, owners should seek veterinary advice immediately.

More information about becoming a trustee is available by contacting Wendy Dowding via the charity on 01603 766001, open Tuesdays to Sundays, 11am to 4pm.

Do you have an animal story for the Evening News? Contact Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email