Rescue centre says no to dogs
ABANDONED dogs are being turned away from the new RSPCA centre in Brent Knoll because the charity cannot afford to help them. The North Somerset branch of the RSPCA is short of £300,000 to build kennels at the site and rescued dogs are currently kept in p
ABANDONED dogs are being turned away from the new RSPCA centre in Brent Knoll because the charity cannot afford to help them.The North Somerset branch of the RSPCA is short of £300,000 to build kennels at the site and rescued dogs are currently kept in private kennels.Boarding bills can cost up to £13,000 a month and the RSPCA has had to reduce the number of canines it helps because it is costing too much and eating into the charity's development funds.Centre manager Nikki Tutton said: "At the moment the dogs we help are actually kept in private kennels in Lympsham. They are very helpful and have been re-homing them but it's difficult and it's expensive. It means we also have to make more money to save to build our kennels. "We have on average around 15 dogs in the private kennels. We had to reduce the numbers we helped due to our finances. It's really hard and what we are doing is having to refer them to other RSPCA centres for help, when we would really like to be helping them."It will cost the branch £600,000 to build the kennels and managers are hoping they will be completed in the next six-12 months - although they cannot start without all the money.So far one cattery, which can house 44 cats and kittens, and a small reception building have been built on the four-and-a-half acre site off Brent Road.Next to be built will be three kennel blocks for 50 dogs, followed by an administration building for staff training, dog training classes and offices to keep the centre running efficiently.A second cattery will be built to house sick and injured animals until they are ready to be re-homed, and a small animal centre for creatures including hamsters, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs and gerbils. The site also has a small paddock which will eventually hold stable blocks so the centre can care for livestock in the short term if there is an emergency.It will cost around £2m to complete the centre and once all the blocks are up and running, the branch will still need to raise £350,000 a year to fund running costs.As well as donations, money comes in from the RSPCA's charity shops in the area and three dog shows which are held in the summer.If you would like to make a donation, adopt an animal, volunteer to be a foster carer or would like some advice, the centre is open from 11am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm Tuesday-Sunday. Or you can call staff on 01278 782671.