Charity Focus: RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk finding forever homes for animals

RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch kittens

Kittens at the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch - Credit: RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch

As part of our drive to support local charities, each week we are highlighting the vital work a charity does and the difference they make to the lives of people and animals in our communities.

This weekend we've heard from the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch (www.rspcanorwich.org.uk) about their work during the pandemic and in 2022.

RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch

Rabbits being cared for at the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch - Credit: RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch

Impact of COVID-19

Sadly, the pandemic had a significant effect on our ability to carry out our work as many of our key income streams had to stop. Our seven charity shops, which provide a vital source of income had to close and our fundraising events were also cancelled. As a local, independent branch of the RSPCA, we are solely responsible for raising our own funds, so this had a huge impact on our ability to carry out our vital work of rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in need.  

We also found that many people needed our help more than ever. Uncertainty around how the pandemic would affect their jobs, for example, led to an influx of people seeking assistance with accessible vet care or looking for advice on rehoming their pets for fear that they would no longer be able to care for their animals. It was very important to us that we continued to offer the same level of support to those that needed us, so we remained open, ensuring that secure COVID protocols were in place. We even continued to carry out adoptions, offering a contact-free adoption process, thus allowing the animals in our care to continue to find a second chance at happiness.  

Looking forward to 2022, our priority is to continue delivering excellent animal welfare in our branch area and we have already achieved some amazing things! In three months we have already found loving homes for 136 animals including rheas, goats, cats, cockerels, gerbils and dogs! 

RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch cockerel

Caring for a cockerel at the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch - Credit: RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch

The pandemic has put a huge strain on our resources but there are so many ways you can help us. Whether you’d like to fundraise or donate to our charity shops, it all makes a big difference. (https://www.rspcanorwich.org.uk/get-involved/fundraising-and-sponsorship/ways-you-can-help/) You could even try your luck at our weekly lottery, it only costs £1 to play and you could win up to £25,000! (https://www.makeasmilelottery.org.uk/causes/rspca-mid-norfolk-north-suffolk/make-a-smile-lottery)  

We also have lots of volunteer roles (https://www.rspcanorwich.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-for-us/) available such as in our charity shops, as an events volunteer or fostering. We couldn’t do what we do without our wonderful volunteers, so you’ll be making a huge difference and it’s also a great way to learn new skills and meet new people!  

RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch kitten feeding

Feeding a kitten at the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch - Credit: RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch

About the Charity 

The RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch is a local, independent branch of the RSPCA working across the Norfolk and Suffolk area. We exist to help pet owners and vulnerable animals via our adoption and rehoming scheme, financial assistance programmes and education and outreach work. Not many people realise that whilst we share the name ‘RSPCA’ we are actually an entirely separate charity. We work closely with the RSPCA Inspectorate to find homes for animals that have sadly been affected by neglect or abuse, however manage our own funds and resources.  

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We help lots of different animals, it’s not just cats and dogs! We have found homes for pigs, goats, donkeys, parrots, beehives, mice, lizards, gerbils and snakes! We’ve also had some uplifting success stories such as Peggy the border collie. 

RSPCA Mid Norfolk Peggy and Chloe dog sign language

Peggy the border collie with new owner Chloe, Head of Animal Welfare at Norfolk, who taught Peggy sign language. - Credit: RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch

Peggy came to us after she could no longer work as a farm dog due to becoming deaf. She was very quiet and would hide from new people, retreating into herself. She found a temporary home with our Head of Animal Welfare, Chloe, who has lots of experience with collies and she soon settled in. Peggy got on well with the other collies in the household and was clearly keen to join in with her foster siblings whilst they worked so Chloe began to teach her sign language. Using repetitive and positive reinforcement and pairing it with physical gestures, Peggy’s foster parents allowed her to return to the work that she loved and she was soon back out and working with sheep once more. After a few months, Chloe and her husband had fallen in love with Peggy, so decided to give her a forever home. Not only is Peggy proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks but she’s also a wonderful example of the things we’ve been able to achieve as a Branch. 

If you’d like to hear more about what we do, why not sign up to our monthly newsletter? (http://www.rspcanorwich.org.uk/news-and-events/newsletter-signup/)  It’s full of stories about our animals, upcoming events, seasonal advice and more. Want to adopt or find out more about what we do? Visit www.rspcanorwich.org.uk to meet our animals and our team!   

One Fun Day with Centre Paws 

RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch One Fun Day Centre Paws

Join RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk's One Fun Day with Centre Paws in Wymondham to raise money for the charity. - Credit: RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch

We are so excited for our One Fun Day celebration this year! One Fun Day is a range of family friendly events run by RSPCA branches across the country. This year we will be holding our celebration alongside the fantastic Centre Paws in Wymondham, an innovative dog-friendly site with therapies, activities, food and fun! Come along on June 18 for a fun day out, including a dog show, live music, family-friendly activities, food and drink, shopping and more. It’s set to be a really fun day out with lots of things to do for all the family and the pooches! All proceeds go towards the animals in our care so make sure to save the date!