RSPCA to make 270 redundancies - but Norfolk centres safe
PUBLISHED: 10:59 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:45 23 September 2020
Norfolk’s much-loved wildlife hospital will not be affected by a shake-up which will see the RSPCA make 270 redundancies and close some of its animal shelters.
The charity, which employs 1,600, said it would be closing Putney Animal Hospital and Southall Clinic in London and two rehoming centres, RSPCA Lockwood and South Godstone in Surrey.
But a spokesman said East Winch was not under threat or its Eau Brink rehoming centre, which is run by its local West Norfolk branch.
They added: “We’re predicting a £47m black hole in our finances over the next three years and the pandemic has made changes very urgent in order to protect our vital animal welfare activities for the future.
“Unfortunately, these decisions have been made as part of a wider restructure looking at how we operate all of our services.
“Our spending was outstripping our income before Covid hit and the pandemic has made our financial situation much more challenging.”
The RSPCA says its free reserves have dipped to a level which amounts to less than six months’ operating funds. Its centres like East Winch cost £670,000 a year to run.
It comes as more than £1,000 has been donated to an online appeal to support East Winch’s work.
The centre is currently treating patients from as far afield as Leicestershire, where a swan lover paid £200 for a poorly bird to be examined by a vet, who diagnosed lead poisoning, before it was transferred to Norfolk.
Another swan from Sudbury in Suffolk is recovering from horrific injuries to its legs which it suffered after getting caught up in two treble hooks on a pike fishing lure.
Manager Alison Charles said they were the worst she had ever seen.
The centre, which opened in 1992, is currently preparing for the winter when orphaned grey seal pups begin to be abandoned on the region’s beaches.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.