Sunday, October 4, 2009

Further thoughts on funding veterinary help

In some ways this is a vicious circle. The harder we work to raise more funds so we can do more than offer a painless end to animals whose owners can't afford their treatment costs the larger our annual income becomes.

This might sound very silly and obvious, but the "viciousness" comes in when potential volunteers and people who need help from us start to imagine that the RSPCA is so wealthy we could afford virtually anything. On the one hand potential volunteers and donors often feel they'd rather support smaller organisations who "really need" their help, even though they may be handling only a fraction of the numbers of animals that we do. On the other hand, the reaction when they hear we've turned down a request for help is very often: "If the RSPCA say they won't pay for X because they haven't enough money, I'm never going to give them another penny!"

It's significant that hardly any of the local veterinary surgery staff are RSPCA members and that conversations with them often leave me feeling that they think I'm being mean when I don't agree to pay the full cost of patients' treatment up front with no discussion.

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