Monday, July 26, 2010

Our shops and our animal welfare work

Our 2nd hand bookshop at 188 Mill Road
Some of the comments from visitors to our shops over the weekend made me realise many people don't really know how our fundraising activities relate to what we do locally to help animals.

All the profits from our shops (after we've paid the rent, rates etc.) go to pay the costs of running our animal clinic, providing care for animals that we've had to take in and other work to help animals in the local region.

We need to raise this money because there is no government funding to pay for the work we do.

At the end of each day, the staff and volunteers count up the shop's takings and pay them into the branch bank account. This money is then available to pay bills, such as the charges for boarding animals in kennels before rehoming and from vets for treating injured and sick animals. Fees paid by clinic users are paid into the same bank account and go towards paying the University's charge for providing qualified vets to treat animals at the clinic. We pay roughly half their charges using money we've raised by fund-raising activities such as our shops, and the clinic fees pay the other half. Periodically they send me their bills and I make out cheques to pay them. These are then counter-signed by a second member of the branch committee and posted off to the vets and kennels. I enter up the amounts in a spreadsheet to keep a record of how much we've spent each month and how low our funds are getting.

Last month we spent:
  • £1,263 on boarding animals waiting to be rehomed
  • £1,702 on veterinary treatments at private vets
  • £13,786 on treatments at our clinic
Without the shops to pay part of the cost we would need to increase the clinic fees a lot and that would mean some of the very poorest pet owners probably couldn't afford to use it any more, so it is very important that they make enough profit to support the clinic.

The money we raise is also an essential lifeline for injured animals because it means that vets who have animals whose owner is unknown brought in to them can give at least some treatment rather than always putting them to sleep.

The money we raise isn't sent away to swell some "funds" elsewhere; it's used directly to provide help for animals locally.

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