Friday, April 29, 2011

The Purebred Paradox Conference

The RSPCA's scientific expert on the welfare of dogs has been live-tweeting from a conference in the US. She tweets as GetPuppySmart. I've saved the conference tweets and some related materials as a Storify record.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Monday at 61 Burleigh Street

Radiator-hanging cat bed

Unusual cat scratching post
 Lots of goodies for cat-lovers at the moment, including this fake-fur bed (to hang off a radiator), the unusual wall-mounted cat scratch post shown below, and various smaller beds, bowls etc.

The cat scratching / climbing tree is nearly as tall as I am and made of rattan cane. It includes several shelves for climbing or resting and is new and never used. It's intended to be attached to a wall by screw fittings, but could be supported by tying to banisters etc. to avoid marking a wall.
Opening on Easter Monday was a bit of an experiment, but sales were nearly as good as on a normal Saturday, so I'm hoping to do more bank holidays in future. We could do with more volunteers able to help cover as the usual weekday people would like to spend the holidays with their families.

If you might be interested in training to help with occasional and/or weekend cover at the shop, please drop by and have a word with the manager, or email Initial training would be given by Ffiona on a Saturday, as she doesn't work Sundays or bank holidays.

Happy Easter tasks

Just signed off the branch management accounts for the end of the first quarter of 2011. NOT really my idea of a fun way to spend Easter, but it has to be done.

Some points are worth sharing:

First of all, and very encouraging. The Newmarket shop took  £3,615.22 in the two weeks it traded in February, and £6,428.11 in March. This doesn't yet translate into extra funds for the branch because shop rent is usually payable quarterly in advance, which means we had to use the March takings to pay the £6,900 rent for the next three months. The upside of this, of course, is that April and May's rent is now paid and, after allowing for rates, power, wages etc., the shop is making £2,000 per month profit over running costs and is on track to repay the setting up loan from the HQ while still making a decent contribution towards the branch's animal welfare work.

61 Burleigh Street's takings are well up on the first quarter of 2010, although the figures are skewed by the dreadful weather in January 2010 which stopped people coming out to shop:
           January       February     March
2011:£5,115.35  £5,273.31  £6,004.59

2010:£936.01  £4,020.85  £5,939.88

The bookshop is now making a modest profit, but we have to accept that Mill Road is simply not busy enough to attract enough passing trade to support having a paid manager.

HQ were very patient with us during 2010 and gave us a lot of leeway by letting us have vaccines and microchips "on account" to keep our clinic going. We've now been able to pay them in full.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Clarence is home!

Clarence was handed in to us as an injured stray, and we were delighted to get a call from his owner who had recognised his picture in our rehoming gallery.

Clarence was chipped in Switzerland before his family moved to the UK, which is why, although we could detect that he had a chip, we couldn't use it to trace his owner.

This is becoming quite a common occurrence as more people move between countries with their pets and I'm not sure what the solution is, other than, possibly, re-chipping animals after the move.

Logically you'd think that registering a chip for a pet passport to get permission to enter the country ought also to mean some kind of record that could be used to trace the owner of a found pet.