Keep your local RSPCA local

RSPCA branches cover the whole of England and Wales and are responsible for providing welfare services within their area. These would normally include:
  • Caring for and rehoming animals signed over via the RSPCA inspectors or taken in as a result of cruelty prosecutions.
  • Providing treatment, care and rehoming for injured stray or unowned animals.
  • Provision of low-cost veterinary care (or help with the cost of vet treatment) for pet owners on very low income whose pets might otherwise go without proper treatment or be put down.
  • Low-cost neutering to help prevent the birth of unwanted pets.
  • Low-cost micro-chipping to help to ensure strays can be re-united with their families.


Branches are normally run by unpaid volunteer committees elected by local RSPCA members whose job it is to decide what facilities are most needed in their area and then work to raise funds to pay for them.

If not enough members are prepared to stand for election or vote, then control of the area returns to the National Society at Horsham and the branch is run by paid employees until a volunteer committee can be recruited again. This naturally means the loss of local knowledge of welfare needs and the mix of skills provided by a group of people based in the branch area pooling their interests.

I don't think the people who originally set up the structure of the RSPCA intended branch elections to work quite like this, but they've effectively evolved into an annual referendum on whether the branch should be run by local volunteers or by the paid staff at Horsham. If you're an RSPCA member and you don't take part in the local democracy of your branch you're voting with your feet for the Horsham option.
If you love animals and want to keep the "local" aspect of your RSPCA branch: get involved! By joining the RSPCA you'll gain the right to vote to elect the members of your local branch committee and the National Council members who govern the RSPCA. If you can spare a few hours each month to attend meetings, do consider standing for election to your local committee. You may not think you have fantastic business or admin skills, but many important committee jobs don't need a huge amount of  prior experience and training is available. The most important things are willingness to work as part of a team, love of animals and being prepared to learn.

If you might be willing to join the committee of RSPCA Cambridge, email rosemary@rspca-cambridge.org.uk

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