Each year the RSPCA in our area is inundated with a growing number of neglected and mistreated animals.
But here at the Advertiser we have been working alongside the animal shelter, based on Abbey Street, Derby, to help alleviate the ever increasing demand for its services.
We regularly try to rehome at animals, be it cat, dog, rabbit, cockatoo or lizard, through our regular Rescue Me appeal feature.
Now Rescue Me, which appears both in the paper and on our website has seen numerous pets given loving new homes with Advertiser readers.
And if this year’s success stories are anything to go by, Rescue Me is still going strong.
Volunteer co-ordinator at the centre Leanne Manchester picks us out an animal holed up there each week, which we tell you about.
“It’s still going strong,” she said. “We still get lots of people come in and say we have seen the animals in the paper and we want to have a look at them.
“It has been really good in raising awareness of what we do here.”
Star the rottweiler was just one of the animals to feature in Rescue Me that now has a loving family home.
Leanne said that although she was a darling on the lead for the RSPCA dog walkers, she just didn’t seem to appeal to members of the public.
“Just when we were wondering how long it would be before the right owners came along, they walked through the door.” Leanne added.
Now, several months later, she has settled in to her new home in Burton-on-Trent.
Her new owners, who did not wish to be named, wrote to say: “She has put on some weight and is spoilt rotten. She’s not wary of new people any more, she greets everybody who comes to the house and makes a fuss of them. She is obedient, although her naughty trick is stealing loaves of bread from the worktop! She just fits in so well.”
Leanne says this year has seen a real increase in the amount of cats taken in at the Derby shelter.
“We’ve had so many in this year,” she added. “We have had a lot of kittens and there mums, but we have gotten a lot of pregnant mums as well.
“At the moment there are 60 cats at the centre, and 20 of those were brought in from one house!”
Several cats have featured in Rescue Me this year, including Tammy and Bonnie pictured here.
The older duo had been at the centre for quite a while before they featured in Rescue Me back in June.
Now they are living happily in a house in Derby.
But despite the success stories, Leanne is in no doubt over the challenges faced by the RSPCA.
“We’ve had some really awful cases,” she said. “Often it’s the neglect cases that are worse than the cruelty.
“When a dog or cat has a flea allergy, that can be a real sign of neglect. This is something that could easily be treated but by the time they come in to us they’ve progressed much further down the line. It takes a long time to get them back to full health.”
Leanne also said the centre needs volunteers now more than ever to help foster animals for a short while, help them with dog walking and grooming throughout the week and help participate in fundraising days.
Patricia Edwards, 68, from Chapel Street in Leabrooks, has fostered homeless dogs and cats for the shelter for 32 years and is always involved in street collections in the area. Patricia, who worked as a window dresser at Trade Prices in Ripley, started volunteering with the animal charity because of her love of all creatures great and small, and she still loves being around the animals. She said: “If you are wondering what to do with your spare time, maybe you are unemployed or retired like me, make a phone call like I did and meet some really nice people and even make life-long friends, at the same time as helping some unwanted animals.”