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RSPCA wants to spend £1 million

THE RSPCA has launched a new, celebrity-fronted campaign to raise £1 million that it says is vital in its quest to combat animal cruelty and neglect.

The campaign has been launched in the wake of the Animal Welfare Act receiving Royal Assent and ahead of the Act becoming law in April 2007. Although the charity claims not to have sought greater powers under the Act, many observers believe that the charity will play a far greater role in enforcing the requirements of the Act.

To back its case, the RSPCA has recently released a raft of statistics relating to its work, although on doing so, it doesn’t seem to acknowledge the work of other leading animal charities such as the Dogs Trust, PDSA, Blue Cross and Cats Protection.

According to an RSPCA press release, each month the RSPCA receives over 100,000 calls from the public to report cases of animal suffering – with 323 inspectors nationwide, the charity investigates over 9,000 cases per month and rescues over 1,000 animals. In addition, through its network of animal treatment centres and re-homing centres, it treats and finds new homes for over 70,000 animals per year. The charity says that raising funds for its animal-saving activities is vital and it relies totally on public support to maintain its activities.

To help its fundraising efforts, the charity has launched a new campaign to raise £1 million. The campaign is fronted by well-known TV presenter Nick Ross and will be spearheaded by a series of DRTV commercials to be aired on digital, satellite and terrestrial channels from this week.
Louise Richmond, Donor Recruitment Marketing Manager at RSPCA, comments on the new commercials: “…The reportage style of the ads feels immediate and real, which we hope will help engage viewers and drive a strong response in what has become a increasingly competitive charity marketplace. Nick Ross is a perfect fit for our brand and we are delighted to have his support…”

The commercials appeal directly to each viewer’s sense of right and wrong by showing some of the awful ways in which the nation’s animals are treated. Each 90-second commercial focuses on a different real-life situation for the RSPCA and shows all aspects of the charity’s activities, not just its efforts to rescue injured, abandoned or abused animals. In the first commercial we follow a RSPCA inspector during a typical working day; the second commercial looks at the workings of one of the RSPCA’s 40 veterinary clinics and 36 animal centres, which provide both emergency treatment facilities and low-cost veterinary services to people who cannot afford a private vet; and the final commercial follows a treated animal as it arrives at a RSPCA animal shelter, hopefully looking forward to a happier future.

The aim of the commercials is to help the RSPCA reach its fundraising target of £1,000,000 by getting viewers to ring the RSPCA and show their support by making a donation. Donations can be made by telephone or by postal donation or via the charity’s website. Visitors to the site will also be able to see the progress of the campaign on a fundraising ‘totaliser’.

The Society says that the campaign is vital to the successful maintenance of the RSPCA’s services.

By Nick Mays