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A Dog’s Life: RSPCA worker to raise funds by living like a mutt

An animal carer is aiming to raise much-needed funds for the RSPCA by living the life of a dog for one week.

Simon Weston, an animal care assistant at the Cross Lane, Wallasey branch of the RSPCA, will spend seven days living in a kennel in aid of the organisation.

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Simon’s efforts come on the back of the organisation announcing it faced a funding crisis in the wake of animal cruelty and neglect cases reaching “unprecedented levels.” When he found out that funding for the kennels at Cross Lane was down to just six months, Simon decided to take action.

“I will be sharing a kennel with a number of dogs throughout the week with just a 10-minute break in the morning and a walk in the afternoon. The weather has just started to turn and the kennels are very exposed so it will be extremely cold, especially with having just a blanket to keep warm,” said Simon.

“I will basically be living in the same conditions as the rescue dogs 24 hours a day for the whole week.”

CEO of the RSPCA Gavin Grant last week issued a warning that animal rescue charities are being overwhelmed at a time when public generosity is under pressure.

Wirral inspector Anthony Joynes commented: “I have noticed a huge increase in the quantity of work coming out. Sadly a lot of the work is due to cruelty and neglect whereby people have taken on animals without taking the time to consider their finances.

“Taking on an animal is not just a weekly food bill – people have got to consider costs of flea and worm treatment, adequate garden shelter and bedding, yearly vaccinations, not to mention veterinary costs if their pet becomes ill or injured.

“It saddens me to say this but from my experiences door to door every day I fear we have become a nation of ‘animal keepers’ not ‘animal lovers’.”

Besides hoping to raise around £5,000 towards keeping the kennels open, Simon wants to raise the profile of Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

“The majority of the dogs I will be sharing with are Staffies, so I want to show how loving and loyal they can be with the right care,” he remarked.

“I don’t quite know how I’m going to cope with the boredom of being cooped up all day so that will definitely be a struggle but if I raise awareness and money then it will all be worth it.”

Simon will undertake the challenge from 25 November – 2 December. To find out how to sponsor him, please call 0151 638 6318

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