John McDonnell visits charity’s clinic to meet staff and animals as they get ready for Christmas
A deaf kitten in desperate need of a loving home was one of a number of animals who greeted John McDonnell when he visited the Hillingdon, Slough, Windsor, Kingston & District Branch of the RSPCA to help launch their Christmas appeal.
The Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington and Shadow Chancellor was given a tour of the branch’s Hillingdon Clinic and nearby charity shop on Friday (2 December) where he learned more about the vital work done to help animals in the local area.
Irene Hansford, who is chair of the RSPCA branch, said she was pleased to have the chance to showcase the work they do as she explained they need to raise more than £9,000 each month to carry out work at their busy clinic.
She said: “Mr McDonnell joined us for a tour around the clinic and charity shop as he endorsed our Christmas appeal where we hope to raise money and encourage donations of food and bedding to help the animals in our care.
“He was very interested in the fact local people who cannot afford private veterinary fees can access subsidised care for their pets.
“Ouroverhead costs are the same as same as a private practice, but we only charge a fraction of the costs. This means we have to work very hard all year round to make sure we raise the money we need to carry out this work and are reliant on regular donations and support from local people.“
While visiting the clinic the parliamentarian learned more about the need for more volunteers to help lend a hand and even met with a nine week old deaf kitten called Autumn who is looking for a loving home where she can be kept inside and safe from traffic.
Little Autumn, who was found dumped at just five weeks old, is one of more than 70 cats being cared for by the branch who are looking for forever homes.
John praised the work of staff and volunteers at both the RSPCA in Hillingdon and across England and Wales and also agreed to work with the RSPCA to ensure the new Government licensing legislation on pet sales and dog breeding, due to be agreed in 2017, will provide the best animal welfare standards and will reduce many of the problems the RSPCA faces on a daily basis.
John said: “I had a fantastic visit to the RSPCA last week to help launch their Christmas appeal. The staff and volunteers at the Centre do an excellent job all year round looking after all the animals and it was a pleasure to drop in to support the work that they do.”