Novelty dog show raises cash towards new RSPCA rescue and rehoming centre

Evesham Journal: SUPPORT: From left, Richard Chamings (judge), Jan Benjamin (steward), Julie Goater (assistant steward) and Andrew Easton (the show's presenter from BBC Hereford & Worcester). SUPPORT: From left, Richard Chamings (judge), Jan Benjamin (steward), Julie Goater (assistant steward) and Andrew Easton (the show's presenter from BBC Hereford & Worcester).

RESCUE animals were the big winners as a Worcestershire animal charity's novelty dog show proved a big hit at the weekend.

The RSPCA Worcester & Mid-Worcestershire branch raised just over £2,000 during the fun at The Holdings, Broomhall, near Worcester, on Sunday.

It was the second novelty dog show the charity has held at the venue as it raises money towards converting the site into a rescue and rehoming centre.

Geraldine Haynes, branch trustee, was delighted with the turnout. She said: "The day went really well. We had more people than last year and takings were up by 50%. We took just over £2,000, which is brilliant, but we have our costs to take out of that, like the portable loos and the generator.

"We had so many people wanting to register for the different classes, there was a really long queue.

"The weather was ideal and many dogs and their owners enjoyed themselves".

Lots of dogs entered the 14 novelty classes, which made the job of deciding first, second, third and highly commended even more difficult for judge Richard Chamings, a local vet who looks after all the dogs in the care of the branch.

Meanwhile, Andrew Easton, from BBC Hereford & Worcester, did an excellent job compering the event and keeping all the dogs and their owners in order.

Mrs Haynes said: "The trustees and volunteers of our branch want to thank everyone who came along and supported the event. It was lovely to see so many dogs there who have been rehomed by our branch.

"Lovely Stan, the staffy cross who was in our care for 14 months, won the Handsomest Dog class with his owner Sarah Beales.

"Skye, a beautiful collie cross, took second prize for the Best Cross Breed with her owner Anne Booth.

Mrs Haynes said the branch was particularly grateful to everyone who bought a brick for the new branch animal centre.

More than 100 bricks were purchased by supporters wishing to be part of the new building project at The Holdings.

The car park is finished and the old barn has been demolished to make way for the new building.

Mrs Haynes said: "We will need 15,600 bricks to build the block of 20 kennels, reception, veterinary room, grooming room, kitchen and store room. There will also be 20 cat pens and 12 rabbit pods as part of the project.

"We really need the support of the community to get this much-needed rescue and rehoming centre up and running as soon as possible, so would encourage people to 'buy a brick' at £3 a brick.

"The branch receives no financial help from RSPCA headquarters towards this project, so all funds have to be raised locally from donations, fundraising and our 'buy a brick appeal'.

More details are on the branch website at http://www.rspca-worcester.co.uk/ or by calling Geraldine on 01886 822083.

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