Another bank holiday!!!!! Can you beleive just how many we've had already but at least that's it now until the Summer. But this one was rather unusal and very special as we made our way across to Southend on Sea (or as the locals call it Saarfeeennnd) for an amazing fund raising event. One of our local volunteers has a partner who just happens to own a tattoo shop and on Bank Holiday Monday the shop opened for a very special reason - tattoo's in exchange for a donation to Bulldog Rescue. Over £600 was raised and it was really nice to relax and eat cake with some of our amazing Essex Volunteers. I finally got my "Smile and Wave" tattoo too which some of us have been promising ourselves for many years.
It was back to reality on Tuesday though with the usual day off back log and a letter from the Kennel Club to inform us that the grant, which they suggested we apply for after sending them the Trevor's Treaty campaign to help with our additional vet costs had been refused because they no longer gave grants for vet bills!!! You couldn't make this up really, we apply for this grant every year anyway so we found it strange that after asking them for additional support that that would be the suggestion - but since applying they've changed the rules. We have no idea where this will end but we will of course keep you posted on the campaign facebook page as there was no time to dwell on that this week. as the rehome requests continued to come in and we also had the added task of preparing for an AGM and the Annual Volunteer Meeting.
The AGM was bleak, as each of us gave our reports on what has happened over the course of the year it became obvious that a pattern was forming,The Chairmans, CEO, Treasurers and Coordinators report had all noted that our big problem was Vet Bills. Our Treasurer gave a very bleak warning suggesting that we only had a years worth of funds left if we didn't do something about it now. So sadly we have had to bring in a few contingency plans and hope that the current trend of corporate companies buying up vet practices like a desease crawling across the country reaches it's peak soon. It's clear that as they buy up the practices and double the prices they are beginning to lose clients who can no longer afford the prices. Assuming something positive happens within the next 12 months we will be OK, but if not we will have to start limiting the number of dogs we can help at any one time and I'll be honest - the thought of having to tell any owner we can't help makes me want to cry. We will publish the reports over the next couple of weeks, they make very interesting and bleak reading but it's a situation we will now monitor on a monthly basis (as opposed to our usual quarterly system) but the fund raising season has now begun after the Christmas lull when no one has spare cash to give to charities so I'm hopefull this is nothing more than a blip.
The following day was Vicky's amazing Bulldog Day. Unfortunately my health no longer allows me to do both the AGM and Bulldog Day but I bet they are having an amazing time. The point of holding the two events on the same weekend is so that some of our volunteers can stay over after the meeting to help with the day so thank you very much to all that did stay up in Newark and we hope you are OK. Obvioulsy Monday (3rd June) will see a very thin covering of staff so please bear with us if you find it difficult to get hold of us tomorrow. Batteries need to be recharged.