Saturday, September 15, 2007

Doggy day care

Heritage weekend was also open weekend for the Leeds RSPCA. (For non-Brits, it is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a charity established in 1824). They are currently based at a commercial facility near Morley as it seems that they took a good offer from a developer for their old premises and are looking for a new location to build on.

Their temporary home is rather smart though, it is at MyPetStop which is a huge facility for dogs and cats (as well as smaller animal boarding) with grooming, Hydro-therapy, a vets and a large arena for walkies when it is wet. (You can take a 3D cyber-tour here).

The kennel & cattery area would give a double glazing salesman a wet dream as they are of uPVC construction with fencing, reminiscent of a (high security) holiday camp.

The arena is substantial with lots of consulting rooms on the perimeter (& offices upstairs). The RSPCA have a couple of these rooms earmarked as they need to check out both the animals and the humans for suitability.
For the paying guests, the salon is well equipped for grooming of clients who need more than just their bonce sorted.

(The centre had a cameo appearance in a recent blogpost of mine here).

All incoming animals to the RSPCA are spayed, chipped and checked for health before trying to find a home. There are adoption fees to pay, I think they said £100 for a dog and £60 for a cat which are higher than what Bradford charges but there again, MyPetStop is not a charity and must be expensive to run.

The RSPCA people said that the cats go a lot quicker than some of the dogs due to their independence and the much simpler vetting process (drive-by rather than home visit). This was noticable in the animal areas as the cats just had names whilst the dogs had explanatory stories about their temprament and suitability.

Having a dog wouldn't be fair on the animal in the Grey household as we both work and hte RSPCA don't recommend leaving one alone for no more than four hours.

Of course, sometimes responsible pet owners have to do this, so MyPetStop has come up with the ideal of day visitors as well as boarders.

Animals are good companions and sometimes they act as surrogate children or friends for their owners, some of who can carry amphromorphism to exremes. For over-pampering your pet, I think La Maison Des Chiens at £34.99 a night is probably "more money than sense"...

(Check out the price list for some of the extras!)


jmb said...

This place is a palace.
Interesting that cats go better than dogs. Vice versa here. They have a no kill policy here (unless necessary) but they can't do that apparently with cats because they get so many of them. Apparently people only want kittens, not grown cats.

Shades said...

JMB, I think there is a preference for kittens, of course, as cuteness is an attracting factor. Some dogs go quickly but the bigger and more boisterous or disturbed they are, the more difficult they are to place.

RSPCA policy on putting down healthy animals is mired in controversy, I gather. (I never actually discussed that on the day). One outfit over here called the Dogs Trust actually makes a point on TV adverts that they will never put down a healthy animal.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Someone in the RSPCA Centre in Cardiff told me that black dogs are especially hard to find homes for, too. I think these animals deserve a bit of pampering. Sometimes you do have to leave your dog for longer than is ideal but as long as your dog has a routine and knows you WILL come home, and that he / she is loved, it can work out. Also you have to give your dog your attention in full while you are there. I could wish for no better company.