Councillors and residents in Harold Hill came out to protest over the year long closure of the RSPCA clinic in Chippenham Road recently.
The popular clinic that is used by many locals in the Havering area, has been closed for over a year now with no signs of reopening soon. Councillor Jan Sargent and Councillor Christine Vickery stood alongside animal lovers and campaigners who came out Saturday morning to protest over the clinic closure and fight for the clinic to be saved.
Independant Councillor for Gooshays ward Councillor Jan Sargent this week writes in the Enquirer about the clinic.
“This clinic has been closed for over a year now and the residents of Harold Hill are becoming more and more concerned about its future as a haven to provide animal treatment and support for those in the community who cannot otherwise afford it.
This centre dealt with a range of injured and rescued animals. Veterinaries and inspectorates worked alongside volunteers and others to ensure care for sick, injured and orphaned animals in the area.
As you may already be aware we also have a 365 acre Nature Reserve on Harold Hill which is abundant with wildlife.
This service is desperately needed and missed by not only Harold Hill but by neighbouring areas too.
At present we have one veterinarian practise on the Harold Hill estate but there are many residents on Harold Hill who cannot afford private veterinary prices.
We also have a large percentage of elderly residents in Harold Hill.
They are telling me that they are really struggling to care for their beloved pets.
Their nearest charitable animal care centre from Harold Hill is in Crow Lane, Romford, over 6 miles away which has no direct bus service.
There is also the history element to this much missed clinic.
I indeed took my pets there when I was growing up on the Hill.
It is part of our heritage and we would hate to lose such an important part of our history.
I am sure that if needed , the community of Harold Hill would all pull together to help in ensuring that this beloved clinic could continue to operate.
It is so important to us for it to remain for the purposes of which it was built.”
Havering local campaigner Ross Elliott told The Enquirer: “The RSPCA Centre played an important role within the Borough for many years, providing vital services to its residents and their pets. It has a long history of providing support and care to many sick, injured and orphaned animals, as well as providing an opportunity for volunteers to get involved.
“The RSPCA Centre must be reopened to ensure the welfare of the communities animals. The Council need to understand the importance of the Centre and ensure this happens as soon as possible.”
Local resident and user of the clinic Walter Bryant told The Enquirer: “This clinic is really handy for me as I have a dog and a cat and I don’t drive. We need it here, if I go to a private veterinary clinic they charge exorbitant prices. This clinic here is good for our community. ”
Margaret Kinghorn, who also used the clinic regularly told The Enquirer: “This clinic is so good with our animals, the staff are lovely, the vets are great and its the animals that will suffer if it is not here.
“The PDSA only take one animal, a lot of people have dogs and cats and then you have to travel into Romford with them for them to be seen.”
Following our enquiry an RSPCA spokesperson said: “We’d like to reassure the public that the branch is continuing to help neglected and abused animals rescued by our inspectors in the local area in any way it can while the Campbell Clinic is closed.
“The branch is currently looking at its options regarding the future of the clinic, which has become very run down and requires a substantial capital injection to bring it up to modern health and safety standards.
“Anyone who needs to make alternative arrangements for veterinary care for their animals is asked to either contact their local vet or PDSA for any veterinary emergencies.
“If you wish to have a cat neutered, you can contact the C4 scheme which offers free neutering for cats on 0300 0121 212 weekdays 9am – 1pm, or visit www.cats/org.uk/c4. If you require a dog to be neutered, there may be financial assistance available subject to eligibility criteria. Please email [email protected].”