RAF Halton Police supporting RSPCA

STAFF at the RAF Halton Police Flight have been busy supporting local charities as they carried out a series of collections on the main gates of RAF Halton in aid of the RSPCA. The National RSPCA week ran from 1st June and included collections throughout the county where donations of food and money were also welcomed from the general public.

Corporal Dan Hill and his retired RAF Police Dog, Frisco, collected at the main gate along with Corporal James Bowers. Another RAF Police team consisted of Flight Sergeant Dawn Bellingham and her labrador, Charlie and Sergeant“Dally” Pollard and her border collie, Dylan, who collected on the Swann Road gate.

The dogs worked very hard and it was noticeable how much the RAF Halton staff appreciated the sight of these animals on arrival at the gates. The aim was to raise £100 for the charity and in the early morning sunshine, the collection teams were well received with many donating loose change down the back of their passenger seat, or gave up their dinner money to go towards this worthy cause.

RSPCA Blackberry Farm in Aylesbury opened in 1997 and is a Head Office run centre. This means that the running costs are paid for by the main RSPCA but they also have a local fund raising group, made up of staff and volunteers, who raise funds for projects and items directly for the centre – such as the K9 Sensory Garden.

This is where the money raised by the collection at RAF Halton is going to be used and give the dogs in their care new areas to exercise, relax and carry out their normal instincts away from the kennel environments. The majority of their animals come in via their Inspectorate – those animals that have been treated cruelly or neglected.

The RSPCA spend time rehabilitating them, behaviourally and with veterinary treatment until they are ready to be put up for adoption. Blackberry Farm can hold up to 57 dogs, 96 cats and various small animals – such as rabbits, ferrets,  guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, degas, chinchillas, goats, chickens and ducks. They can take a maximum of 200 animals, depending on the small animal species but on average, they have around 130 animals on site, at any one time.

After the gate collections at RAF Halton, Dan Hill and Will Hughes, with his RAF Vehicle Search Dog, Sweep, carried out a walk around areas of the Station so that personnel who had missed the gate collections could donate – in exchange for a cuddle with Sweep! Many of the personnel were only too happy to take time away from their work and talk about dogs and the animals in care at Blackberry Farm.

On Thursday 11th June, the RAF Police took a trip to Blackberry Farm with their dogs in order to meet the Centre Manager Julie Allen, and to hand over a cheque for £207.08 – over double the amount initially hoped to raise. The Centre Manager was extremely grateful with the fund raising and sent her appreciation to all the staff at RAF Halton who donated.