MORE than 30 dogs belonging to those in need have been given a free health check thanks to a heartwarming partnership between the RSPCA and a Birkenhead centre for those less fortunate.

Wirral's RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes visited the Charles Thompson Mission on Tuesday, armed with advice and dog food, and gave those in need a helping hand when it comes to looking after man's best friend this winter.

Joined by vet Holly Jones and Kay Hawthorn, manager of the RSPCA's Wirral Animal Centre, Inspector Joynes was able to give dozens of needy dogs the once over.

Free dog food, blankets and treats - donated by Wirral residents - were also handed out to those who visited.

Inspector Joynes said: “The idea originally was to help the homeless that may own dogs to get through the winter but I decided to extend it out to also help Wirral’s neediest families who have dogs who may regularly be using foodbanks to feed themselves.

Wirral Globe:
Misty the dog gets the once over by vet Holly Jones.

“With this winter set to be a long cold one, I just thought that any help and assistance we can give the people that need it will benefit the dogs as well as their owners.”

One of the main reasons for Tuesday's drop-in session was to issue neutering vouchers to people who may not ordinarily be able to afford the vital treatment.

Inspector Joynes said: "We had around 30 dogs come in to the Mission and all but one of them needed neutering. There was an atmosphere between the dogs with the hormones - it was just a time bomb waiting to go off.

"We issued neutering vouchers for every single dog that came in apart from the one that was already done. In the long run, that might save hundreds of unwanted puppies."

Wirral Globe:

The Charles Thompson Mission, in Birkenhead, opens its doors to around 70 people five days a week, offering them hot meals and the chance to escape the poverty they have sadly become accustomed to.

Set up in 1892 by grocer Charles Thompson, the Mission – on Hemingford Street – aimed to ease the suffering of youngsters in poverty.

Now, the Mission is run by kindhearted soul Bernie Frost, who gives up his time to do all he can for those in need.

Providing food, furniture, clothes, healthcare, counselling services and even toys for the borough’s poorest children, the Mission is vital for so many living below the breadline.

Inspector Joynes hopes that, with the Mission’s help, he will be able to reach out to as many people as possible, including those who were unable to make the drop-in session.

He added: “If anyone is aware of an elderly person with a dog that might struggle to get through the winter, they should get in touch – I’d be happy to personally take them some food.

“This if course won’t solve any major issues but just may ease any worries about feeding the dog if someone was struggling to hear their home.”

Left over food will be kept at the Mission so that dogs can be taken in daily to have their meal.

Inspector Joynes said: "Tuesday was a real success and hopefully we can do it next year.

“People will say that people shouldn’t have an animal if they can’t afford the basics and on the whole I would totally agree.

“This however is not a long-term fix or even an attempt to take away the basic responsibilities of animal ownership. It’s simply a gesture of goodwill and will hopefully do some good.

“If it makes the winter even a little easier for Wirral’s neediest and their dogs then I’ll be happy.”

  • If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can text HELP59 to 70099 to give £3.
  • To get in touch with Inspector Joynes, call the Wirral and Chester branch on 0151 638 6318 and leave a message for him.