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An article by a South Wales Echo reporter describing difficulties with the staffing and conditions at the RSPCA animal shelter on Leckwith Road, Cardiff. 20 new steel kennels have been purchased and "extra runs are being made and volunteers are organising weekend work parties to keep the premises up to scratch". The article has a photograph with the caption: “FEEDING TIME… RSPCA kennelmaid Mrs Carole Smith with two of the dogs today.”


Dogs’ home manageress ‘sacked’ row

Echo reporter

FORMER MANAGERESS OF the RSPCA animal shelter in Cardiff, Mrs Erlie Eearle [sic], claimed today that her job was advertised while she was away on holiday. But this was denied by Mrs Mabel Bowles, chairman of Cardiff and district branch of the RSPCA.

Mrs Bowles said the advertisement was for an extra person to help with the kennels, but she had not consulted Mrs Searle.

“I have not discussed this replacement with her. I do not see why I should. I have a committee to deal with,” said Mrs Bowles adding that Mrs Searle was not sacked.

Mrs Searle said she stayed on for two weeks until she was sure there were people to care for the strays at the Leckwith Road establishment.

She made her claim about the advertisement as conditions at the home reached crisis point and emergency measures are being taken to move half of the dogs to Newport because of the “atrocious conditions” for them in Cardiff.

“I have been with them going on 12 years. When I came back from my holiday they had advertised for somebody else to take my job. Nothing was said to me so I thought “That's it,” said Mrs Searle.

The claim that conditions of the dogs home were atrocious came from Mrs Bowles.

Mrs Searle claimed the branch was well aware of the conditions.

“There is no shelter when you are out cleaning and you are out in all weathers, You have no hot water and you have to boil a kettle,” she said.

Mrs Searle said she worked a seven-day week with two weeks’ holiday a year. Until 12 months ago when she asked for a rise she was paid £5 a week and this went up to £7.50.

Heads in the sand

Mrs Bowles said the emergency had arisen because running repairs had not been done and the premises had falle[n] into decay.
moving in on Monday to put up extra fencing and 20 new portable kennels are on order to bring the home up to standard. [sic]

Mrs Bowles claimed Mrs Searle had left at a moment’s notice and there was now no regular help.

“I do not know if you can blame anybody in particular. Our committee members are working people but they have their heads in the sand.”

Mrs Bowles said gates were tied with string and the layout meant that two dogs could not use the run at the same time.

The 20 new steel kennels with special insulated linings each cost £207 and are like those used by police and the Army.

“We shall be scraping the bottom of the barrel to pay for them. I would like firms in Cardiff to donate a kennel and they could have their name on it,” said Mrs Bowles.

Extra runs are being made and volunteers are organising weekend work parties to keep the premises up to scratch. The cottage is to be renovated so the new manageress can live on the premises.

From Microform, Local Studies, Cardiff Library.
Image created by The British Library Board.
Copyright: Media Wales.

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