The staff from the RSPCA’s Solent branch will be breathing new life into a colourful range of vintage RSPCA dog-shaped collection boxes in a new competition.

Captain 'dog' Sparrow.JPG

The hidden treasures were found in a storeroom and had not been used for many years, so staff came up with the idea to refurbish them in their spare time as part of a team challenge that will aim to raise money for the animals in their care.

Staff from all of the branch’s charity shops, animal care staff, vets, clinic, office and reception staff, along with the inspectors based at the branch split into 21 teams to refurbish and redecorate the collection boxes over a number of weeks with the hope that their ‘dog’ will be deemed the favourite.

The dog-shaped collection boxes will be going on display at the Stubbington Ark Animal Centre in Fareham today (Friday 22 July) ready for the summer holidays.

The ‘top dog’ will be chosen by the public visiting the centre, who can vote by putting a pound into their collection dog of choice over the summer period. The dog collection box containing the most pound coins in September, at the start of the school year, will be crowned the winner.

RSPCA animal care assistant, Megan Williams, who works at the centre, came up with the idea and commented: “The staff have been really competitive, in a fun way, with this project and it was all a bit ‘hush hush’ with nobody letting on to other teams what their designs would be. It’s been a great team builder for us but also has jazzed up some historical items, and you can see from today, just how much effort has gone into this.

“We all work so hard to help the animals in our care and we hope that this will be a bit of fun, especially for children, whilst also helping us to raise vital funds for us to continue our work. It actually costs us over £3,500 a day to run the branch so the support of the local community is vital to us and we rely on donations from the public to thrive.

“So come along and support us this summer and pick your favourite dog!”

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“From the end of September we would also like to display the ‘dogs’ at 21 different locations around Hampshire and run a treasure hunt for the public, with anyone submitting photos of all 21 ‘dogs’ in their locations receiving a prize. If any businesses out there would be interested in fostering one of our painted dogs then get in touch!”

The Stubbington Ark is open 10am-4pm, seven days a week.