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How the Branch Works

We are a small, but dedicated team. Our branch office is coordinated by two administrative staff, who oversee a varied range of operational duties such as day-to-day query-handling, animal welfare administration (processing vouchers to assist animal neutering, and provide funding towards essential treatments to animals that have been taken into RSPCA care), marketing and communications, retail and online sales strategy, finances, pet food bank services, events planning and fundraising strategy.

While we do our best to be on-hand to take your calls during office hours, on rare occasions there may be some busier periods where it is more difficult to reach us. However, there are many ways to get in touch. Our webchat box on this site for instance, will email us with your query. We also have social platforms such as Facebook, which we monitor as regularly as we can. If you are unable to reach us and have a query you believe we can assist with, please do email us on and we will reach out to you as soon as we can. 

We are unable to assist with reports of animal cruelty or neglect, or with injured or suffering wildlife, as our branch has no frontline services. For reports of this nature, you will need to contact the National helpline on 0300 1234 999.

As we currently do not have any animal boarding services at this branch, we are also unable to assist with rehoming or adoption queries. 

Our Community Hub

The Branch Office

Our branch office oversees all of the day-to-day activities of the branch. We work hard, day in, day out, to raise awareness and funds that then allow us to offer financial assistance and animal welfare services (signposting, pet food bank, education) to our local community, and animals in RSPCA care that have been rescued from our branch area and need essential rehabilitation and treatment. 

Charity Shop

Our charity shop is located on Chester-le-Street Front Street, and is run day-to-day by four part-time staff (two leads, and two assistants) and our amazing volunteers. This allows us to remain open Monday to Saturday while upholding a 'no lone-working' policy. Therefore, we always have friendly and helpful staff and volunteers at hand to assist and get to know our customers, regulars and donors. 

Online Retail

We also have a part-time online retail lead. This allows our charity shop to reach a wider audience with more unusual or higher value goods via platforms such as eBay and Depop. So, if you're looking for something in particular, and you'd rather shop online, you can visit our very own eBay shop, and have a browse, here.

Pet Food Bank

Our branch office and charity shop all operate from the same address. As does our pet food bank. All staff are on hand to assist with members of our community who would like to apply for pet food support, whether your query is by telephone, email or in-person. We are here to support you in confidence and without judgement. So, if you are struggling to meet the costs of pet food and supplies, please reach out to us. We are here to help.

Our Funds

Branches can only fundraise within the confines of their catchment area, and are responsible for raising the vast majority of the charity's income. For us, this means all of our fundraising is done within the areas of Sunderland, Hartlepool & South Tyneside. As an independent branch, separate from the National RSPCA, we rely solely on public donations, legacies and door-to-door shares from our area in order to continue our work. 

This is why our fundraising efforts are so important - especially during the current climate, where regular donations are more difficult to obtain, as the cost of living continues to put a strain on our community. However, despite this collective struggle, our community is amazing, and we simply cannot thank you all enough for your ongoing donations, your kindness, your time, and your continued, unwavering support. Thank you so much!

If you are interested in volunteering your time with the branch, or you'd like to share your fundraising expertise with us, we'd love to hear from you:

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