A CLINIC that cares for animals has launched a fundraising drive for a much-needed X-ray machine.

The equipment would enable the the RSPCA’s Clwyd and Colwyn Branch, on Vaughan Street Rhyl, to be able to deal with on-the-spot emergencies involving pets and wildlife.

The centre treated more than 3,000 animals during the first national lockdown.

£12,000 is needed for the equipment.

Kieren Barlow, branch manager, said: “At the moment we can’t deal with on-the-spot emergencies as we don’t have an X-ray machine. This means we then have to refer people who come to us to private veterinary practices, which is very frustrating all round.

“Very recently an owner brought in their dog who had swallowed a sock and was struggling to breathe. Yet because we didn’t have an X-ray machine we were unable to quickly diagnose and treat the dog here as we would have liked.

“Having this much-needed piece of equipment will allow us to provide a quick diagnosis and could potentially save lives.

“We really hope that animal lovers in the area, as well as local companies and businesses, will rally round and help us to achieve our target.”

The machine will be used to help a variety of animals including cats, dogs, rabbits, hedgehogs, birds, guinea pigs, badgers and gerbils.

The clinic provides affordable veterinary treatment, including neutering and microchipping, to pets whose owners are in receipt of state benefits or have lower annual incomes and covers an area including the whole of Denbighshire and parts of Conwy. It also provides life-saving care to a wide range of sick and injured wildlife brought in by RSPCA officers and members of the public.

In 2020 the clinic received 28,000 calls and treated 2,171 dogs, 1,255 cats and 38 other animals, an increase of 27.5 per cent on the previous year. This was largely due to the fact that during the first national lockdown, a lot of animal-related services were unable to remain open, so the clinic extended its reach to cover the whole of North Wales between March and September that year.

The RSPCA’s network of 152 branches are all affiliated to the national RSPCA but each one is an independent registered charity responsible for raising its own funds.

All money raised by the Clwyd and Colwyn branch goes directly towards animal welfare work in the area.

More than £600 has been raised so far. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/much-needed-xray-machine