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Counting Our Lucky Stars – Or Doing The Numbers?

By November 20, 2014Vizsla Rescue
Two skinny mums with their pups came to us from dreadful conditions

Two skinny mums with their pups came
to us from dreadful conditions

Welcome to blog number two, for this one we decided to share with you a month of financial figures from Vizslamentés Hungary (VM Hu) – essentially the running costs and how the funds are spent. Hopefully it will give insight to where the donations go and what sort of organisation we have grown in to.

In our first blog we explained how the funds raised in Vizslamentés UK (VM UK) provide the lion’s share of the income to the Hungarian foundation, and investigating and analysing the spend has been an interesting exercise with some eye opening figures.

A little background first of all to help make sense of the numbers. We selected October simply as the latest and easiest as the head of VM Hu has to submit the invoices monthly to the foundation that runs their accounts. Prior to submitting they were all entered on a spreadsheet ready for us to view them – luckily we were sitting down to read as eyes were watering! But, it is important to stress that the team in Hungary are coping well financially. The income is steady, we could always do with more of course and thank our supporters daily for their continued help; but costs are being met, bills paid and the dogs get everything they need. We never turn a dog that needs us away.

So, to the nitty gritty, in October we had 26 new dogs come into our care. This number includes the 2 skinny mums, and their pups, that were confiscated from their owner. The majority of these dogs are adults with unknown histories. Numbers of dogs sit at 40 in total in foster care as I type here in November. Many of the fosters don’t ask us for expenses and feed our dogs alongside their own, but some can’t afford that or have several dogs in foster so we provide food. We also provide specialist food to help get weight and nutrition back on the right track when dogs come to us skinny and malnourished – total spend on all food for the month was just under £700.

Gyopar having a bath to try and solve his skin condition

Gyopar having a bath to try and solve his skin condition

A cost which we have seen climb up lately is for the dogs that need very specialist care, or who we need an urgent place to stay. In these cases we have to pay one of our trusted home boarders. With 30-50 dogs at any one time we simply cannot always, nor should we expect to, rely on favours from friends of the organisation who support our work by fostering. Combine that with our strict “no kennels” policy and we find ourselves paying for care for a proportion of dogs, although thankfully the majority are placed with fosters who don’t charge us – just ask for expenses such as food. One of the home boarders has worked with us since we began rescuing and is our trusted super foster. We happily pay for the exceptional care and attention to our precious dogs. Total spend in October on home boarding fees was £846.

Now for the really scary one, hoping you are sitting down for this – October’s bill for vet and pharmacy costs was a few pence over £2300. This huge number includes the consultation fees, plus vaccinations, micro-chipping, neutering, specialist tests, referrals and all medications and treatments that are bought on vet recommendation. It also includes the costs to have the pet passports verified by the official vet in Budapest and in order to release dogs to our care from shelters VM Hu has to pay for the dog to be vaccinated and micro-chipped as this is the law in Hungary. The total number needs putting in perspective though as there are large initial costs at the vet when terribly neglected dogs come in to our care and we did have some shocking cases come to us this month sadly.

The last figures can be combined under an “expenses” heading; it includes all the transportation costs that are paid to fosters and volunteers who bring dogs from where they were rescued (sometimes this is a long way from the city of Budapest where VM Hu is based), we will also cover any costs for taking the dogs to vet appointments, etc. Total spend on transport was £227. A further £96 covers invoices for equipment the fosters ask for – collars, bedding, toys – and £20 on office equipment/postage of paperwork (we are required to complete and verify official documentation after a case which has involved the animal police).

So there you have it – the running costs for VM Hu for one month totalling £4189. We think it was a fairly typical month in our life, but August and September were far worse on vet costs and some months have been considerably quieter too. As ever we remind ourselves that we can’t continue the important work we do without our supporters – whilst focus is heavily on rescuing we are in constant need of adopters and donations of supplies and money. Both the UK and Hungarian teams are run entirely by volunteers and we are so grateful for our supporters who ensure we can keep helping this glorious breed.

A foster dad out for a walk!

A foster dad out for a walk!

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