It would be criminal not to buy one! Raffle will help fund RSPCA branch’s new cattery

Author Peter James at RSPCA Sussex North and Brighton branchAuthor Peter James at RSPCA Sussex North and Brighton branch
Author Peter James at RSPCA Sussex North and Brighton branch
Animal charity enlists the help of best-selling crime writer from Sussex for a fundraising initiative to build a new cattery.

RSPCA Sussex North and Brighton Branch is offering supporters the chance to name a pet that will feature in one of top-selling author Peter James' books by buying a raffle ticket.

Peter has been the branch’s patron for three years and regularly calls in to lend his support to staff and volunteers at the Patcham animal centre.

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He has offered one lucky raffle winner the chance to provide the name for an animal which will be included in the plot of his follow-up to his latest crime thriller ‘Stop them Dead’. The raffle funds will help swell the branch’s coffers as it bids to raise £450,000 to undertake a major modernisation of the site’s cattery.

Jenny Eden, Branch Manager at RSPCA Sussex North and Brighton Branch, said: “Peter is a great supporter of ours and he comes in to meet us and the animals. The raffle idea came when we named a litter of puppies we took in after characters from his books. All the puppies have now been adopted, but before they were he came down to meet them (see picture) and he was absolutely thrilled.

“We thought it would really appeal to our supporters and the wider community to be given the opportunity to name a pet in the storyline of one of Peter’s books. It is an amazing prize and we are selling the tickets all through May. The winner can name an animal in Peter’s book after their own pet or they may even want to choose a family member.

“We launched our cattery appeal so we could raise the funds to refurbish our existing cattery and improve welfare standards. We plan to build modern pens, a maternity unit and provide improved disease control for the animals staying with us.”

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Animal welfare is at the forefront of Peter’s latest book with the plot centred around the illegal puppy trade. Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, who features in the author’s long-running crime series, and his team of detectives go on the trail of ruthless organised crime gangs who are prepared to kill anyone in their way.

As part of his research, Peter spent time with the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit (SOU) and learnt about cases investigated by the charity with the help of case officer Kirsty Withnall, who sadly passed away recently. The 47 year-old mother-of-two from Buckinghamshire died following a two-year battle with cancer.

She was one of the RSPCA’s most formidable investigators, cracking some of the biggest puppy farming gangs and dog fighting networks in the UK. Peter has named a character in his book after Kirsty.

You can buy tickets in RSPCA Sussex North and Brighton Branch’s raffle here.

They cost £5 each and there are no restrictions on numbers per person. The draw takes place on June 1.