Case Study: RSPCA Mobile Adoption Clinic

Expo Centric get RSPCA on the road with Australia’s first Mobile Adoption Clinic.

The Background 

Amidst COVID-19 some companies found their industry quiet and took the time to focus their attention on areas of development. Other companies found their industry busier than ever, yet still found time to make a lasting impact on their community – RSPCA was one of them. 

With thanks to a contract with Petbarn, Expo Centric was placed into contact with RSPCA to soon tackle a project dissimilar to anything they have executed before; enter the RSPCA Mobile Adoption Clinic. 

RSPCA Australia works to influence animal welfare policy, practice and legislation across the country. They do this through various avenues, including working with government and industries, communicating and contributing to animal welfare science, running the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, and working with supporters through targeted advocacy and education campaigns.

Throughout COVID-19, RSPCA were taking their impact one step further with the objective to get on the road throughout times of crisis within Australia to help support, rescue and save our animals. 

The Briefing

How were they going to do this? With the help of Expo Centric (and some incredible partners along the way).

RSPCA’s brief to Expo Centric was to create a large vehicle to utilise at any stage throughout the year as an adoption clinic. The vehicle was to facilitate a range of functions including space to house animals in need, food to feed both humans and animals on the road, capacity to store spare fuel for long drives including supporting others who are stranded and a power supply to tap into when on the road.

With the brief understood it was the responsibility of Expo Centric to decipher practicality verse design, ensuring the request could meet all needs and function within a vehicle. 

The Vehicle Hunt

And so began the vehicle hunt. Based on the requirements initiated by RSPCA, Expo Centric turned to a caravan vehicle type to pursue first. 

Although COVID took a toll on international and at times interstate travel, the demand for vehicles and in particular caravans was at an all time high leaving one remaining suitable caravan within Australia. The discovery of the suitable vehicle was soon met with disappointment, as the company declined the project on the basis of unfamiliarity. 

The Expo Centric team were back on the hunt for an alternative vehicle, this time thinking outside the box and inside another industry not quite as in demand as caravans. Introducing horseboxes.  For those not familiar with the equine industry (don’t worry we weren’t either), a horsebox is a vanstyled vehicle used to transport horses, and size-wise they were a perfect option for RSPCA’s Mobile Adoption Clinic.

The Build 

With the chassis and horsebox confirmed, the Expo Centric team sent their drawings off to the UK to be customised into the perfect Mobile Adoption Clinic. 

Expocentric provided high quality designs, and we were able to add our own innovations through open and insightful discussion. Our RSPCA Adoption Clinic has turned out really well as a result. We would welcome any future collaboration, and are considering Expocentric for our own trade stand designs. – Mathew, Bloomfields

The build requests were divided into two parts

  1. The customisation of the existing horsebox,
  2. The integration of new features.

     

    The customization included replacing an initial ramped door (for horses to enter), with a generic hinged door suitable for humans. Similarly the sink was modified to enable humans to stand up whilst using it, with an additional tap added closer to the ground to cater for animal washing and tasks like cleaning and mopping the floor.

    Some of the features that remained similar with just minor adjustments included:

  • Downlights within the horsebox
  • Adaptable window curtains to suit the needs of specific animals
  • Seating for two with a table between
  • A fridge
  • Additional storage placed overhead, under cages and above the driver’s seat
  • Air-conditioning within the horsebox 
  • Generator 
  • Manual awning 

Working alongside RSPCA also introduced the requirement for features that are not usually required within a horsebox. Some of these features were built and integrated within the UK, whereas others were prepared in the UK and later finalised by Bloomfields once the vehicle arrived in Australia. The additional features included: 

  • A fold-down stainless steel table to be used for animal inspections 
  • Animal cages to ensure safe transportation whilst on the road. These cages were supplied by RSPCA and shipped to Australia from the USA
  • A urine tray to ensure animal’s urine is drained and stored whilst in transit
  • A video camera to view animals within the cages from the front of the vehicle whilst driving
  • QR Codes to instruct volunteers on how to use the clinic when on the road

Once the build was complete in the UK, the soon to be Mobile Adoption Clinic was on route to Australia to have the final features added and then body wrapped in appropriate RSPCA artwork.

The Challenges (and Resolutions) 

Challenges are never too far away with new experiences. The building process was fairly seamless with communication and a bit of problem solving being the solution to reconfiguring the initial layout of the horsebox. 

The Expo Centric team were met with further challenges when the transportation process began. Initially the plan for the RSPCA Mobile Adoption Clinic was to be shipped directly from the UK to Australia. Unfortunately the team were met with month long delays after the shipping took an alternate route incurring a stop over. After being delayed the ship met Queensland as their floods and heavy rain hit earlier this year preventing them from docking. Arrival was delayed a further two weeks. 

Although out of Expo Centric’s hands these challenges garnered further communication with RSPCA to discuss estimated times of arrival. As a result of the delays, Expo Centric worked to have all remaining pieces to be installed ready to go to ensure there was no further hold up once the vehicle hit land. 

The Finished Product

With the vehicle finally in Australia and finishing touches added, the RSPCA Mobile Adoption Clinic was close to hitting the road. 

QR codes were installed within the horsebox for volunteers to scan should they need instruction on how to use anything. Expo Centric created instructional usage videos which were attached to each of the QR codes. The vehicle was also wrapped with RSPCA Mobile Adoption Clinic branding to help spread their mission whilst out on the road.

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