Following my discussion on FUBAR Radio on 14th August with Jon Gaunt where we discussed the Daily Mail article RSPCA is now destroying half the animals it comes into contact with the RSPCA have issued the statement below.
Please read it and let me know if it maintains your opinion of the RSPCA (and if so what is that opinion), do you think it is the right way to go about rebuilding a ‘damaged’ brand, and surely for a society with the word ‘prevention’ in their title a court case is by definition an admission of failure as they have already failed the animal concerned?
My view, for what it is worth, is that I grew up with a feeling of security because of the RSPCA, and having transported pets and rescue cats and dogs from Portugal, Spain, Bosnia and rescued from Romania I am in no doubt that countries are better with the likes of the RSPCA.
BUT the ‘brand’ is in decline! Falling revenue, more and more bad press (print and social media) and very few endorsements or supportive comments on line (the internet has always had a good way of self balancing criticism with fans adding their support to counter critics).
If the PTS rate is less than 50% great, but what is it? To say it is less means nothing without a number. If they don’t have a number that is worrying to say the least. If it is nearer to 50% (say 45%) then we are splitting hairs, if it is 10% why aren’t they saying it? Conclusion therefore is that no number means they don’t have it, or it is close to 50% so they not announcing it.
By their are admission they are overrun, which means they are failing. They exist to prevent abuse and while stopping ongoing abuse is vital and prevents continued abuse, it misses the point that an increasing amount of initial abuse must be taking place? Why? The answers may be outside of their remit, but they need to identify then and communicate them? Pet Owners License and Training? Mandatory sterilisation apart from licensed breeders? Better enforcement of border controls? Harsher penalities?
The statement they provided was little more than a justification and a ‘we are trying our best’ rather than a serious addressing of the issues highlighted (or alleged by The Mail).
I hope they will go an air to address these issues. As I say the pets of the UK (and wildlife) need a strong RSPCA that has the confidence and support of the public. If the falling revenues, increasing criticism and bad feeling amongst the animal rescue world is anything to go by they are losing the battle big time.
The RSPCA strongly refutes many of the statements in the Daily Mail article today 16 August.
Rather than comment on a series of individual cases, we can confirm that our approach to prosecution decisions is the same in all cases, namely that, before proceedings can be instituted, we must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to prosecute.
It is not true that the RSPCA puts to sleep half of the animals in our care. The RSPCA is there to help and prevent suffering in all animals.
Our inspectors are often the first on the scene to help critically injured and sick wildlife. As most of these have to be euthanized to prevent them from further suffering, this is the biggest proportion of animals which we have to euthanize.
The RSPCA, unlike many other animal welfare charities, prioritises the welfare of the most abused and neglected animals in England and Wales, including pets which have been starved, stabbed, burned, hung and shot. Sadly not all of these animals can be saved and have to be put to sleep on medical grounds, under veterinary advice, to prevent them suffering further.
The RSPCA continues to be challenged by the over supply of pets being bred and ending up in rescue and rehoming centres. Sadly there are too many animals coming into our centres than there are good homes available for them. This is the result of people getting pets before understanding their needs. We continue to put in place measures to address this such as educational programmes and in 2013 were successful in reducing the numbers of dogs and rabbits that had to be euthanized as there were too few homes available.
We would like to reassure our supporters that only a very small proportion of animals which we rescue are are put to sleep because, through no fault of our own, there is not enough room in our centres.
Our overall euthanasia rate is falling and everyone at the RSPCA is committed to keeping it as low as possible.