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09/01/2013 - National RSPCA Statement

Although an independent charity, we are an affiliated Branch of the RSPCA. We would therefore like to pass on a statement from the National RSPCA in relation to the articles that have appeared about them in newspapers over the last few weeks:

Animal cruelty, neglect and suffering are at unprecedented levels in modern times.

We rehome thousands of animals, but the number of people rehoming animals does not keep up with the numbers of irresponsible owners.

It is simply not true that the RSPCA ‘routinely’ puts down healthy animals. We do need to put animals to sleep when it is in their interests. Nobody who works for the RSPCA wants to have to put rehomeable animals to sleep, but it is a sad reality of the work that we do.

Although the trend is in decline, the RSPCA sometimes has to put some rehomeable animals to sleep simply because they cannot be found good homes. While there continues to be too many animals being bred, and we continue to take in more animals than there are willing rehomers, we will continue to have this dilemma.

This is not unique to the RSPCA, and many animal charities are forced to make hard decisions like this.

All euthanasia decisions are made by a veterinary surgeon in the best interests of the individual animal. The vet does - and should – take into account how much that animal's previous mistreatment means it is suffering, how much we can help prevent that suffering in other ways and whether there will be people willing to give it a home - and there are sadly a limited number of people who rehome a pet from us, despite there being thousands looking for homes.

In October of this year Gavin Grant, CEO of the RSPCA issued a stark warning that animal rescue charities are being overwhelmed with animals in dire need, stretching them to breaking point – all at a time when giving to all charities is under real pressure.

The simple fact the RSPCA, like many other animal charities, is stretched to breaking point. That is why we have called for emergency help from the nation’s animal lovers.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “The recession may be over but these are very dark times for its silent victims – the animals. They have never needed our help so desperately. Indeed we have taken measures to reduce bureaucracy whilst maintaining and seeking to boost levels of expenditure on our inspectors and front line animal welfare work.”

“Preventing cruelty and helping the animals most in need are the RSPCA’s absolute priorities but the number of abused and abandoned animals is soaring. At the same time, we have more animal abusers to investigate, prosecute and hopefully prevent from hurting animals than anyone can remember.

We also have this to say about the two ex members of staff who have gone to The Mail:

Please be aware of the fact that Dawn Aubrey-Ward is a disgruntled former employee of the RSPCA who was subject to a disciplinary investigation for alleged theft of animals. She left the organisation with matters still pending.

There were also police concerns drawn to the RSPCA's attention of irregularities relating to her possession of firearms and some welfare concerns regarding animals under her care during her working time for us.

Also please be aware that as a member of the Countryside Alliance, Angela Egan-Ravenscroft is part of an organisation that seeks the return of bloodsports and is unlikely to have a positive opinion of the RSPCA.

John Grounds, Director of Marketing & Campaigns

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