Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pet owners and trust in the RSPCA

From BBC News:
A cat owner says he was "put under enormous pressure" to agree to have his pet put down, a claim the RSPCA denies. 
The cat's owner, Richard Byrnes, from Tring in Hertfordshire, told the Today programme that an RSPCA inspector "tricked" his wife into handing over the cat, named Claude, in May 2013.
You can hear the whole interview on that page and also the response of the RSPCA's director of communications David Bowles, who does little to challenge the idea that the charity is mightily pleased with itself these days. (I blame Gavin Grant.)

This interview reminds me of a Sunday afternoon about 10 years ago when I found a West Highland terrier wandering in the road outside my home.

I took her in for safety, and then went to the local recreation ground to see if anyone knew who owned her.

Every dog owner I spoke to told me not to call the RSPCA but to contact the council's dog warden instead.

I am not normally a fan of small dogs, but my Westie was an absolute lady and kindly told me when she needed to be fed. I left her downstairs when I went to bed, but later heard her clattering about downstairs.

When I got up to see to her, she was standing at the bottom of the stairs with her head on one side. So I carried her up and she spent the night very happily sleeping under my bed.

I called the council next day and a nice young woman came to collect the dog. I heard later that she had been reunited with her family - they had just moved to the area, so when she got our of her garden she was not able to find her way home.

What this experience suggested to me was that, at the very least, the RSPCA has a problem with its image among pet owners.

No comments: