Tuesday 14 August 2012

The RSPCA Shouldn’t Escape Their Share Of The Blame…

What to say about Paul James Brunsden and Stacey Louise Lockhurst, other than one hopes the Social Services are getting twitchy about letting them keep the baby, given his conviction and her 'pronounced learning disabilities'…

But let’s admit there’s a lot of blame to share around here:
RSPCA inspectors visited Lockhurst’s former home in Erith, in October 2010, when Jack was just 16 weeks old. They recommended the plastic box he was kept in be taken away and gave the pair advice on training. And noticing they were struggling, the inspectors suggested they hand over ownership.
But seven months later, they found Jack dead in the same crate, covered by a curtain.
Yes, you read that right. They were so concerned they left the animal there for seven months…!

And no, it wasn’t misguided sympathy with their ‘vulnerabilities’. Because vulnerable people are actually the RSPCA’s preferred prey:
A retired woman finally reunited with her dog ten months after it was seized by the RSPCA has revealed how her life was turned upside down by the animal charity.
It was mentioned in the comments to this case; it’s a real horror story. And should get just as many column inches as this case:
On June 22 last year three RSPCA inspectors with police reinforcement swooped on her home and took away her 13 cats, four cockerels and her dog, Sweetie, who she had taken in at the request of villagers.
"It was the start of the most frightening ten months of my life," Miss Langley said. "I've never been in trouble with the police and had never seen the inside of a courtroom."
Within days she was told the RSPCA had put down five of her cats.
Frightened Miss Langley contacted her vet, David Smith, who demanded to see the bodies.
Mr Smith of Lakeview Veterinary Centre – which operates in Hawkinge, Finglesham and Deal – said he had been left shocked by the way Miss Langley had been raided and asked the Royal Veterinary College to carry out an independent post-mortem examination on a ginger Tom and an adult female – which was pregnant with three kittens.
He said: "There appears to be no good reason why the RSPCA allowed these animals to be put to sleep. The RVC post mortems concluded the cats were healthy with no signs of incorrect feeding or problems with fleas or other illnesses."
So what is the RVC doing about censuring the vet who destroyed the cats for the RSPCA? My guess is nothing.
The vet said he believed Miss Langley had become overwhelmed by the responsibility in a house where poor building work had left her with water leaks and lack of lighting.
Mr Smith said: "The inside of her house may not have been in a condition that many people would choose to live, but the animals were happy. This lady needed help and support, not hauling through the courts."
Luckily for her, the courts – on this occasion – did the job they were supposed to do:
Miss Langley's court ordeal began in August when she was told she would face 13 charges of neglect and failing to look after her animals properly.
She was given legal aid to fight her case and was represented by Nigel Weller, a solicitor from East Sussex who has built a reputation fighting RSPCA court cases.
After three preliminary hearings, Miss Langley faced a three-day trial in March, but the RSPCA dropped 11 of the 13 charges. Miss Langley pleaded guilty to failing to get veterinary care quickly enough for two of her animals.
I’d be interested to know which two – clearly, not the five cats the RSPCA put down!
The animal charity pushed for court costs of £28,000, asking magistrates to make an order on the pensioner's home, and called for her to be banned from keeping animals.
But on Friday, April 20, magistrates ordered that Miss Langley's dog, cockerels and one cat should be returned.
She was given a conditional discharge with no fine or costs imposed.
Reading between the lines here, I suspect the magistrates were pretty scathing of the attempts by the RSPCA to hound this woman. Good for them!

What do the RSPCA do to head off this potential PR disaster?

The usual, of course. Wheel out the minion to try to excuse this!
The RSPCA said it had no plans to review its use of vets following criticism the five cats should not have been destroyed and maintained that it works with people who find difficulty looking after their animals .
Well…after a suitable period, say, seven months?
Spokeswoman Klare Kennett said: "We tried to help Miss Langley, but were turned away, so had no choice but to take the animals into our care."
Into your ‘care’ where they remained for five days, before being put down, despite being perfectly healthy?
She said the costs of £28,000 covered the charity's bill for bringing the case to court.
Well, now you’ll have to find that £28,000 somewhere else, won’t you?

Might I suggest they save themselves the money they clearly shell out to employ ‘spokespeople’ like you, who merely turn a PR crisis into a PR disaster?

Remember! Never, never, never, NEVER give money to this ‘charity’.


MTG said...

There was a time when I gave generously but alas, there have been too many such instances of this bullying. An organisation which growth didn't improve.

Anonymous said...

I don't give to any 'charity' that prosecutes. Just doesn't feel right.

Fidel Cuntstruck said...

"Dignitas for Dogs" have never seen, nor will ever see a penny of my money - nor actually do many other charities for that matter. There's something about the RSPCA's uter conviction in their right to do as they please that seems all wrong to me.

Tatty said...

Just out of curiosity...

What would the RSPCA do to someone who barged into a persons home, killed their pets and demanded monies with menaces.

More to the point...why do the police allow this to happen.

It's criminal...surely.

DJ said...

Well, that is the question: how come all the people who claim allowing householders to defend themselves against home invaders will lead inevitably to vigiliante mobs roaming the streets are the self-same people who are down with a unaccountable near-cult acting as its own police force (except without trivia such as professional standards units, independent prosecutors or disclosure rules)?

Jan M said...

The link for Jack's story has disappeared, how surprising.

Had some dealings with them a few years ago, concerning a dog, they just weren't interested, but thankfully a local animal charity got involved and the dog was rehomed.

The only time they seem to be doing anything is when there on the TV.

Used to support their local charity shop, wouldn't touch them with a barge pole now. I now give to the PDSA and a local greyhound charity.

Mark In Mayenne said...

Keep 'em coming, JM

Greencoat said...

The RSPCA has gone down the same shameful road as the police force; wet-nursing thugs and sadists while harassing harmless tax-payers.

Ancient+Tattered Airman said...

I wonder how much the 'executives' get as salary? How much goes to 'administration'? During my lifetime they have gone from being a much admired national treasure to a collection of grasping empire builders. Another sign of our times I'm afraid.

shan chapman said...

It's obvious that this shameful case was brought against a defenceless elderly woman because rspca thought that she would be a push over and that they would then be able to collect her home..good for the judge who saw seense and threw the case out BUT it will never gie back life to the poor innocent cats that they MURDERED!!!

Anonymous said...

A bit like social workers who will get those families that they know will comply to jump through endless hoops to adopt or protect their own children but keep well claer of families that tell them to f**k off with menaces.
Little old lady = easy target. Yob with pitbull = too difficult tray.

Woman on a Raft said...

The national RSPCA (charity no. 21900)

has income of £115,288,000 (approx) and just under 1500 employees.

The last accounts are at the Charity Commission website.

Do not forget, however, that there are over 200 local branches constructed as separate charities, each holding their own budget and, in some cases, possibly assets in the form of donated land, buildings etc.

Bear in mind, however, that the RSPCA was constructed as an animal welfare charity, not something which specifically guarantees to keep them alive (unlike, say, the Dogs Trust which has that as an object).

However, just because it is dressed as a parapolicing organization, that doesn't mean it has any more legal authority than I would if I shoved on a blue jersey with an natty insignia.

What I'd really like to know is why the police appear to think this bunch have magical legal powers which suspend normal property and criminal law.

Mark In Mayenne said...

It is possible now to bring a case against the RSPCA (perhaps for theft and destruction of property?) to require them to provide this lady with 5 new cats?

JuliaM said...

" An organisation which growth didn't improve."

There aren't many that it does...

"More to the point...why do the police allow this to happen."

They do more than 'allow'. They assist.

"I wonder how much the 'executives' get as salary? How much goes to 'administration'?"

Check out their HQ for your answer.

"It is possible now to bring a case against the RSPCA (perhaps for theft and destruction of property?) to require them to provide this lady with 5 new cats?"

If they spent some of their vast budget on a PROPER PR person, they'd have already done this, as well as apologised profusely.

Anonymous said...

The RSPCA have no legal powers to seize any animals, nor are they a prosecuting agency. They use and abuse the Police who know no better to do their dirty work. They bring private prosecutions using Sec 38 of the Magistrates Court Act. You can use the same legislation to do the same to them as an organisation or an individual 'Inspector'. In short they are just members of the public who lie to you me and genuine law enforcement agencies to achieve their aims, which is to raise revenue. Derbyshire Police and more recently Lancashire Police seem to be working for the charity rather than the charity supporting the police. This could have something to do with Lancs getting rid of a Police Officer in the key Wildlife Crime role and replacing that officer with an untrained Civilian who has no legal powers and no idea what he is doing. You pay peanuts you get monkeys