Sunday, 12 September 2010
On looking thoroughly into the work of the country's most-funded charity (pulling in £120m last year) I am still a little muddled on what to think. Is it good? I have read so much controversial matter on the charity, bully-boy techniques, for example the Shetland Pony case, which, it is argued, resulted in the suicide of a man. There is no doubt that this charity does incredible work for most of the cases. The horror stories I have heard about the cruelty going on in this country are sickening, and the RSPCA have made a huge difference, but is it enough?
The fact that they need to prioritise calls at the moment simply means they need to get more backing, more help from the people and more advertising. More resources and uniformed officers with the capability of going out to help these animals.
On doing my rounds, the outcome was a lot more positive than negative, with no-one not having heard of the charity and it's work, which means an incredible advertising scheme. But there are still stories of the neglect of the charity acting on phonecalls... which I have explained is either due to lack of resourses or it not being in the RSPCA's area of work.
I personally feel that it is "good", whatever such a broad term means. I have read and re-read articles, both pro and con for the charity and the work that they do go and do changes the lives of these animals. The only thing that I can personally find wrong is that they cannot go to every single call.
How is the RSPCA different to other charities in the same sector?
- The RSPCA is the only animal charity that prosecutes and has uniformed inspectors.
- Most animal charities are 'single issue' charities. The RSPCA works to promote kindness and prevent cruelty to ALL animals, including domestic animals, wildlife, farm animals and animals used in research.
"I believe someone is being cruel to an animal. What can the RSPCA do?
The RSPCA treats all reports in strictest confidences. Please ring the 24-hour cruelty and advice line. Staff will ask the following information...
- Your name and address, you may remain anonymous but it helps the RSPCA greatly if you can provide your details, which will not be disclosed to anyone outside the charity.
-The name and address of the owner or keeper of the animal.
-The animal's location.
-Description of the animal and it's circumstances/ill treatment.
"I have had difficulty getting through to the Cruelty line - it's too busy?"
It's true, the National Cruelty Line is very busy - in fact they received 1 1/4 million calls a year. On the one hand, this is a good thing because it means many members of the public are using the service to report cruelty against animals, which, of course, means that they are able to rescue and rehome many animals that need the help. On the other hand, however, there is a downside to this: the service has become so innundated by calls in recent years that many people are finding it difficult to get through. They have now made major changed to the tasking systems and for recording calls and incidents but the cruelty line is still extremely busy. This is why they really need the committed support of its supporters.
"I called the RSPCA about a stray dog in my street but they wouldn't come out?"
The RSPCA will respond to a call if it concerns an injured stray dog, but only so it's injuries can be treated; it is then handed over to the proper authorities. Responsibility for stray dogs rests with the local authority through local dog wardens and the police. Anyone wishing to report a stray dog should contact their local dog warden or may wish to take the dog to their area police station themselves. The Police do not collect stray dogs but will act as a holding facility until the dog warden can collect the animal.
The RSPCA provides 24 hour emergency help for animals
Anyone wanting to report and animal in distress or an act of cruelty can phone the national Cruelty and Advice line on 0300 1234 999.
The RSPCA also provides general advice and information
Anyone wanting to ask about re-homing, obtaining assistance with veterinary bills, volunteering, fundraising, or to clarify the Society's policy on a particular issue can phone the Public Enquiries Line on 0300 1234 555
Every area has an RSPCA branch looking after local animal welfare, in fact there are approx 170 branches across England and Wales.
The RSPCA's Freedom Food is the largest and fastest-growing farm animal welfare food-labelling scheme in the UK. Freedom Food labelled products are widely stocked by major supermarkets, independent stores and farm shops throughout the UK.
The International Department was established in 1934 to promote animal welfare abroad. Now known as RSPCA international, the departments targets its resources primarily in Southern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and East Asia. Through its aid programme RSPCA International has provided support for various projects such as shelter construction and animal welfare campaigns, as well as funding for vehicles (animal ambulances), veterinary equipment and educational material.
The Society works had to keep animal welfare on the agenda at Westminster and has always been successful in bringing about legislative changes for the benefit of animals. Current developments include the new Animal Welfare Act - a modernised and updated version of the 1911 protection of animals act. Under the previous law, people responsible for pets could only be prosecuted for cruelty once suffering had occurred and when it was often too late to save the animal from death or lasting injury.