Sunday, 12 September 2010

RSPCA evaluation

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.

"Cat Woman"

Now everybody saw the case of the middle-aged woman who threw a cat in a wheelie bin. This is an example of the RSPCA's power on prosecuting people who are cruel to animals.
This is an article from the Channel 4 news...

The RSPCA says it will prosecute a woman who was filmed by a security camera putting a cat into a wheelie bin with causing it unnecessary suffering.

CCTV of a woman accused of putting a cat into a wheelie bin

Mary Bale is also accused of failing to provide the cat with a suitable environment, contrary to the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.

The 45-year-old is due to appear before Coventry magistrates on 19 October.

The owners of four-year-old Lola had posted footage of August's incident on Facebook after the cat was apparently stranded inside the bin for 15 hours in the Stoke district of the city.

West Midlands Police handed responsibility for the investigation to the RSPCA, who interviewed the bank worker before deciding to launch a prosecution.

"The RSPCA has taken the case to court as two alleged offences have been committed - of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat and of not providing the animal with a suitable environment," a spokesman said.

"Ms Bale was witnessed on CCTV footage stroking a cat, then looking round and picking the cat up by the scruff of its neck before putting it in a wheelie bin, shutting the lid and walking away from the scene.

"At no point did she return.

"As criminal proceedings are now active, the RSPCA will not be issuing any further statements until the conclusion of the court case."

The CCTV film was broadcast around the world, and sparked outrage from some animal lovers.

Ms Bale later apologised, and described her actions as "completely out of character".


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.

RSPCA key areas of current work

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

Branch Activity
Every area has an RSPCA branch looking after local animal welfare, in fact there are approx 170 branches across England and Wales.

Freedom Food
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.

Parliamentary action
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.