This is the newsletter published by and for members of the RSPCA. Because of the deep discontent that it shows within the membership we feel that it should have wider publicity than it currently receives. We have maintained the content accurately, but have lost some of the formatting. Past editions will be added as time permits. We hope that publishing this will do some good and lead to a much needed reform of the society. contains links that might be of further interest.

Tel: (0293) 786166


When Lucy’s story arrived at the Watchdog Office we felt it important to publish the account of her suffering in order to alert the Council should there be other Lucys hidden in branch kennels. The sorry tale told by her new human companion needs no further comment from us:

"On 30th November last year, I called at the Derby RSPCA to enquire about adopting a Rough Collie. They told me they happened to have a dog in at the moment. I was shown it from a distance and immediately it struck me that it was too small to be a dog. But I was assured by the lady that they had had it for 2 1/2 weeks and it was definitely a dog.

However, I returned on the Saturday to adopt the ‘dog’. It was brought out to me, creeping along on its haunches, absolutely terrified. Upon inspection my original impression was confirmed - it was a bitch! The only response to this from the lady in charge was a shrug of the shoulders and a slightly pink face.

Bearing in mind that they had had this collie in their kennel for 2 1/2 weeks, her coat was hanging from her giving her the appearance of a very dirty sheep will overdue for shearing. Her beautiful long tail was stuck to her back legs with weeks of dried on ‘loose’ faeces - and two lumps of more solid faeces were hanging between her hind legs, hence their idea about her sex!

No ordinary member of the public would have been tempted to adopt her, looking the way she did. No attempt had been made to go near her at all to smarten or clean her up. It was only because I was so familiar with the breed that I knew there was a good dog somewhere under all that pitiful mess.

Upon bringing her home she had diarrhoea for a whole week which did not respond to the normal course of treatment, plus medication from my vet. After 10 days it developed into acute enteritis, passing pure blood and partial stomach lining and she spent a whole 48 hours admitted into the surgery, at one point being kept alive on a drip.

However, Lucy’s story has a happy ending. A week before Christmas she was on the road to recovery and is now, although still very thin, fit, healthy and happy, living along with my two other Collies. She is not nervous whatsoever. It was obviously the environment she was being kept in and the feeling of illness, before I rescued her".



On page 17 of the latest "RSPCA Today", is a statement about the expulsion of the Watchdog 5. Readers will, no doubt, find the item puzzling. Here are some questions they might like to ask Mr. Hart:

1. If the Watchdog 5 produced newsletters that alleged "a wide range of mismanagement and improprieties by the staff and Council" HAVE THESE ALLEGATIONS BEEN PROPERLY INVESTIGATED? (Watchdog’s allegations are based on written proof)

2. When did Watchdog attempt to call or state that they intended to call a EGM? (Read Watchdog No. 1. We said, and still do, that we must be READY to call an EGM. If Joan Watson could be elected to the Council by some 3,000 votes on a Watchdog ticket, does the Council seriously suggest that collecting 500 signatures would be a problem?)

3. If the reason for the expulsion of the Watchdog 5 was because they produced Watchdog, why have those who subsequently produced Watchdog numbers 8, 9, 10, and 11 not been expelled? They are Lord Houghton, Dr. Carpenter, Clive Hollands, Robin Webb, and Ossie Glover. Or was the production of Watchdog not the REAL reason for the expulsions?


On 12th April, 1986 Robin Webb received notice that his THIRD application to join the Cambridgeshire Branch had been rejected. Naturally, he asked for an explanation.

In a letter dated 15th May, 1986 Gladys Flack (Hon Sec) replied that "It is the policy of this Committee that we do not give reasons for our decisions". Robin is a persistent fellow and so he did not give up hope of being given a reason or of eventually joining his local branch. Following a fourth refusal in 1988 he wrote to Mr. Hart, Chairman of the national Council, asking for help.

In a reply dated 22nd December, 1988 Mr. Andrew Richmond, Executive Director, said "Although the Branch Committee may not have given reasons for rejecting your subsequent applications, I understand they remain as they were in 1986 and I find it difficult to believe you are not aware of them". Robin has written to Mr. Richmond twice since then. Neither letter has been acknowledged.

Society Rule III(8) and Branch Rule 2(2)(a) state that the Branch Committee ‘shall not unreasonably refuse membership to any individual wishing to join’. Surely refusing a reason is, buy definition, unreasonable? The Independent Law Report, 2nd February, 1989 quoted Mrs. Justice Booth: "Justices (are) under a duty to spell out their findings of fact on all relevant matters and to give the reasons which lead them to their decision" also that "There (is) an unequivocal duty on the Justices to furnish reasons for their decision".

So, our Judiciary have to give reasons but not, despite the rules, our paid or voluntary RSPCA officers! Has no one got the sense to resolve this crazy situation? If the Branch Secretary has got a proper reason for refusing Robin his membership, why all the secrecy? ROBIN AND OTHER MEMBERS HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT ALLEGATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE AGAINST THEM. IT WOULD SOLVE QUITE A LOT OF THE PROBLEMS IN THE RSPCA IF THE POWERS THAT BE LEARNED TO TREAT MEMBERS DECENTLY.



The RSPCA is getting its priorities wrong. Watchdog believes that registration will do little or nothing to solve the problem of stray and unwanted dogs. ONLY THE PREVENTION OF OVERBREEDING WILL DO THIS. There are 48 RSPCA clinics featured in the Society’s Annual Report ALL advertising destructions. In addition, there are 52 Animal Homes.

ALL these 100 establishments could form the bases for the provision of cheap spaying and neutering clinics. The equipment needed could be provided with the excess income from all those branches holding large sums in investments. Here are a few examples:

Excess of Income 1987
Total Assets Value 1987
Surrey East

Why has the Council not sought to take action against puppy farms - or those who breed and breed from their wretched pets in order to boost their income? Would YOU want to submit your dog to tattooing? Or worse still, to have a micro chip under the skin which could cause cancer?



"The Vegan" (Spring 1989) reports:

The credibility of the RSPCA’s declared anti-factory farming stance has been called into question following claims that the heavily promoted and RSPCA-endorsed Duo range of dog and cat food contains factory-farmed meat and other factory-farmed animal derivatives. For every tin of the product bought a donation of 1p is automatically paid to the RSPCA - "No other pet food cares for animals quite like Duo", as the ad boys’ blurb puts it.

"What’s factory farming?" was the response of Peter Stratford, spokesperson for the Wincham-based manufacturer (Luda Pet Foods), to inquiries from a Vegan magazine investigator following a tip-off. When pressed to confirm or deny the claims he declined to comment.

Speaking from the organisations’s Press Office in late February, a spokesperson for the RSPCA failed to acknowledge any double standard in the matter, pointing out that "all the meat that goes into Duo pet food comes from EEC-approved abattoirs. It’s all been humanely slaughtered. All the animals have been reared within current guidelines".

Readers will note that current guidelines permit factory farming.



The RSPCA stand at Crufts featured pictures of dead dogs, one of which has also been used as a newspaper advertisement. So upset was the Kennel Club that it ordered that the ‘offending’ pictures be removed. We congratulate the Society on standing up to the ‘disgraceful hypocrisy’ of the Kennel Club by threatening to withdraw from the Show rather than change their display. This is the kind of guts and determination Watchdog would like to see more of.

We were also pleased to see the ‘battery hen’ advertisements which, we understand, have greatly upset the National Farmers Union so they must have been effective. However, our praise here is tempered by the report in Poultry World (Jan 1989) that the attacks would only continue ‘if the pre-Christmas campaign yields enough cash donations’. Come on, surely the RSPCA can afford a few thousand pounds from its reserves to hammer home such an undoubted advantage?

This is not the time to consider the cost-effectiveness of a campaign, this is the time to recognise we have the factory farming lobby on the run and therefore step up the action. Watchdog would be the last to criticise that!



The RSPCA Christmas Catalogue listed ‘14 ways to help animals’. Number 1 on the list said ‘Buy from this catalogue’. Can someone out there please explain to us how this helps either the animals from whose bodies the leather goods came on pages 12 and 13 or the salmon who ended up ‘smoked’ on page 21?



"Instead of turning into a wholesale slaughtering organisation, it would be better if the RSPCA took the more positive line of preventing overbreeding ..... the RSPCA also has been totally ineffective against the ever increasing scandal of vivisection and experiments of doubtful validity on animals..."

P.D.N. Earle, President, The Country Gentleman’s Association.

Note to the Council: Look up your membership records. You never know your luck. P. D. N. Earle may be a member. You can then spend time expelling him for daring to criticise.



"With each issue of the newsletter it becomes more and more apparent how very necessary Watchdog is.

I am pleased to read that the number of supporters is steadily increasing. I expect you find that it is not until a worker finds herself in some disagreement with Society officials or points of policy that he/she realises that everything is not as right as it should be within the Society and that steps would be taken to try and put matters right. Of course, there are others who are prepared to let things "drift along" because they do not like becoming involved in any unpleasantness or getting themselves disliked or even turned out of office."

Yes, Watchdog is necessary. It is necessary for Lucy. It is necessary for all the animals now waiting in the "Death Rows" all over the country. Watchdog has shown that the killing of healthy dogs is NOT necessary. It has given information about the BVA/RSPCA agreement. It has warned against the Review of Inspectorate Operations. The truth must not be silenced.


The following candidates are sympathetic to Watchdog:

Celia Hammond
Joanna Mason
Beryl Spence
Robin Webb

Best Wishes to all our supporters. Thanks for your letters and your donations which help to keep Watchdog barking.

Dorothy Adams
Anne Jenkins

Business Manager - Richard Farhall  

Publicity Secretary - Angela Walder

Secretary - Margaret House

  Treasurer - Dave Wetton




Why RSPCA is guilty too

By Anthea Hall Sunday Telegraph 12/2/89

If any of the charitable subscribers to the RSPCA did not know that the society is much involved in killing dogs, they certainly do now.

The Society’s shock-tactics advertising campaign, hammering home the fact that they kill 365,000 dogs a year, was designed to push the Government into implementing dog registration.

But did this justify presenting the society’s most abhorrent face during the most sensitive time in the dog lovers’ year, the Cruft’s Show?

Animal-lovers are now asking how the dog problem has been allowed to become so grave that mass extermination is the only answer. The RSPCA’s campaign puts the blame squarely on the Government.

But is the Society itself blameless? Why, for example, does it fail to provide neutering clinics?

It is not generally known that the society has a written agreement with the British Veterinary Association by which "The RSPCA will not neuter cats or dogs belonging to the general public....except in special cases..."

A free neutering system, a spokeswoman said, would not be acceptable to the society’s contributors.

How can the society make such assumptions on behalf of its contributors? Could it not earlier have proposed the registration scheme it now publicises and supports? Should it not offer itself as the obvious body to implement it?

The RSPCA advertisements conclude: "It is a sick nation that kills healthy dogs." But it is hard to say that the society itself is untainted by that same sickness.


Humane way to solve dog problem

Guardian 14/2/89

In 1987, the last year for which destruction figures have been published, the RSPCA killed 61,615 dogs - approximately 168 dogs on each day of the year.

Of these 61,615 dogs, an unspecified number were too sick or injured to live. So which organisations are killing the vast majority of the claimed 1,000 dogs a day?

Registration of dogs is not a solution. It will not stop the over-breeding of dogs which is the cause of the unwanted and homeless dog population.

The only solution is to stop the dogs being born in the first place.

In the US where cheap spaying clinics were set up, there was a dramatic fall in the numbers of stray and homeless dogs. A spaying and neutering campaign would be more effective and more humane. Were it not for the agreement that the RSPCA has with the British Veterinary Association, this could have been set up years ago and we would have been seeing results like those in Santa Barbara where over a five-year period, the stray dog population was reduced by 83 per cent.

Margaret House RSPCA Members’ Watchdog,
44 Kingsley Road,



ON SEEING an RSPCA appeal on our local news, we went to one of their kennels to "adopt" a dog.
After what could only be described as an interrogation, we were told that we were unsuitable - even though our recently deceased pet had lived to be 18.
The interviewer then took great delight in telling us that the puppy she was holding would probably be destroyed after a week together with 50 others due to irresponsible pet owners not having their dogs neutered.
Needless to say, we left the kennels very distressed and feeling that we weren’t fit to own a dog.


You can phone your views to the Daily Express on our 24 hour Letterline. Please limit your comments to 150 words. Phone: 01-353 4835

Several months later there was a news report from the same kennels that the manager had resigned because he was so upset at having dogs destroyed needlessly.
Mrs. S. M. Wardle
Loughborough, Leics.



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