|NEWSLETTER NO. 27 NOVEMBER 1991
TEL: 0293 786166
RSPCA man asks up to £100
Give a stray a home
but it could cost you
by LAURA JOINT
W.M. News 2/10/91
Animal lovers answering an RSPCA plea to take in unwanted cats and dogs could face a bill of up to £100 per pet.
The South Devon RSPCA clinic in Kingswear is demanding up to £100 for a stray dog and £50 for a cat.
The clinic recently issued a heart-breaking plea for pet lovers to offer homes for its 35 cats and five dogs, and said that some of the older cats might have to be destroyed if homes were not found soon.
But people who have responded to the appeal have been told:
- An ordinary cat will set them back £20.
- A pedigree cat costs £50.
- Cross-breed dogs have a price tag of between £40 and £50.
- Pedigree dogs are priced between £60 and £100.
Manager of the clinic, David Abrahams, last night defended the price tags, saying the RSPCA could not afford to care for the animals otherwiseHe said that the RSPCA had always had a policy of requesting donations from people taking thr(ir) animals, but that it recently had to introduce minimum fees.
A Torquay woman who offered £20 for a Persian cat which had been ill-treated was told that it was not enough, and when advised that she would have to increase the offer by another £30, refused to take it.
But Mr. Abrahams said that a Persian cat would cost much more from a dealer.
He said: "That cat came in as a stray. It had been ill-treated and we have had to pay the vetís bill.
"The donations we demand reflect the amount of money we spend on the animal. They also reflect the value of the animal.
"We therefore ask for a £20 minimum fee for a domestic moggy and £50 for a pedigree. A pedigree dog which we have had neutered would be anything up to £100.
"We are not selling the animals.
We are just asking for a donation. We think the prices are reasonable. We live in the real world, and vetís bills have to be paid.
"We are a charity which relies on the generosity of the public. If we pay for the animals to be vaccinated and neutered, then that money has to be found from somewhere. We are in the market place.
"These are only minimum fees. People wishing to donate more can do so.
"And at the end of the day, people do not have to have the animals. It is their choice. We are not in a position to give animals away.
"People unwilling to pay these sorts of figures are probably not seriously interested in looking after the animals anyway."
Mr. Abrahams said that the clinic was autonomous from the national RSPCA, and could therefore set the minimum prices which it regarded as fair and reasonable.
A MEMBER WRITES
When a stray is rescued, the breed, whether it is beautiful or plain, should not be considered. All moggies or pedigrees have the same feelings, all ask for love.
Abrahams says "the RSPCA could not without these price tags afford to care for the animals". RUBBISH. What about their enormous assets and all the unused money lying in the banks of some branches. The financial organisation of the Society should be such that arrangements can be made for the transfer of money to where it is needed.
MONEY MONEY MONEY is all Abrahams can think of. He should not consider the vetís bill when he has a stray that has been ill treated. His job should be to restore it to health and see that it gets a good happy home.
He says "We are not selling the animals - we are just asking for a donation." Once you put on a price, YOU ARE SELLING.
He says "We are in the market place". THIS SHOULD NOT BE THE CASE WHEN HELPING ANIMALS.
W.M. News 2/10/91
THIS MEMBER IS RIGHT.
MONEY should not be hoarded in the branches. Money given by the public FOR ANIMALS should be used for animals WHEREVER THEY ARE.
PUBLISH BRANCH ACCOUNTS FOR MEMBERS TO SEE WHERE MONEY IS HOARDED
The Society has decided as a goodwill gesture designed to heal the ongoing rift between the Council and those behind the publication of Watchdog to readmit Richard Farhall, Margaret House, Joan Watson and David Wetton.
The episode of expulsion is to be treated by all parties as dead and buried.
Many of you will be aware that an organisation was formed in March 1990 called
DOCTORS IN BRITAIN AGAINST ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS (D.B.A.E.)
This organisation was founded on medical and scientific grounds. D.B.A.E. held its first international conference in London on the 19th April 1991, with representatives from five countries on the platform.
Although members of the RSPCA were present, there was no official representation from either the Council or staff. Council members receive WATCHDOG, so we ask, may we please know via ANIMAL LIFE or the Annual Report what the RSPCAís position is now regarding animal experiments and have they consulted D.B.A.E.?
Previously the policy of the RSPCA regarding this issue has been along the lines of "unfortunately they are a necessary evil". (Is any evil necessary?) In view of the fact that this is an Animal Rights Society as par their declaration on Animals Rights on page 1 of their policy document, do they intend to see the services of D.B.A.E. via articles and information for their magazines and leaflets or do they still intend to abide by the outdated beliefs of the less enlightened medical fraternity and the obviously biased vivisection lobby.
(Submitted by an RSPCA member)
A VERY SAD STORY (PUBLISHED WITHOUT COMMENT)
By the time you read this Flopsy Molly will have gone. A lot of people will say "Why waste your sympathy on an animal when there is so much human suffering in the world?" - well Iíd like to say to them that compassion stems from within, it is not something that exists in any one vacuum and is not necessarily directed to one species, but that it is an indescribable emotion that sometimes can physically hurt and can be shown to any living creature, be it human or animal.
Iím sitting here in the garden, life is going on all around me, the sun is shining and I can hear the birds singing, somewhere there is the drone of a chain saw, a lawn mover, a dog barking. A lovely afternoon clouded only by my thoughts of all the injustices and sadness in the world. But one has to be positive and during our short spell on earth it is up to each and everyone of us to try and make the world a happier and more caring place to bring our children and grandchildren up in.
My story is no more traumatic or sadder than millions of others, the difference is that it need never have ended the way it did if the powers that be had shown some compassion. Iím not talking about our judiciary system, the police or the Establishment with all their hard and fast rules, their secrecy and their power - no - this involves the RSPCA that most respectable of all charities. The charity with huge resources and royal patronage and who purport to care for the animals who come into their care.
Flopsy Molly came to us as a result of a pending court case. She was once of seventeen dogs we held over the twelve week period while her owner awaited his appeal against a lifetime ban on keeping dogs. She was called Flopsy Molly due to the horrendous distortion of her teats; not a terribly flattering name perhaps, but Flopsy somehow suited her, and reminded me of the tale of Beatrix Potterís Peter Rabbit. Flopsy had been used as a breeding machine and nothing else. Sheíd known no love nor care, had probably never had a walk, swum in a brook, chased a rabbit or sat by the fire on a cold winterís evening. Her life was spent in a cold dark shed, not light and little to eat. Her bedding was a wet concrete floor scattered with hers and sixteen others fly blown excrement. I know, I saw her in these conditions.
I was a kennel maid at the time, working long, hard, soul destroying and thankless hours at our local RSPCA kennels. I still look back and wonder how I did it, but whilst I was there I knew those dogs needed me and Iíd give them the love and care they so desperately needed.
I didnít single out Flopsy Molly, how could I? Row upon row of vulnerable and pathetic eyes staring up at me through the cages, all desperate to be loved, stroked, taken for walks and ultimately found a new home. All so happy and pleased to see the staff, all forgetful of their sad and sometimes violent past. All forgetful of being betrayed and dumped. What a lesson we could all learn from these dignified animals. The whole time I worked at the kennels not one day passed when I didnít fill ashamed of being human/ "They behave like animals" I read see and hear, in the papers, on television and on the radio. If only we did.
Flopsy Molly was a liver and white spaniel, not particularly young, not particularly old. She had long floppy ears, an inquisitive nose and a wicked "full of mischief" look in her eyes made even more endearing by a tiny wart on one of her lower eye lids. Every morning I would be greeted like a long long lost friend tail wagging furiously and two paws jumping over me and scratching me.
I loved Flopsy Molly donít get me wrong, I loved all the dogs but I always said it would be an extra special person who gave her a home. She wasnít a puppy or a particularly beautiful dog, only a sweet and gentle creature, who through her entire life had only known what it was to be used, abused, ill treated and hungry.
The day came when Flopsy Mollyís ownerís appeal was heard in a Gloucester court. His life time ban on keeping dogs was endorsed and all the dogs became toe property of the RSPCA and were free to be homed. The kennels found themselves in financial difficulties, decided to close and all the remaining dogs not homed were taken off to the nearest branch at Whitminster just outside Gloucester.
I couldnít get Flopsy Molly out of my mind. I already had an assortment of abandoned and unwanted dogs of my own none of whom would even get a look in at Crufts so my husband, quite understandably said that it was out of the question for me to acquire another dog due to his redundancy and I accepted this. As a result of this I decided I would visit her when I could and I would concentrate on finding her another home.
On the following Tuesday I went with a great friend who had worked with me at our kennels down to Glouceter to see her. The joy and happiness on her face when she saw us was there for all to see. She leapt up covering me in muddy paw prints and pulled at her lead like some poor unfortunate fish hauled out of the river with a hook in its lips. I made enquiries to the manager about her and was initially told she had what was thought was cancer in her ears and mouth but this was to be confirmed in two weeks time after tests had been conducted by the kennels vet.
I asked if I could take her home whilst awaiting the results. I said I could give her the love she so desperately needed. I pointed out it would mean an empty pen and one less mouth to feed. This I was told would be too traumatic for her, even though I offered to pay for her immediate treatment, find her a permanent home if she wasnít in pain and if cancer was diagnosed during the two weeks she was awaiting the results of her tests and they said she was in pain, I offered to have her put down at my expense, in my arms and in her new home. All this was categorically out of the question - the poetís famous lines "One crowded glorious day is worth an age without a name" was thrown out of the window. It was RSPCA policy not to home a dog if it was sick and this was rigidly adhered to. There were no exceptional cases. All the pleading and charm would not change this manís mind and after several subsequent telephone calls over the period of two weeks I was told with no compassion she was suffering and would be killed this afternoon. Iím sure in such a short space of time the light could not have gone from her eyes and that if she had been given the ability to talk she would have opted for her "one crowded glorious day". But it was not meant to be, rules are rules and are not there to be bent not even in the most exceptional circumstances. Now, with a cloud over the sun and the scent of roses fading, I write this through my tears. I could have given her her "glorious day". Flopsy Molly came into this life unloved but when she went out of it, my love went with her. I hope she knew.
One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name. - Thomas Osbert Mordaunt 1730 - 1809
CRISIS - WHAT CRISIS?
Time and time again Watchdog receives stories of animals suffering because of a lack of money.
Time and time again Watchdog has pointed out that vast sums are held in investments by some branches.
For example, last year the Hants and Surrey Border branch had excess income of £13,267. MORE THAN ENOUGH TO OPEN THE ALLENSMORE KENNELS - The kennels where Flopsy Molly first stayed.
HOW LONG MUST THE ANIMALS WAIT before the RSPCA Council sees that money held by the branches is used for animals EVERYWHERE?
HOW LONG MUST THE MEMBERS WAIT before the Council publishes the branch accounts in the Societyís Annual Report?
PLEASE COUNCIL MEMBERS DO SOMETHING OR MAKE WAY FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN.
Desperate need for £10,000 cash injection as kennels close
By VERONICA GOOLEY
The RSPCA Kennels at Allensmore have been closed and its future remains in the balance unless £10,000 is raised almost immediately.
The dramatic closure followed a series of crises during which half the 10-strong committee, including its chairman Morley Smith, resigned.
The RSPCA now fears that cases of cruelty and abandoned animals will rise in the huge area covered by the Allensmore kennels, which includes South Shropshire, and Malvern Hills district as well as all of Herefordshire.
The 16 animals who were at the kennels have been moved to RSPCA kennels at Whitminster in Gloucestershire.
The £10,000 would mean that the kennels could re-open, but to bring the premises up to scratch would need at least £30,000.
The RSPCA headquarters has already injected £30,000, but £24,000 of that was spent on drainage.
The 35 kennels at Allensmore desperately need refurbishing which will cost £17,500, the 15-cage cattery and the animal kitchen need upgrading , more isolation kennels are needed, and a vetís room, where animals are examined and treated is desperately required.
Regional branch coordinator Kay Brandist told The Hereford Times: "It is appalling that the RSPCA have been having to put animals in these sort of conditions. There are a lot of problems at Allensmore, and it is going to cost money. But the situation as to be tackled."
At least £10,000 had to be raised before the kennels could even re-open, and if it was not raised the prospect was very bleak.
"These kennels must stay open," said Mrs. Brandist. "It could never be replaced, and if it did close for the lack of a few thousand pounds it would be forever. An alternative facility would cost at least £500,000."
The closure is the latest in a series of misfortunes to hit the troubled kennels.
Last year, the sacked former manager of the kennels, Gwyneth Morgan, dropped a claim for unfair dismissal against the RSPCA in a blaze of publicity, when she received a telephone death threat during the industrial tribunal.
She had been sacked for alleged "wicked cruelty" to the animals in her care, and the misuse of the charityís funds by telephoning pornographic chat lines.
Her successor, miles Cook, resigned from the job after only a few months.
Donations for the Allensmore kennels can be sent to Catherine Brandist at RSPCA Whitehouse Kennels, Allensmore, Hereford, HR2 9AJ
The Hereford Times 15/8/91
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"And, as the saying
goes a picture is worth a thousand
|The hand on the
tiller is that ofthe Council - 25 volunteers elected by the Societyís membership
who, in true democratic manner, interpret and implement the wishes of theelectorate
Thank you for all your letters - you donations have been most gratefully received as it costs a lot to circulate Watchdog. Please keep writing. There must be democratic and efficient management by the Council. Too many of the Council members have been there for too long. We might add that too many are elected by too few. Time for a change - time for fresh ideas AND LESS VICTIMISATION.
THE WATCHDOG SECRETARIAT HON Sec Margaret House.
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