Friday, September 26, 2008

Vicious circles and Virtuous ones

One reason why some people take on more than they can cope with is fear that the animals may be put down if they are handed over to an animal welfare organisation. Conversely, some welfare organisations argue that "limited access" animal shelters, where animals are never put down to make space for more admissions, may mean more euthanasia in the long run if owners decide to have their animals put down rather than wait until space is available. By US standards the RSPCA would be entitled to call itself a "no-kill" organisation — one which does not put down animals capable of rehabilitation.

Once things have got out of control, owners may be deterred from seeking veterinary help by lack of money and fear that approaching the RSPCA or PDSA might lead to prosecution instead. This is actually most unlikely — in about 20 years I can only think of two cases where our clinic reported an owner to the Inspectorate as a result of them bringing an animal for treatment. One was a case where the owner's boyfriend had deliberately broken their dog's leg and the other was a dog whose collar had been put on when he was a puppy and left until it had grown into his neck over a period of months. Someone who seeks help reasonably quickly would never be reported even if the vet might privately feel they'd been irresponsible or inefficient. Most of the time, someone who phones the RSPCA for help with veterinary treatment (rather than visiting a clinic) won't actually meet anyone from the organisation in person, but will be given help with the cost of going to a private vet.

No comments:

Post a Comment