Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sickening Story

The Daily Mail has a really upsetting report on a woman who drowned eight cats and tried to excuse herself by saying she didn't have enough credit on her mobile phone to call an animal charity to try to get the cats rehomed.

In this case,  she doesn't even seem to have tried to ask for help, but whenever we do turn people away there is always a nagging worry that they will simply leave the animal to suffer or deliberately do it harm.   

There are the owners who insist they won't contact any of the vets local to them because none are any good—my cynical alter ego says they've run up debts with all of them and know they won't be seen.

One of our inspectors gave me some very wise advice: "Always remember it is ultimately the owner who is responsible for an animal. We did not create the situation."

We have an obligation to give what help we can, but we can't let ourselves be manipulated into feeling we are responsible for everything and we must never say no. 

If we go down that route we will either go under because we run out of money or wind up taking in every animal and putting most of them down because we think no-one but us can be trusted.

It comes back once again to prioritising urgency and getting it right. There are owners who just need a small amount of help, or a reminder of their responsibilities, and there are those who simply are not capable of making reasonable decisions and whose animals need to come in to our care. Identifying which is which is what RSPCA Animal Welfare Officers are trained for.

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