A whistleblower revealed that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Britain‘s largest animal charity, unnecessarily euthanizes thousands of animals it rescues each year for ‘non-medical reasons.’
According to The Daily Mail, in 2009, the RSPCA, who receives £120 million a year in donations, stopped accepting stray animals and unwanted pets. Figures obtained for the past five years showed that 46 percent of animals rescued by the charity were put down.
Statistics reflect that 10,000 fewer animals were re-homed in 2011, because the RSPCA spent the majority of their time prosecuting neglect and cruelty. MSN notes, some criticize the group for focusing more on heavy-handed prosecutions for pet neglect, rather than finding homes for animals who face being euthanized. Although admirable, the RSPCA spent the bulk of their efforts centering on a 20 percent increase in suits for pet neglect, in lieu of finding new homes.
“If there wasn’t any room in the nearby RSPCA home or one of a number of approved charities, we were supposed to euthanize them. The charity is killing more healthy animals than necessary by branding them ‘unsuitable for rehoming.’ The RSPCA won’t work with people (regarding accusations of neglect). They see every case as a chance to prosecute, to generate publicity for themselves.”
The RSPCA insists that euthanasia is a last resort, and vehemently denies that they put down based on being unsuitable for rehoming aggressive or older animals. They note that Aubrey-Ward is just a disgruntled former employee, making exaggerated claims.
Aubrey-Ward had received multiple accolades from the RSPCA while in their employment, up until she was pressured to resign amid a disciplinary investigation for allegedly ‘stealing’ animals. She does not support the practices that were regularly performed on healthy animals. She mentioned an occasion where one of the other inspectors immediately assessed a Rottweiler as aggressive, when it was simply afraid and growled during a regular check-up, and had it put down afterwards. The same was true when there was no room at a RSPCA approved home or charity facility; put down.
The Daily News quotes an RSPCA spokeswoman:
“Animals in our care are never routinely euthanized on the spot, and certainly not because there are no spaces. Our inspectors regularly go out of their way to find a place many miles away. Over 70 percent of ‘on the spot’ euthanasia of animal casualties, the RSPCA is called out to deal with, involve wildlife. RSPCA inspectors are not allowed to use euthanasia drugs on companion animals. They are taken to a veterinary surgeon, which makes an expert assessment. Prosecution is always a last resort. Only a small percentage of the cases the RSPCA investigates end in prosecution.”
The Humane Society recommends being conscientious about pet overpopulation and consider the option of spaying or neutering pets. Spaying/neutering is the only permanent, 100 percent effective method of birth control for dogs, cats, rabbits, and other pets. Nationwide (in the US) more than 3 million animals are needlessly euthanized in shelters. If more people took realistic precautions, this could be avoided. Additionally, they do encourage that you report suspected cruelty and neglect to proper authorities.