It’s RSPCA week, and horrifyingly the statistics of animal neglect rose dramatically in 2012, with 4,168 convictions all together.
I always supported the RSPCA as a child, I was an RSPCA ‘member’ where I paid a certain amount a year to subscribe to their magazine.
Our family dog Oscar is a rescue from our local RSPCA and I can honestly say I’ll only ever adopt in the future. I’m not going to be without a dog, they’ve become an important part of my life, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be adopting my own as soon as I’m out of student accommodation/university and working full time.
Now, I love the work the RSPCA does, don’t get me wrong. I wholeheartedly support them and what they do and I would love to give my time and money. However I have very little money and a lot of time, and yet they don’t seem to want to accept help when it’s offered to them on a plate.
I’ll start from the beginning of this ‘issue’ that I have with the RSPCA:
The week after my dog Jazz died of cancer, we realised there was a dog shaped hole in our lives and my parents decided that if we didn’t get one straight away we’d never get around to it. So the weekend after Jazz was put down we went to the RSPCA having seen a rather handsome big black dog named Oscar on the website. We were greeted by a very rude and pretty nasty woman on the front desk who didn’t seem to want to rehome any of the
dogs at all! Not only was her rudeness enough to make us want to turn around and leave but she dragged up any possible reason we might not be suitable to rehome a dog before we’d even sat down with a member of staff and talked about our situation! My dad built a kennel for our first dog, who was a springer/cocker spaniel…she never slept in it; in fact she was so spoiled she slept on mum and dads bed at night! However because she was an outdoorsy dog, when we were out she would stay in the garden (which is pretty big) and the kennel (which was huge with a nice, warm bedroom water and food bowls and a big comfy quilt) was there as shelter if it rained or she got cold. Dad fleetingly mentioned this kennel and immediately the woman on the desk jumped to conclusions and rudely said “We rehome our dogs as pets, not working animals” (just to clarify, Jazz was never ever a working dog…the only thing ‘working dog’ about her was her breed).
So after that little mishap we spoke to a very nice person who chatted to us about our situation, experience with dogs and everything else that comes into it. We then took Oscar for a little walk around the field opposite the shelter and got to know him a bit, his infectious happiness, his big grin and his stupid ginger beard made us fall in love and we signed the papers. The home inspection went smoothly and the inspector even said that the kennel was lovely and that the dog would be better off outside in the summer!
So after the first mishap, the adoption of Oscar went well. Fast forward a little while and while between paid jobs I decided I’d volunteer and the RSPCA’s charity shop in Exeter was after volunteers. I phoned the number that it told me to phone on the website and lo and behold the somewhat grumpy person on the other end had no idea what I was talking about and abruptly told me I should phone again tomorrow and speak to someone else. Oh how helpful. So I didn’t bother calling back.
Then some time after I wanted to volunteer as a dog walker at weekends. My boyfriend already volunteered previously and we decided to do it together. He was already registered as a volunteer even though he hadn’t done it for a while, so it was just me that needed to sign up from scratch. I put my details on paper and they said that once they had at least 10 people they’d call me and invite us all to a training session. This was about 2 years ago now…and I never got that phone call.
Do they actually want help?
These issues don’t by any means reflect on the RSPCA as a whole, and I still support what they do. It’s because of them that Oscar, and so many other lovely dogs, get the loving homes they deserve and are given a second chance.
Not that I needed any more reason, but these statistics make me want to adopt animals even more! As cute as puppies are, adoption is the way to go.
I’m broke, but if I can spend £5 to go and see Iron Man 3 I’m pretty sure I can afford to spend £5 towards helping more gorgeous and deserving dogs like Oscar get the care, attention and loving homes they deserve ❤
If you too want to donate you can do so here