Rspca accosted me about prosecution: unable to care for pet rspca took him Watch

Anonymous #1
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I've been having a really difficult time lately, mentally, financially and physically. My partner left me, I lost my job, not entitled to benefits, and was therefore unable to afford to properly care for my pet.

I won't detail my pets state as I feel guilty about not taking him to vets, mainly for financial reasons.

I rang all the catteries in my area, all full, so naturally I rang rspca as last resort.

The woman came round, gave me a lecture, and tried to imply that if when they took him to vets and they find out he suffered longer than neccesary an inspector will ring me back.

I was made to feel criminal, like I willfully intended to be cruel to him. My mum was with me luckily, and supported me and said my cat has always had allergies which has been exacerbated by him not getting to vets. But said if I was truly been cruel I'd have put him on streets.

She told her I lost my job, that I can't look after myself at this point.

The officer shrugged and said "well, it is by law his responsibility as owner".

I was made to feel awful for been poor and broke, and I did all I could, I fed him I did all I could but some people have no understanding or compassion for circumstances. I'm not a cruel person by nature and anyone that knows me will tell you that I'm a good person.

Do you think they'll prosecute me?
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londonmyst
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Don't feel bad.
The rspca always do this to make low income & elderly pet owners feel bad.
They do it to try to bully owners to voluntarily handing over their pets to the rspca- to be killed or sold.

You are unlikely to be prosecuted.
You rang the rspca asking for their help, have mental health issues, limited funds available and have not been proven to have committed any crime.
Not being able to afford any vet treatment and choosing not to have a pet killed are not against the law.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I've been having a really difficult time lately, mentally, financially and physically. My partner left me, I lost my job, not entitled to benefits, and was therefore unable to afford to properly care for my pet.

I won't detail my pets state as I feel guilty about not taking him to vets, mainly for financial reasons.

I rang all the catteries in my area, all full, so naturally I rang rspca as last resort.

The woman came round, gave me a lecture, and tried to imply that if when they took him to vets and they find out he suffered longer than neccesary an inspector will ring me back.

I was made to feel criminal, like I willfully intended to be cruel to him. My mum was with me luckily, and supported me and said my cat has always had allergies which has been exacerbated by him not getting to vets. But said if I was truly been cruel I'd have put him on streets.

She told her I lost my job, that I can't look after myself at this point.

The officer shrugged and said "well, it is by law his responsibility as owner".

I was made to feel awful for been poor and broke, and I did all I could, I fed him I did all I could but some people have no understanding or compassion for circumstances. I'm not a cruel person by nature and anyone that knows me will tell you that I'm a good person.

Do you think they'll prosecute me?
You understand, I'm sure, that the animal's welfare is the primary concern. I'm sympathetic to the personal circumstances which led up to the animal being removed, but it's the right thing to do - for both of you. Hopefully the animal can be rehomed to somewhere where it can be looked after properly. I don't really think you have a right to feel sorry for yourself regarding 'how the RSPCA officer made you feel'. I, and I think most people, couldn't give a stuff about that. The relevant fact is that an animal suffered at your hands because you didn't make proper arrangements for its veterinary care. What about the PDSA? What about approaching your local vets and explaining the situation? Anything but just leaving the poor thing to suffer. It can't take itself to the vets, can it?

It's not really possible to tell you whether or not you'll be prosecuted or not. It depends on the RSPCA's assessment of the severity of the of the neglect, and the harm the animal has suffered. I don't want to know the details. As you've probably read in the media, the RSPCA is usually fairly willing to take legal action against neglectful owners where they feel there is a valid case, so it is perfectly possible that you will receive a court summons.
Last edited by Reality Check; 3 weeks ago
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Anonymous)
................
Except PDSA will treat your pet for reduced cost or free depending on your circumstances/benefits. So there's no excuse.

https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-...et/eligibility

You can't hide behind the fact that things could have been even worse for your cat, if it was suffering. There are lots of different levels of maltreatment, and just because your's wasn't the worst, doesn't mean it wasn't unacceptable.

What compassion did you show your cat? More than the RSPCA showed you?
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Reality Check
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Except PDSA will treat your pet for reduced cost or free depending on your circumstances/benefits. So there's no excuse.

https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-...et/eligibility

You can't hide behind the fact that things could have been even worse for your cat, if it was suffering. There are lots of different levels of maltreatment, and just because your's wasn't the worst, doesn't mean it wasn't unacceptable.

What compassion did you show your cat? More than the RSPCA showed you?
PRSOM.

A vet will never let an animal suffer if its owner genuinely can't afford treatment, so exactly as you say there is actually no excuse for this type of behaviour.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Reality Check)
You understand, I'm sure, that the animal's welfare is the primary concern. I'm sympathetic to the personal circumstances which led up to the animal being removed, but it's the right thing to do - for both of you. Hopefully the animal can be rehomed to somewhere where it can be looked after properly. I don't really think you have a right to feel sorry for yourself regarding 'how the RSPCA officer made you feel'. I, and I think most people, couldn't give a stuff about that. The relevant fact is that an animal suffered at your hands because you didn't make proper arrangements for its veterinary care. What about the PDSA? What about approaching your local vets and explaining the situation? Anything but just leaving the poor thing to suffer. It can't take itself to the vets, can it?

It's not really possible to tell you whether or not you'll be prosecuted or not. It depends on the RSPCA's assessment of the severity of the of the neglect, and the harm the animal has suffered. I don't want to know the details. As you've probably read in the media, the RSPCA is usually fairly willing to take legal action against neglectful owners where they feel there is a valid case, so it is perfectly possible that you will receive a court summons.
I understand fine well that animal welfare is the RSPCA's priority.
Yes, I felt guilty, I wasn't able to look after him, mentally, financially and otherwise.

I don't actually feel it is my fault that I was unable to afford treatment for him. That I lost my job. Just the same as it isn't my fault that I suffer poor mental health. Hence, why I actually called the RSPCA because I felt it unfair for the animal to suffer. If I were truly a nasty, cruel and heartless person, I would have thrown him out on the streets, I didn't do so.

I don't think you have a right to tell me how to feel, either, just saying. I simply was trying to reiterate that I felt that the officer was implying things to me, in a very passive aggressive way. Like, its a crime to be poor, and unable to afford vet treatment. It isn't like when I got him, I was jobless, things happened, and I couldn't cope, I got fired from my job. A lot of things happened.

I have googled quite a few cases, and was surprised that the RSPCA even goes after vulnerable people, and those with mental health difficulties, so I feel certain they will come for me. Its okay, I will take it on the chin, but similarly, I will actually fight my corner, because I do not for one second condone the suffering for any animal, I've never deliberately harmed an animal, and therefore should not be prosecuted for this.

You might be one of those animal lovers, and very overprotective about it. I understand this. I like animals, however, I do not judge people, I accept that differing circumstances contribute to these cases. Not everybody is a lunatic, and the courts, RSPCA should bare this in mind. You might disagree, but this is a fair and just way to do it. Not to aim to prosecute everyone.

He wasn't starving or anything like that, but I notice the officer asked probing questions, which no doubt will be used against me in a case, and if it ruins my life, and is published publicly I will take legal action.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Except PDSA will treat your pet for reduced cost or free depending on your circumstances/benefits. So there's no excuse.

https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-...et/eligibility

You can't hide behind the fact that things could have been even worse for your cat, if it was suffering. There are lots of different levels of maltreatment, and just because your's wasn't the worst, doesn't mean it wasn't unacceptable.

What compassion did you show your cat? More than the RSPCA showed you?
What a judgemental post this is. All black and white, no shades of grey. Life doesn't work like that does it?

I understand you might take it personally, you might even be disgusted, but it is not right that you should tar me with the same brush as those that deliberately starve, beat and wilfully neglect, and, although there are differing levels of neglect/abuse, that doesn't mean to say I should be prosecuted for this.

Of course, if the RSPCA wants to prosecute me, I will defend myself, and present my case. If it goes public, and actually ruins my life, I will take action against this. I don't see how prosecuting and publicly shaming me would be in the public interest, given my wellbeing at the moment.

I understand that my Cat may have suffered and I am sorry for that. The problem comes when, you lose your job, and your income, and you cannot afford to look after him at all. I took the necesarry steps, I rang catteries, all closed.

I ended up ringing the RSPCA. Perhaps if a Cat shelter had taken him in, I wouldn't be so intimidated by prosecution, it seems the RSPCA jumps to prosecute people, despite circumstance.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by londonmyst)
Don't feel bad.
The rspca always do this to make low income & elderly pet owners feel bad.
They do it to try to bully owners to voluntarily handing over their pets to the rspca- to be killed or sold.

You are unlikely to be prosecuted.
You rang the rspca asking for their help, have mental health issues, limited funds available and have not been proven to have committed any crime.
Not being able to afford any vet treatment and choosing not to have a pet killed are not against the law.
Thanks for your compassion, its a shame others seem to think I should be prosecuted for this. There is a difference between people that beat animals, deliberately starve them and what not, and those who have no money, suffer mental health issues. It isn't morally right to prosecute vulnerable people, simple.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Except PDSA will treat your pet for reduced cost or free depending on your circumstances/benefits. So there's no excuse.

https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-...et/eligibility

You can't hide behind the fact that things could have been even worse for your cat, if it was suffering. There are lots of different levels of maltreatment, and just because your's wasn't the worst, doesn't mean it wasn't unacceptable.

What compassion did you show your cat? More than the RSPCA showed you?
Also my cat knew I loved him. I regularly gave him cuddles, stroked him and gave him treats. Just because he became ill, and I couldn't afford to treat him, doesn't make me nasty. You just chose to see it as nasty, you don't see the side to things where I showed him love and affection.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Reality Check)
PRSOM.

A vet will never let an animal suffer if its owner genuinely can't afford treatment, so exactly as you say there is actually no excuse for this type of behaviour.
No they won't let them suffer, but they'll send you the bill afterwards.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Anonymous)
No they won't let them suffer, but they'll send you the bill afterwards.
(Original post by Anonymous)
Thanks for your compassion, its a shame others seem to think I should be prosecuted for this. There is a difference between people that beat animals, deliberately starve them and what not, and those who have no money, suffer mental health issues. It isn't morally right to prosecute vulnerable people, simple.
I didn't actually say that you should be prosecuted, and neither did anyone else in this thread. I don't agree with your distinction by the way. The animal doesn't distinguish between neglect caused by deliberate intent, and neglect caused by your difficult circumstances - it suffers either way. The law is there to protect the animal, not make nice distinctions between human keepers.

I've tried to be respectful towards you in my post - not making personal attacks, but answering your question honestly. I hope you can see that, and please don't accuse me of saying things that I haven't. Thanks
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DiddyDecAlt
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I have had a fair few run ins with RSPCA staff during my years in agriculture, I have yet to come across one that isn't a passive aggressive **** that thinks they are God's gift to the Earth. Just how they are.
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YaliaV
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I’m sympathetic to an extent, but there must be help available if you’re ill. Do you think it would be acceptable to leave a baby with a soiled nappy for days due to similar circumstances? Animals are totally dependent on us and you seem more concerned about your own pride than the welfare of the animal. You should have considered rehoming if you weren’t able to look after him.
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Apachecow
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  • The Animal Welfare Act 2006 is quite clear:
  • 4Unnecessary suffering

    (1)A person commits an offence if—

    (a)an act of his, or a failure of his to act, causes an animal to suffer,

    (b)he knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the act, or failure to act, would have that effect or be likely to do so,

    (c)the animal is a protected animal, and

    (d)the suffering is unnecessary.

    (2)A person commits an offence if—

    (a)he is responsible for an animal,

    (b)an act, or failure to act, of another person causes the animal to suffer,

    (c)he permitted that to happen or failed to take such steps (whether by way of supervising the other person or otherwise) as were reasonable in all the circumstances to prevent that happening, and

    (d)the suffering is unnecessary.

    (3)The considerations to which it is relevant to have regard when determining for the purposes of this section whether suffering is unnecessary include—

    (a)whether the suffering could reasonably have been avoided or reduced;
  • http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/45/section/4

You committed a crime. There are a host of good reasons why the RSPCA might not be the correct people to be investigating here, but they are generally left to their own devices. It worries me when they dress them in a uniform and give them the title 'inspector'. They are lay people working for a charity and have no legal rights - if they took your animal you have to have legally given it to them and signed it over.

Generally if an owner 'complies' and signs an animal over and its an isolated incident they don't usually prosecute. Especially given you effectively reported yourself and were trying to help your cat.
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gjd800
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can't see em bothering with a prosecution
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loperioew
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Wonder if the that member of the RSPCA eats meat and dairy. If they do then they are absolute hypocrites to try and take the moral high ground over the suffering of an animal- especially if they buy from factory farms.

Ohh but you're not allowed to point out this hypocrisy as the majority of people fund things like factory farms and they don't like the truth.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Anonymous)
What a judgemental post this is. All black and white, no shades of grey. Life doesn't work like that does it?
It does where the welfare of lives you are responsible for is concerned.

(Original post by Anonymous)
I understand you might take it personally, you might even be disgusted, but it is not right that you should tar me with the same brush as those that deliberately starve, beat and wilfully neglect, and, although there are differing levels of neglect/abuse, that doesn't mean to say I should be prosecuted for this.
There is a fixed threshold for a crime, the punishment then varies with the severity. You get a fine for speeding, the amount of the fine varies depending on how fast you were going. You understand that thumping a child is abuse, even if it isn't tying them up and stuffing them in a cupboard and starving them? I tarred you with nothing, the RSPCA did - and check out what their name is.

(Original post by Anonymous)
Of course, if the RSPCA wants to prosecute me, I will defend myself, and present my case. If it goes public, and actually ruins my life, I will take action against this. I don't see how prosecuting and publicly shaming me would be in the public interest, given my wellbeing at the moment.
You can't take legal action against being found guilty of a crime, even if it 'ruins your life'.

(Original post by Anonymous)
I understand that my Cat may have suffered and I am sorry for that. The problem comes when, you lose your job, and your income, and you cannot afford to look after him at all. I took the necesarry steps, I rang catteries, all closed.
So it's the catteries fault then? Maybe your legal action should be aimed at them for not being there for you?

(Original post by Anonymous)
I ended up ringing the RSPCA. Perhaps if a Cat shelter had taken him in, I wouldn't be so intimidated by prosecution, it seems the RSPCA jumps to prosecute people, despite circumstance.
Cat shelters - such bloody inconsiderate *******s!

Stop blaming other people. Stop seeking approval for something you know was just fundamentally wrong. You screwed up, and the RSPCA made that clear to you. Don't expect to come online and find hordes of people giving you approval for what we all know was wrong, regardless of your circumstances.
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OddOnes
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Under mental health problems you can get away with a lot.

You've ultimately done the right thing by giving the cat up. Maybe should have done it sooner, but no one who loves their pet will give it away at the first sign of hardship.

If you keep up with animal rescues you'll see animals in dire condition are are given up constantly. Probably much worse than yours, prosecution rarely happens.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by OddOnes)
Under mental health problems you can get away with a lot.

You've ultimately done the right thing by giving the cat up. Maybe should have done it sooner, but no one who loves their pet will give it away at the first sign of hardship.

If you keep up with animal rescues you'll see animals in dire condition are are given up constantly. Probably much worse than yours, prosecution rarely happens.
Thanks for your reply.

I didn't intend to use my mental health as an excuse, or guise to get away with anything, but, it has contributed to my ability to look after him. I also had a series of major life events happen to me, which all spiralled, I lost my job and had no income, and the more ill my Cat got the more guilty I felt, and the more guilty I felt the more I felt I would be judged if I took him to Vets.

I did not do this out of malice, I am not an evil person, but I accept responsibility for any suffering he endured, I just felt I needed to make the point that the RSPCA should not always prosecute people without baring in mind each case.

I recently read an article online, where they prosecuted somebody, a vulnerable person with mental health issues, similar to my case, and it got me worried.

Yeah I agree, that was my most significant mistake I should have given him up sooner of course, but as you say, I loved him dearly, and wanted to fight through my hardship.

Its difficult also with Cats, because more often than not all of the shelters are full, and if, like me, you don't have the money to take to Vets, or if you don't want to Euthanise, or whatever, your options are limited. The RSPCA will have you in a corner, and tell you that they are suffering, even if you tried your best.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
It does where the welfare of lives you are responsible for is concerned.

There is a fixed threshold for a crime, the punishment then varies with the severity. You get a fine for speeding, the amount of the fine varies depending on how fast you were going. You understand that thumping a child is abuse, even if it isn't tying them up and stuffing them in a cupboard and starving them? I tarred you with nothing, the RSPCA did - and check out what their name is.

You can't take legal action against being found guilty of a crime, even if it 'ruins your life'.

So it's the catteries fault then? Maybe your legal action should be aimed at them for not being there for you?

Cat shelters - such bloody inconsiderate *******s!

Stop blaming other people. Stop seeking approval for something you know was just fundamentally wrong. You screwed up, and the RSPCA made that clear to you. Don't expect to come online and find hordes of people giving you approval for what we all know was wrong, regardless of your circumstances.
I accept that I made mistakes, I should have taken him to Vets sooner, or given him up sooner if I knew I couldn't afford to keep him. Of course, I can't always predict life events, things that happen.

The rest of your post is just 'stroppy nonsense'. Criticism helps nobody, go away and put yourself in someone else's shoes, walk a mile in their shoes.
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