At Inanity and the Girl, we're big animal lovers and as such when we were asked if we'd share with you some facts about the RSPCA and their ongoing battle with animal abuse, we jumped at the chance.
The government is keen to tell us when crime figures go down. They consider that the society for which they are responsible must be functioning well if fewer people are turning to crime. Crime figures can be misread or deliberately manipulated, though, and it is never really clear whether fewer people are committing crimes or fewer people are being caught.
There can be no doubt, though, that crimes and cruelty against animals is on the rise. There may be some overarching social reason for this – perhaps the poor economy or a decreasing focus in schools and society on the rights of animals to live alongside us – but the net result is that more animals are suffering than ever before.
The government takes no responsibility for protecting animals or preventing cruelty. It gives tax breaks to charities (including animal charities like the RSPCA) and writes laws that make it a criminal offense to neglect or abuse animals, but the real work that goes into keeping animals safe and rescuing them if necessary is left to the RSPCA. Local shelters and other animal charities take in animals that have been abused or neglected, but the RSPCA also has the power to prosecute people who have been criminally cruel, neglectful or abusive.
Animal cruelty facts make for hard reading. It beggars belief that people can do things like bury animals alive, slash them with knives or starve horses to death. But they do, and they do worse than that.
Calls made to the RSPCA by concerned neighbours or members of the public lead to a response by Inspectors who investigate claims of abuse, neglect or abandonment. They go into potentially very dangerous situations (would you like to call at the door of someone accused of stamping on a dog?) and assess the situation. Where necessary they may need to remove an animal. They may see some horrific conditions in which animals are living and they see many abused or dead pets.
The RSPCA views taking people to court for cruelty or neglect a matter of last resort. Where possible, they educate people about caring properly for their animals, and work with people if possible to keep animals safe and well cared for. But if it is clear that animals have been abused or crimes committed then the RSPCA will take legal action to stop it happening again.
Animal cruelty is increasing and the RSPCA needs continued support from animal lovers everywhere. People who support their aims can make one-off or regular donations, take part in fundraising events or even set up their own fundraising activities. People are also needed to volunteer to work for the RSPCA, to work in their shops to raise money, to help in the shelters to care for the animals, to provide practical skills such as joinery or plumbing to ease the financial pressure on local shelters.
The RSPCA does important work but needs more support than ever. Please take the time to look at their RSPCA Choices site to look at individual on-going projects that you may be able to support.
Much love and pet cuddles