A petition has been started by a Moorlands dog rescuer who feels that a national animal charity could benefit from more volunteers – in particular from local rescue centres. Adam Harvey, who runs Luosko German Shepherd Dog Rescue in Cheadle, has started the petition which is calling for rescue centre volunteers to be able to deputise for RSPCA officers in their absence.
A petition has been started by a Moorlands dog rescuer who feels that a national animal charity could benefit from more volunteers – in particular from local rescue centres.
Adam Harvey, who runs Luosko German Shepherd Dog Rescue in Cheadle, has started the petition which is calling for rescue centre volunteers to be able to deputise for RSPCA officers in their absence.
This follows a number of incidents in the Moorlands which he and his team have attended where the RSPCA have not been able to attend.
The first, which we reported about last week, was where several local rescue centres from across the Moorlands pulled together to help 11 dogs in need at an address in Cheadle after being contacted by the Police after the RSPCA said they could not attend.
Since then, Adam has been called out to assist at Alton Towers after staff there found dogs left in a car by guests at the resort.
Adam said: “So we get a phone call about dogs in a car. Turns out to be the two cutest pups left in a crate in the boot of a car at Alton Towers, whilst the people go off for some fun with their kids.
“Credit to the staff, who managed to pull them from the vehicle – as the owners had left the vehicle unlocked – and look after them in the management office.
“We were called to assist because the RSPCA said to call the Police and the Police said to call the RSPCA.
“If the pups had been left in the car they would have been in there for over eight hours without food and water, and quite possibly of died.
“The owners eventually emerged, with not a care in the world. They were escorted off site and told they couldn’t stay, hopefully leaving them out of pocket.
“Unfortunately this is just another case of injustice as legally they did nothing wrong – the RSPCA may have been able to fine them or even remove the pups, but unfortunately we had to hand them back.
“Thank god that the pups were spotted early and looked after by the management team, instead of being left in a stuffy car all day, or even worse been left to die.”
Adam further told the Times & Echo: “Personally I think leaving dogs in cars more than a couple of minutes should be illegal in itself.
“The laws need changing, digital dog licences need to be introduced to marry up with chip numbers and vet records and the whole thing needs to be policed better, only then, will things get better.
“It was most upsetting as the pups couldn’t have been over five or six weeks old.
“They were in a crate in the boot of the car, covered in luggage and bags with no food or water.
“I am just so thankful the owners were stupid enough to leave their car unlocked.”
The Times & Echo contacted the RSPCA about the Alton Towers incident, and although their press office stated: “We don’t appear to have received any reports about dogs in a car at Alton Towers over the last week,” they also issued this statement: “In an emergency it is best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to police. Our officers may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident.”
The Times & Echo has also contacted Alton Towers about the incident but, at the time of print, had not received a response from the venue.
The petition which Adam has set up calling for rescue centre volunteers to be able to deputise for the RSPCA, had, as of yesterday (Tuesday, August 3), a total of 1,145 signatures.
Adam said: “I just think if the RSPCA had trained volunteers from reputable rescues available to do call outs it would assist the overstretched officers.
“There is basically one to cover Staffordshire, and around 200 for the UK. But in retrospect there are more than 200 rescues and they are located all over which would mean at least someone could respond, hopefully with the backup of the officer if required.
“It would improve their public visibility and be seen to attend a lot more callouts, some of which only need someone to pop out and give guidance.”
In response to Adam’s petition, a RSPCA spokesperson told the Times & Echo: “Our officers have no more rights or powers than any other charity worker or volunteer working to help animals in the UK.
“We have no powers to enter premises, seize animals or carry out any statutory action.
“When we investigate cruelty we must work closely with police, councils and other agencies who do have these powers.
“We do, however, have years of expertise and experience of working with agencies such as the police to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals, as well as investigate complaints of cruelty.”
They added: “The RSPCA is the biggest welfare organisation in England and Wales, but this also means we’re under huge pressure, with more than one million calls coming into our hotline every year. We simply can’t do it all.
“That’s why we value the work of all rescue organisations across the country and know how important it is that we all work together to help the animals who need us.”
HERE is the wording of the petition which Adam has set up online:
As a rescue we have had numerous call outs for the welfare of animals, in our case German Shepherds. When the situation is bad we need to involve the RSPCA and even the Police.
There are also times where the RSPCA don’t, won’t or can’t attend, which means as a rescue we have less rights and less power especially if we think the case should go to court.
What is even more heartbreaking and frustrating for rescues is when we attend and deal with cruelty or neglect cases, putting in all the leg work and hand over to the RSPCA – that’s where the book stops and we are never allowed to know the outcome, or even help or follow the case.
The Police have volunteer officers so why can’t the RSPCA do the same with official representatives from reputable rescue charities?
They could be trained in all aspects the same as an RSPCA officer and deputise when the RSPCA do not have a local officer to attend. I am sure that places like Battersea would support such training initiatives.
The RSPCA has limited officers to cover the entire UK, however there are more reputable rescues throughout the UK than RSPCA officers, so if there was just one volunteer per rescue centre trained it would mean the RSPCA could have thousands of officers.
Specialist rescues, like ourselves here at Luosko German Shepherd Dog Rescue are just one example, there are many breed and animal specific rescues out there along with all the mixed animal rescues that do the same work if not more than the officers do already – but they don’t have the backing of the RSPCA and access to the same support of the officers.
To view and/or sign the petition, go online to: www.change.org/p/rspca-england-wales-allow-rescues-to-deputise-for-the-rspca.
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