Who’s Really Responsible for Animal Euthanasia?

Posted by 4 years ago | Permalink | Comments (32)

In a recent article published in The Mail on Sunday, the RSPCA came under fire over claims that half the animals it rescued last year were euthanised.

Nobody wants to see healthy animals lose their lives. But given the current crisis of abandoned dogs and cats, attacking the UK’s oldest animal welfare charity for a problem that it did not create is certainly not the answer.

In a letter to the newspaper, PETA Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi had this to say:

Life is easy for those of us who do not take in abandoned dogs and cats. It’s hard to justify a holier-than-thou attitude towards those like the RSPCA that refuse to turn their backs on animals who are abandoned on motorways, left in boxes outside their doors or trapped in abusive households. Anyone with the attention span of a mayfly can acquire and then toss away a dog, cat or rabbit. The finger of blame for high levels of animal euthanasia should be pointed towards those who tut-tut but do nothing to mop up the mess. There are simply too many companion animals and not enough good homes. To help address this issue, spay or neuter your animal companions and choose to adopt, rather than buy, animals.

We can all help stop animal overpopulation and homelessness. Have you pledged to spay or neuter your companion animals yet?

Photo: Sande2


  • Avelina Pereira commented on January 9, 2013 at 10:53 am

    All animals have the right to a life with health, care and nourishment.

    • ANNA MAIETTA commented on January 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm


  • ANNA MAIETTA commented on January 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm


    • tamsin commented on January 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      are you trying to be funny anna???

    • ayse k commented on January 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      unfortunatley not enough homes for them to go too better to be put to sleep in a controlled manner with love than starve to death on the streets or be kicked punched burnt stabbed hanged drowned ect the list is endless of human cruelty xxx

      • Fiona Matheson commented on June 7, 2016 at 9:12 pm

        Really – the animals you ‘took’ are NOW going to be starved and kicked and punched and burnt and stabbed and hanged and drowned?
        Your reply does not allay anybodies concerns about one animal welfare group as opposed to others.

  • ANNA MAIETTA commented on January 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm


    • Trenchtool commented on January 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      That nice. Just please remember that the RSPCA proactively rescues animals from Cruelty whereas other animal welfare organisations wait for the animal to be abandoned before taking action… There are thousands of animals behind closed doors that are not lucky enough to be abandoned and it is these animals that are off the radar to your average rehoming centre/charity. They will sit, fester and no doubt die behind closed doors.


    • Eggy commented on January 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      That’s just an excuse to give up giving to a charity Anna! Maybe look at how many animals these charities are taking in – see if you have any better solutions. Look at how many animals they rescue, look after and re-home. Take the time to read about a subject before making these pathetic comments on a forum – the Mail on Sunday is a worse “comic” than the Sun – it’s only blinkered people who read the Mail!

    • KnightCat commented on April 3, 2014 at 3:50 am

      Yes,Instead of appeasing your conscience by sending donations,Which you probably never sent them a penny in your life,why don’t you get off your a** and actually go out and volunteer to help!Every person who volunteers to give their spare room up to foster a dog or puppies is at least one more life saved,so instead of criticising,put your money where your mouth is and volunteer.But you won’t will you..because the RSPCA is there to do it for you while you sit there wasting time on your PC while the animals Die.

  • Kelly commented on January 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    This website will be very interesting to people who think PETA actually saves animals: nathanwinograd.com/?cat=10

  • Margaret commented on January 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Well said Mima.
    Its all very well for folks to say every animal deserves a life – every animal deserves a responsible owner and sadly too many people take on animals without any thought for the animals long term welfare. It ‘s sad that people consider stopping their donations RSPCA when as Mima so rightly says RSPCA has not created the problem. Resources are finite and all money raised locally and nationally is used in the battle against neglect and cruelty. Euthanasia is not cruel It is the last and sometimes the only caring act that can be offered . Having volunteered for many years with this organisation i can confidently say that decisions to euthanise animals are not taken lightly and cause distress to those involved.

  • Ann Jones commented on January 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    It is distressing that healthy animals are euthanised but everyone must realise that there are too many animals and too few spaces. Blame those who breed irresponsibly in the hope of making money, puppy farms, irresponsible owners to do not neuter their pets and worst of all the thoughtless mindless cretins who think a puppy or kitten looks sweet at 8 weeks then dump it at 8 months. Charities like the RSPCA can only do so much.

  • Donna commented on January 10, 2013 at 1:12 am

    People should be responsible with their pets. The world, & the people in it, are not perfect – That’s why we have charities. When people support animal charities it is with the assumption that the ultimate aim of the charity is to improve the life of the animals in their care.

    Most companion animals have a life span that is far shorter than ours, hence once sterilised, they will die natural deaths on their own clock anyway. Any organisation that raises money for the benefit of animals should only kill as a last resort. There is NO pleasant way to kill. When people donate, they assume they are helping to preserve life.

    Seems there are sharks lurking in the pond? How many healthy animals has Peta sanctioned to be killed this year? I would really like to know because I have just read some disturbing information that I HOPE is incorrect.

  • Winifred Healey commented on January 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I have NEVER heard of any RSPCA members put down a “healthy” animal, and those who critisise this wonderful Organization should ask themselves what would they prefer, to let this poor suffering creature live in an agonising state (caused by wicked or neglectful humans or to permit them to leave this world gently and without sufferance and in the wonderful and compassionet hands of the RSPCA?)
    Wake up, people!!!

  • Roger Billing commented on January 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I hope you find the contents of this mail to the Daily Mail enlightening. They did not publish them!

    I have been a Daily Mail reader for about 50 years and although I believe on occasion your “trial by press” is misguided I regard the latest attacks on the RSPCA to be extremely irresponsible and misguided. The lack of understanding and the absence of balance is truly worrying, exacerbated by headlines that are to say the least misleading.

    Let us take your recent headline “Revealed: RSPCA destroys HALF of the animals that it rescues – yet thousands are completely healthy”

    and the sub line “The animal-welfare charity destroyed 53,000 animals last year – 44 per cent of those it took in”

    The RSPCA has two distinct sections, the national RSPCA and 170 local RSPCA branches. The latter are separate self funding charities and handle the vast majority of the animal rehoming. The national Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the main does exactly what its name suggests – try to prevent cruelty.

    As part of the national RSPCA role the Inspectors are called upon to attend to all manner of distressed and injured animals and I suggest a very high proportion of the 53,000 you quote are injured wild animals or domestic animals that are victims of accident injury. These are put to sleep to avoid further suffering.

    You also need to be very careful when quoting “Whistleblower’s” claims as fact when you should be only too well aware of the vexatious accusations made by many people with a personal agenda.

    You refer to 10,000 less animals being rehomed in 2011 without taking the trouble to find out why. Animal rehoming is expensive and the RSPCA as a whole has suffered from a lack of income in recent times. This will only be exacerbated by your reporting.

    “But charity’s prosecutions of rogue pet owners leap 20 per cent” you say as an implied criticism. This is what they do and should be applauded.

    “Country side Alliance says charity should lose its Royal charter” – another sub headline with an implied criticism. They would say that wouldn’t they after the RSPCA prosecuted their members, the Heythrop Hunt! We have an act of parliament that is regularly flouted to my own knowledge so why is everyone upset by the RSPCA having a go at these barbarians. I believe they spent too much money on the prosecution but I don’t know all the background information and neither does the Daily Mail. The one thing that is certain is the prosecution had to be successful or the practise of killing with hounds would carry on without any constraints. Why don’t you ask why the judge didn’t award some serious costs against the defendants or perhaps more important why the Crown Prosecution Service doesn’t help in these cases.

    Your paper has done a great disservice to the thousands of people who support the RSPCA nationally and locally. The staff are dedicated, most certainly not overpaid and have to deal with very distressing situations on a regular basis. The volunteers give their time and money to ensure as many animals as possible receive good treatment and your recent reporting has been an insult to all these people.

    As an RSPCA branch trustee for over 10 years I have never known any animal to be put to sleep unless on medical advice or because of incurable behavioural problems and I am sure this applies to the other 169 branches who will now feel the financial affect of your irresponsible, blinkered reporting.

    You appear to be promoting the Dogs Trust and I hope you continue to do so as they fulfil an important role but be aware that they are selective in the animals they accept. The RSPCA, both branches and national, mainly handle the animals that need rehoming as a result of cruelty which means many have serious problems and the RSPCA is their only chance of a new life. It takes a great deal of time and money to make these animals suitable for rehoming and I hope you will take steps to ensure the loss of income to the RSPCA nationally and locally as a result of your actions is addressed.

    • KnightCat commented on April 3, 2014 at 3:40 am

      I’m not surprised they didn’t publish them,Daily mail are in the pockets of Countryside alliance and I know what you say is true,Well said!

  • Gary Simpson commented on January 31, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I hate it… but take comfort these animals are put to sleep without any pain unlike the animals in countries like Bosnia…….. I always head to the RSPCA when our pets pass on to help make space for more animals dumped by idiots who have no real heart for animals……………… if anyone is looking for a pet take on Staffies, they are great dogs and the RSPCA have soooooooo many, dont pass them over ok 🙂

  • David Aherne commented on January 31, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Unlike the Dogs Trust, the RSPCA kill thiousands of dogs and cats which could be rehomed. Because they are ageists, they do not allow the elderly to adopt animals, even old animals. They advertise constantly for funds, including in Scotland where they do not opperate but the SPCA (Scottish Society for Protection of Aniimals) does. This denudes the SPCA of badly needed funds, in particularly legacies. The RSPCA invests all the money it receives in shares etc. None of which wais fed out to their branches, which last time I inquired were totally self supporting. Mimi Bekhechi needs to take of her rose coloured spectacles, join the real world and read what the High Court Judge said about the RSPCA attack on Wings Haven in Shefield Park, Sussex.
    This is why people like me join PETA and avoid the RSPCA like the Plague.

    • KnightCat commented on April 3, 2014 at 3:36 am

      People like you?-blinkered! The Dogs Trust take in dogs and make no attempt to rehome them,they’re kept the rest of their lives in kennels ..do you think that’s ok? So many dogs kept in kennels for the rest of their lives just getting an hour or so a day attention?How would you like being sent to prison for no reason.

  • SUE GRIFFITHS commented on February 1, 2013 at 1:22 am

    @ Donna,
    If you have read anything disturbing about Peta I suggest you email them and let them address your concerns. There are many people out there who say and write bad things about Peta, without having any knowledge at all about this wonderful organisation. The address to email Peta is below.
    [email protected]

    also see link below to see just some of the things that Peta has achieved in 2012.


  • linda johnson commented on February 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I worked in animal welfare 30 years ago, the problem is still the same,ignorance! Until people are educated to Neuter, this will never get any better. The RSPCA are at the front line. Why is it our culture too blame others? The shameful facts are that there are unsuitable homes, lack of money, changing circumstances, and people buying on a whim. I can personally remember one cat brought in for euthanasia because it didn’t go with the eccentric owners furniture after decoration! Another because they were catching a plane for their 2 week holiday, but had made no kennel arrangements for their cat. As we did not provide commercial boarding they requested the cat be put down while requesting that ‘they can get another one on their return’ You try dealing with people like that….everyday! Cleaning up other peoples heartless ways. The RSPCA may not be perfect but it would be a sadder place without them. Good on you dedicated staff. I had to leave after 10 years, I couldn’t bear to see the suffering daily anymore, But have campaigned ever since for animal welfare.

  • Jean Rumble commented on February 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I applaud Roger Billing’s letter. Well said Roger. The Heythrop Hunt needed to know they are not outside the law. Well done RSPCA and long may your work continue.
    I have a “rescue” dog, she is so faithful and always pleased to see me when I come home from shopping and can’t wait to see what treat I have bought her. there are so many abandoned animals waiting for a loving home. I visit a local rescue centre who are always grateful for any help be it dog food, blankets, dog beds, newspapers, quilts, money and help walking the dogs and cleaning out their kennels. Come on all you people out there, can you not spend a couple of hours helping out at these centres? they do such a good and worthwhile job.

  • Roy Baker commented on February 2, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    If we really care about animals we have to ask ourselves why we feel the need to “own” a pet dog, cat or anything else. I have two cats but they come and go as they please and I feed them in the same way as I feed the wild birds. I have had them neutered and they get vetinery treatment if they get anything wrong but I don’t feel that I own them. I think with a dog and other pets captivity and ownership is necessary. I used to keep and breed canaries, budgerigars, goldfinches and greenfinches but I would not do it now. I live in a rural area but hardly ever see an animal, the farmers have grabbed all the land and the hunters have killed everything.

  • TellTail commented on February 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    At the Bristol Dogs & Cats home on 31 January 2013 two healthy dogs were Put to Sleep and then on 4 February 2013 four healthy dogs were Put to Sleep. These dogs were said to be “kennel stressed” the stress, if present, was due to dogs not going out for a walk for days on end. When the dogs were out on a walk they showed no signs of stress. The Bristol Dogs & Cats Home was said to be a failing institution by its own head office of the RSPCA and a number of people were asked to leave as a result.

    That was last March, one year on with one new member of management who is very inexperienced the answer seems to be Put to Sleep all long stay dogs to reduce the overall totals, along with, transfer dogs to other Dogs Homes where the dogs are given 8 weeks to socialise with other dogs or Put to Sleep. All decisions made by middle management come from higher management. The failings of the home continue and will not be reversed until higher management has been replaced.

    It is also the policy of the home to Put to Sleep any cat that comes in if it is over 10 years old or sick.

  • Allyson Timm commented on April 27, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Can you please tell me where I report a dog Sanctury to for abuse and not being hygienic ?

  • Tiffany commented on May 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Hi my dog is beautiful looking and looks like an angel. But he is seriously damaged and has bad behavioural issues. He’s bit a woman’s leg before (luckily nothing life threatening). And he’s nipped my nephew and could of escalated of it wasn’t for me noticing and reacting. He’s also tried to bite a man but luckily got his jeans and not leg. He ragged the mans jeAns menacingly. He is awful in public and barks at any dog or human he sees. But he really goes insane. He is fully untrained and doesn’t listen to commands/instructions. He poos indoors and wees indoors too. He rips things up in the house. He was living with mentally Ill people for most of his life. And they kept him indoors constantly and never bothered training him etc. And just Mouned at him all the time. And put him in the kitchen for being hard work etc.. He is my dog now. But I can’t keep him due to the fact that I’m about to be made homeless and have to go in a hostel as I’m 4 weeks from giving birth. I’m terrified that If I try to rehome bobby he will be beaten and misunderstood. I understand him fully as I know his full story. But I just know in my heart that he will most likely be really beaten. Someone will look at how beautiful he is and assume they can handle him but he is seriously damaged and hard work and his quality of life is and will be poor due to his behaviour outdoors and indoors. I love him with all my heart and really want him putting down so I know he is at peace! I’m running out of time too and haven’t got much money! How do I go about this?
    A few other things about bobby. He is used to sleeping in his owners bed he has extreme bad anxiety and separation anxiety. Now he’s finally got a garden he barks at people passing and gives the next door neighbours a hard time constantly. When he’s indoors he destroys anything he can and barks a lot. Even in the middle of the night he ends up barking randomly his anxiety is that bad.. As cruel as it sounds please tell me u can put him down? I hoping by Friday due to me moving. If he isn’t put down he will suffer without a doubt! Please ring me if you can help. Thank you! 07971853487!

  • Amanda commented on October 29, 2015 at 1:02 am

    I disagree with lots of the comments here about the RSPCA being a wonderful and caring organisation – they are flawed. They seek publicity through sometimes spurious dealings, such as with Claude the cat, so they can increase their donations. Hell would freeze over before I donate. There are far more animal rescue/sanctuaries which actually look after the animals and rehome them, which is what the RSPCA should be doing. However the RSPCA are effectively kill shelters which make very little effort to retain animals and take the time and care to rehome them. In response to an earlier post about Dogs Trust – they don’t put healthy animals down, they do rehome and if I had a choice between seeing a shelter at Dogs Trust of animals at least alive and having the chance of a home or seeing the 7 day kill countdown of the RSPCA, then I’d go for Dogs Trust every time. The RSPCA are a national disgrace and do not prevent cruelty to animals, they cause it though their policies, flawed approach and self-serving greed.

  • sharon commented on March 2, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    Who is the legal owner of the dogs in shelters and rescue centres and who fights its corner if needs be.

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