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RSPCA fails to help owner of sick dog
Mother now faces jail

When Nicola Bayford faced the choice of feeding her young children, or taking her dog to the vet, she chose to feed her children. However, she also did everything possible to try to get treatment for Julie, her elderly 16 year old collie.

This included asking the RSPCA, and several other charities, for help. The RSPCA refused. When Julie went missing, Nicola showed how much she cared. She walked the streets searching and put posters on lamp posts to try to find her family's much-loved dog.

When Julie was found, suffering from fleas, she was taken to the RSPCA. A complaint was made about Nicola to the local Council, who decided to prosecute her for cruelty.

Nicola pleaded guilty, trusting that no serious penalty would be exacted. However, she has now been told that she faces jail in the New Year.

Anne Kasica of the SHG said: ‘Since the RSPCA and others were approached for help to get veterinary treatment for this animal, why were they not standing next to Ms. Bayford in the dock? The RSPCA not only knew about, but had the resources to alleviate, the alleged suffering. Instead they wilfully allowed it continue.Why did they not turn up as witnesses for the defence when Nicola was prosecuted by the council?

‘All we get from the RSPCA is a bizarre statement that the inspector was 'too busy to prepare a prosecution'. Would the RSPCA accept that as an excuse from anyone they were investigating?’
Ernest Vine, also of the SHG, commented: ‘We are seeing an alarming rise in the numbers of people being prosecuted after having approached the RSPCA for help, although it is usually the RSPCA who do the prosecuting.Animal keepers are in a Catch 22 situation. If they ask for help they are likely to be prosecuted by the RSPCA.

‘If they don't ask for help and are prosecuted, the magistrates will be told by the RSPCA that help is always available and failing to ask for help has caused unneccessary suffering. Ms. Bayford's case clearly shows that these claims are incorrect.’

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I wouldn't expect anything less from the RSPCA.


Just another instance of RSPCA apathy.  Like the time we found two emaciated young Saluki's tied to a gate on a country lane.  We immediately called the RSPCA who's area headquarters were less than 5 miles away.  They asked if we knew the owner of the dogs.  Of course we did not.  Their reply:- "If we do not have an owner to prosecute we will not come to the aid of these dogs, call the local dog warden".  Local dog warden said that was the usual response of the RSCPA but they too refused to collect the dogs as they were full at their kennels with dogs the RSCPA refused to help.  We took the dogs to a local vet where sadly one was beyond help.  The vets contacted a dog sanctuary run by a local lady who took the remaining Saluki and rehomed it.  Typically a few months later a neighbour saw a swan fly into an electric pylon in a field by her house.  The swan was alive but stunned, till on it's feet but dazed.  She called the RSPCA - they were there within 15 minutes!!!  Need I say more.

Mrs D Eves-Williams