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SSPCA and RSPCA in cash row

A ROW has broken out between the Scottish SPCA and the RSPCA over allegations that the RSPCA is ‘stealing food from the mouths’ of animals north of the border by taking donations intended for Scotland.

SSPCA campaignThe SSPCA this week launched a campaign calling for the organisation for England and Wales to stop all its fund-raising and advertising north of the border, including newspaper adverts warning the public that any donations made to the RSPCA will not save animals in Scotland.

The RSPCA hit back insisting that it does not deliberately advertise in Scotland. It also said it did not run fundraising campaigns in Scotland, where this could be avoided.

The Scottish SPCA has taken out full-page adverts in Scottish newspapers calling on the RSPCA to make it clear it does not help a single animal in Scotland.

The advert says: ‘It's time the RSPCA stopped stealing food from the mouths of Scotland's defenceless animals.’


Stuart Earley, chief executive of the Scottish SPCA, said: ‘Many people do not know that the RSPCA does not rescue or rehome any animals in Scotland and by advertising here it has been intentionally adding to the confusion to make money. We are a completely separate charity and have asked the RSPCA to make it clear it does not save animals in Scotland so people can make an informed choice about who to donate to. However, after six months of talks we are no further forward. This has been increasing the huge pressure on our resources for many years and enough is enough. It's time the RSPCA told the truth.’

Mr Earley also said the RSPCA received £63m in legacies in 2007.

‘If just 1% of that was donated by people in Scotland who would rather it helped animals in their own country it would be enough to care for all of the animals we rescue or rehome at our largest rescue centre for an entire year, or all the animals in our small rescue centres for up to six years,’ he said. Mr Earley added that although this campaign cost £100,000, the money came from cash already set aside for advertising.

In a statement, the RSPCA said it went ‘to great lengths’ to ensure wherever possible that adverts were not distributed outside of England and Wales. It said: ‘Every piece of printed literature, television advertising and internet banner advertising always features the wording 'The RSPCA is a charity registered in England and Wales'. All Scottish donors, who contact us via RSPCA fundraising campaigns, are directed to the Scottish SPCA so that they can donate to them if they so wish.

The RSPCA said it made efforts to avoid fundraising in Scotland but that many satellite channels only enabled the organisation to purchase UK-wide advertising.

Nationalist MSP Christine Grahame has called for the RSPCA to transfer all the money it has raised in Scotland to the Scottish SPCA. ‘There is no difficulty with any charity raising money in one country and spending it in another, if they explicitly make it clear in their campaign and promotional materials that is where individual donations will go,’ she said.

In August 2005, the SSPCA gave itself a new logo which it hoped would prevent legacies being left to the RSPCA. In one case £250,000 was left in a will but went to the English charity. The SSPCA believed the money was meant to be spent on Scottish animals.

The new SSPCA logo, highlighted the word Scottish and was changed to black from blue to differentiate it from its English and Welsh counterpart.

A merger between the two charities was ruled out because the Scottish SPCA fulfil a semi-judicial status, being a reporting agency to the Crown Office.

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67 Million raised in 2007 for the RSPCA. I wonder how much of that goes on actual animal welfare and how much goes on political lobbying and fat pay packets for the executives.
The local RSPCA units do a great job and get little if any of the monies that are donated to their bloated head office.
This is an organisation that is spaying and castrating dogs at six weeks of age. Do they imagine that the Hormones Oestrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, are optional extras? How will a puppy reach Physical and Social maturity without these vital hormones?
As a full time behaviourist and obedience trainer I see the problems that early neutering causes. both medically and psychologically and it is a national disgrace that this happens. i feel saddened that this amount of legacy is donated to an organisation that is having a severe detrimental affect on some of our animals.
Stan Rawlinson

This is not a new concept at all.  Over many years, I have heard comments to this effect.  I note the comments regarding advertising, and I am pleased that the SSPCA seem to be increasing its advertising, as I personally feel that they have not advertised to the same extent as the RSPCA.  However, my personal thought is that both charities should advertise less and spend the money where it would benefit the animals most!

Linda Forret