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Rottweiler rescue questions welfare

A young Rottweiler bitch has been released to Leeds charity Zep the Dep Rottweiler Rescue after spending eleven days with an undetected broken leg at a veterinary surgery.

Faith - as she has been called - was delivered to the Abbey Veterinary Surgery by RSPCA officials who claimed she had been in a road traffic accident and had a ‘a suspected broken leg’ on the 16th February.

Faith was given Rimadyl to reduce inflammation and help with the pain from her leg, but contrary to the Animal Welfare act nothing further was done to treat the dog. Four days later a Rottweiler Rescue Charity called Zepthedep Rottweiler Rescue was contacted by a concerned person who knew about the lack of Faith’s treatment. Further investigations revealed that the RSPCA had handed over the care of Faith to Leeds City Council, and nobody was prepared to take responsibility for Faith or her treatment.

It appeared that neither the RSPCA nor the Leeds City Council were prepared to sanction treatment for Faith. Jon Swinburne of Zep The Dep Rottweiler Rescue believes that treatment was not carried out as, once the required seven days for the owner to come forward were up, Faith would be put to sleep anyway.


The Zep The Dep Rottweiler Rescue decided not to wait any longer and contacted the vet to ask if they could help Faith and fund any treatment that she might need.

‘This was stopped by the Council official in charge’, Jon told Our Dogs. ‘We immediately offered to pay for x-rays and any subsequent treatment that Faith would require, this was refused by the official in charge of the case and Faith was left to suffer and just receive the bare minimum of pain killer to cope with her pain and suffering, which surely contravenes the Animal Welfare Act?’

After many frantic phone calls it was decided that the ZRR would be allowed to take over control of Faith’s treatment once the seven days were up, but in a bizarre twist the Authority decided that the seven days should start from the 20th of February, which meant Faith received no treatment for eleven days, other than pain killers.

Rough handling

When Faith finally was released to ZRR she was taken immediately to the rescue group’s own vet, where x-rays revealed a broken leg and doubts were cast over how she received her injury. Faith had no other injury, apart from the broken leg, and the ZRR vet felt that this was not gained from a road accident as there would be other injuries, such as grazes and cuts being evident, they felt it was more likely to have been caused by rough handling or treatment by either her original owners or by the people involved in catching her.

Although Faith is now safe with the ZRR they are questioning the actions of the RSPCA who caught Faith and delivered her to the Abbey Veterinary Surgery, also the Abbey Veterinary Surgery and Leeds City Council as it appears nobody was prepared to pay for or take responsibility for Faith and ensure she received much needed treatment.

The Animal Welfare Act was put in place to protect animals, and part of the act requires that “In this Act, references to a person responsible for an animal are to a person responsible for an animal whether on a permanent or temporary basis” and goes on to say under clause 4 Unnecessary suffering (1) A person commits an offence if - (a) an act of his, or a failure of his to act, causes an animal to suffer, (b) he knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the act, or failure to act, would have that effect or be likely to do so, (c) the suffering is unnecessary.
(2) A person commits an offence if - (a) he is responsible for an animal, (b) an act, or failure to act, of another person causes the animal to suffer, (c) he permitted that to happen or failed to take such steps (whether by way of supervising the other person or otherwise) as were reasonable in all the circumstances to prevent that happening, and (d) the suffering is unnecessary.

(3) The considerations to which it is relevant to have regard when determining for the purposes of this section whether suffering is unnecessary include - (a) whether the suffering could reasonably have been avoided or reduced;

Denied treatment

The ZRR believe that the people responsible for Faith prior to her being handed over to ZRR have broken these sections of the Animal Welfare Act, as while in their care not only was Faith denied treatment for her fractured leg but it was recorded on the dog’s day to day hospitalisation records that on the 20th February when she knocked her leg she was left to “scream in pain ++++ non weight bearing after” the plus signs used to indicate the seriousness of the screams, and copies of these documents are now with Our Dogs. The records were handed over with Faith from the Abbey Veterinary Surgery, when she was collected by the ZRR and taken for treatment at their own regular veterinary surgery.

ZRR are taking legal action over Faith’s treatment. Our Dogs contacted Leeds City Council and a spokeswoman for LCC said: "There are currently potential legal proceedings concerning this incident and we are therefore unable to comment any further until these have been resolved."

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Absolutely disgusting the actions of both the RSPCA and Leeds council who both failed to act to stop the suffering of this poor dog.

Actually how can a veterinary surgeon have a dog on his premises and not treat it. Surely if he had any humanity he could have treated the poor animal and argued the cost afterwords.
Thank God there are people like ZRR who stepped in and helped her.

I wish them luck with their legal action against the perpetrators of cruelty toward this dog.
Bless you Faith you are now in safe hands.

Sylvie Powell

The older i get the more i look at politicians as idiots, as well as the folks in the rspca.
glad to hear that the Rottweiler bitch is in good loving hands.

What a disgustiing vet for letting her leg stay in a painful position for so long.
i do hope Faith comes through her ordeal in good shape.

J Fossum (Buchanan)