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Donations to RCPCA look set to drop

Many animal lovers - and dog lovers in particular - have recently cancelled regular donations to the RSPCA as part of a campaign against the use of a bolt gun used to put down unwanted dogs.

The backlash began following the ordered the destruction of ten German shepherd dogs whose owner had recently died.

Since news of the killings in June began circulating on the internet, nearly 5,000 people have signed a petition calling for use of the bolt guns to be banned. Animal shelters and dog rescue charities have condemned the RSPCA and accused it of failing to try to find new homes for the dogs.

The charity says it would have been almost impossible to rehome the dogs and there was no alternative to having them destroyed. However, according to the WSPA, use of the captive bolt gun to put down domestic animals is “unacceptable” because of the difficulty of ensuring a clean kill. It states that it is “not recommended for euthanasia, as other methods are more practicable and humane”.

The RSPCA has apparently admitted that it did not approach animal rescue shelters for help in finding homes for the dogs.

Jayne Shenstone, founder of German Shepherd Rescue, was one of the first people to begin a backlash against the RSPCA for its methods. This ended in a ‘strongly worded’ letter from the RSPCA to Mrs Shenstone which accused her of infringing copyright laws with her uses of the Society’s name.

Mrs Shentone said: “The RSPCA never approached us or any other dog rescue centre. There was no reason for the dogs to be destroyed, and certainly not in the way they were. If anyone else had killed ten dogs in such a cruel way the RSPCA would have been the first to prosecute.”

Dozens of people have said they are cancelling standing orders or reconsidering legacies, which earn the RSPCA tens of millions of pounds a year.

An RSPCA spokesman said at the time: “It was an absolutely extreme case. I have never heard of this method being used before but apparently eight inspectors, including some very senior and experienced, decided it was the best course of action.”