04.11.13

Threats to animals and staff on the increase…

Inspector rescuing swan © RSPCA

We rescue thousands of animals a year from abusive situations – many of these animals have been subject to horrific injuries from the use of weapons such as metal bars, knives, guns and crossbows.

For example, our figures reveal that air rifle injuries on animals had leapt up by almost 40 per cent to almost 800 attacks reported to us in 2012.  The horrific attacks include several cats shot in the face and whose eyes had to be removed and others who did not survive after being shot.

While our inspectors are highly trained to cope with dangerous situations, our official records also show these weapons and other threats of violence can sometimes be turned on our staff – with three out of four inspectors suffering some sort of abuse every year while doing their job.

TV presenter and wildlife expert Chris Packham said:

“I take my hat off to RSPCA inspectors, I don’t think I could go into the situations they do and deal with people who have inflicted such barbaric cruelty on defenceless animals – that takes real courage and professionalism.

 

“Sadly dealing with the most stomach-churning suffering is every day work to these men and women. I dread to think what would happen if they weren’t there to help.

 

“These Everyday Heroes can only help thanks to donations from the public so please give what you can.”

Our inspectors have been threatened with all sorts of weapons

New information released today highlights the shocking fact that our inspectors are regularly subjected to physical and verbal abuse while trying to rescue animals from cruelty, neglect and suffering

Today we released just some examples of the dangers faced by our inspectors over the last 24 months, including staff threatened with:

•           A claw hammer

•           A knife

•           A crossbow

•           A shotgun

•           A machete

•           Assault

•           Death threats

This is hardly surprising, considering the kind of abuse the animals we are trying to protect have to endure. This includes cases such as:

•           A dog beaten with a pole, leaving it with 30 fractures

•           A swan shot with a cross bow

•           A cat beaten against a tree

•           A three-week-old lamb with its ears cut off

•           A lurcher stamped on, run over and stabbed with a potato peeler

•           A bird shot with a blowgun dart straight through his eye

•           A mouse tortured with a power tool

RSPCA Inspector Susan Haywood was assaulted last year. She said:

“The bottom line is that the call comes in and your only thought is that there is an animal needing my help and you don’t even think about what could happen to you and whether there could be violence directed at you.

 

“There is no way these animals can help themselves – that’s why our job is so important because we can get animals the help they so desperately need.”

We never think about the inspectors in dangerous situations

That is why we are launching a brand new appeal today called ‘Everyday Heroes’ which aims to highlight the unimaginable dangers facing many animals and help support our brave workers who try to protect them.

Actor and RSPCA Vice President Brian Blessed added:

“We are all revolted by reports of dogs being stabbed, swans being shot and cats being strangled, but we never stop to think about the brave inspectors who pluck these animals out of such dangerous situations.

 

“It’s shocking that these men and women face threats and violence as they rescue the most neglected and abused animals but without them there would be no RSPCA. They truly are Everyday Heroes.

 

“I urge all animal lovers to be heroes too and support these brave inspectors and the vital work they do.”

For more information on the appeal and how you can help, please go to our everyday heroes page

You can also get involved via Twitter using the hash-tag #AnimalHero and Facebook.

We can’t do it without you

To help support our everyday heroes, please donate online or text HERO to 88010 to give £3. Text costs £3 plus one standard network rate message.