The RSPCA Can’t Help A Fox (and me)

RSPCA can't help me
Photo by zorilla
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The RSPCA – The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals – have been concerned with animal welfare since 1824. They are known throughout the world. For some idiotic and naive reason, I believed that they would come and help a severely injured wild animal if I phoned and asked for assistance. I believed that a major (or minor?) part of their work was to capture or recover sick animals and either treat them in one of their hospitals or put them sleep. The image I had was of a man in a blue suit and a van coming around and helping.

This is positively not the case. I have a fox who I feed because he is starving. He is starving because he can barely walk, never mind run or climb fences etc. His right fore-foot is very severely damaged and swollen. That leg is useless. His left fore-foot is also damaged but he has to use it. He hops along with great difficulty. He appears to be blind in his right eye, which appears to have been hit as it is very flat, probably punctured. He spends some nights in a covered cat litter tray outside my backdoor. I can touch him because he is so depressed he doesn’t care anymore.

Dying fox in pain
Dying fox in pain

As I find it very distressing to see this suffering. I have to do something. I want him to be humanely put put to sleep (PTS) for his sake. Or at least checked out and a decision made. Personally, I see little chance of recovery.

Am I doing this because I can’t stand watching him in pain?

Some more pictures:

Injured fox
Injured fox

I had planned to call my vet but decided to call the RSPCA instead. The receptionist, a man, was not that great, to be honest. I sensed he was irritated. Not good. Always use a middle-aged female for reception with a gentle character, please. Anyway, he said I might qualify for a fox trap and they would call me back.

While I was out they called back and left a voice mail. The lady said she couldn’t do anything as the injuries were too slight! I had to wait until the fox did not move at all when I approached him. In other words he had to be in the actual state of dying before they would come out and collect the fox to euthanise him.

I found this very disappointing and, frankly, almost pointless. Naively, I thought they helped injured animals to alleviate suffering. But no, it appears not. Have I got this wrong?

When you read their website you can see that they appear to have repositioned their objectives. They are now a political lobbying group. Essentially, they are a political organisation. There is nothing on their site that tells us that they help specific or individual animals in need.

This is not the first time I have been rebutted by the RSPCA. I called them years ago about an injured duck and nothing happened. We have an RSPCA hospital about a mile from where I live: Putney Animal Hospital. This is a well known animal hospital. Clearly that made no difference.

The reason is probably a question of funding. Perhaps donations have dried up because of the financial mess the country is in.

As a society we don’t care enough about animals. I have phoned my vet’s clinic, who are great, and they can’t help either. Do we just let wild animals die in pain even if we know about it? The answer is; yes. Should we care? Why do I care?

Has anyone had any experiences with the RSPCA?

Associated post: RSPCA Stole My Cats

32 thoughts on “The RSPCA Can’t Help A Fox (and me)”

  1. That’s a good question. I know we rescue cats on top of cactus, trees, radio towers, etc. all the time. We have bobcats kittens watched from a distance by animal control to see if they were abandoned by their mom at least 2-3 each year. There are rescue organizations setup to take any abandoned animals. I just can’t answer the question honestly. There just isn’t any data.

    Thank your Ruth. I agree, we need to make our concerns known. If the government cannot take care of these problems, there needs to be public groups that are aloud to. The people need to voice their opinions and the government will know that things need to change. The UK has a large pet and wildlife population. Shouldn’t there be resources made to care for them?

    Thanks Michael. We need to start a petition or something. I just don’t know what we can that are not in your area of the world. Any ideas?

  2. Shohom67 you are obviously a very caring person too and that was a lovely thing your kind policeman did for that poor dog.
    There are some good people, including police, I know some people have bad experiences with them but we are lucky to have caring police in our town, nothing is too much trouble for our neighbourhood PC and PCSO.
    Michael yes I too would like to see more resources for the front line work and less for fancy campaigns and I think more people might be willing to make donations if that happened.

  3. I can’t tell you how touched and grateful I am to hear you all worked so hard to take care of this beautiful creature. I have wanted to come take a look and respond to this article since the day I got the email. My heart goes out to your Michael. I am also very grateful for our local avenues of help. We have it so good. I will never complain about our system again. We had a police officer sit and guard a pit bull that was watching over its dead friend. They gave him 14 hours before they removed them both. They blocked off a lane of traffic and just let him be while they made the arrangements. That is the respect an animal deserves. God bless you all for caring.

  4. It can be very frustrating and daunting trying to get through to the RSPCA by phone, I’ve known people try then give up after hanging on for ages and then pressing various phone keys, thinking they are getting somwewhere at last, but then are cut off.
    They certainly don’t make it easy to report any suspected cruelty.
    My ex volunteer friend told me that anyone emailing reports to the branch was told they couldn’t be passed on to the cruelty line dept.
    If it was made easier for people to report their suspicions more animals might be saved from abuse.
    But if resources are low I suppose they can’t investigate a case without enough evidence to justify the expense.

    • But if resources are low I suppose they can’t investigate a case without enough evidence to justify the expense.

      I agree. I would like to see more resources placed at the front line to help individual animals in need and less funding of fancy campaigns.


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