RSPCA Animal Rescue is put to air by Channel 7 as if it is a Reality Show.
In fact it is carefully scripted to bring in donations for the RSPCA.
Trained animals are frequently used.
Comments on some of these programmes follow.
26 February 2008
This entire episode was a farce.
Two dogs, allegedly kept in a cage, with no exercise for six months, were clearly in good general health. Both were well-fed. Neither showed any sign of psychological damage or muscle weakness. Nor were their cages filthy. The little terrier, also a 'mistreated' dog, snarled on cue. It was well-groomed and obviously well-treated.
The 'exhausted' cow moved much too easily, both in and out of the water. A cow, genuinely trapped in water for three days, would have pneumonia. Why didn't they get a vehicle to pull her out immediately? Any farmer would have done that. Were those ridiculous plastic utensils supposed to keep the cow afloat? Amazingly this cow ‘gave birth’ immediately afterwards, to a calf that was obviously over a week old!
This cynical marketing exercise can do nothing to restore the credibility of a Society, already under fire for the way it has treated farmers and owners of animal shelters.
5 March 2008
The soap opera continued with the camera lingering on the bones of a long-dead horse. This was intended to suggest that several dogs, tied up at a rubbish tip, were there to die. This was a storm in a teacup. A drover, knowing he would be in hospital, tied his dogs up out of town so that no-one would be annoyed if they barked. He had a carer for the dogs.
But the Jack Russell appeared to be a genuine and sad case of a dog suffering through its owner’s ignorance. It seemed to be permanently disabled and disfigured though failure to receive the right treatment. This led to the definition of Aggravated Cruelty: Neglect which leads to an animal dying or being permanently disabled or disfigured.
The RSPCA – in real life – shoots cattle and charges farmers with Aggravated Cruelty because their animals are lean, due to a prolonged drought, but are in no way disabled, disfigured, or anywhere near the point of death, but are – in fact - being fed at great cost.
There is a strong case for a thorough investigation into the training received by RSPCA Inspectors, and into the way they behave in real life as opposed to television.
12 March 2008
Here was a charming cat having an amputation which would leave it to run on three legs for the rest of its life. What about all those cats - no doubt every bit as charming - with four good legs who are 'euthanased' every year? There are too many cats! Euthanasia is the RSPCA's answer, but don't tell the viewers! Let them believe that the ‘wonderful RSPCA’ finds a good home for every cat.
RSPCA's statistics for cats for 2005-2006 showed that 61,000 cats were taken in. Thousands were ‘euthanased’. It is the same for dogs, yet, just as a cat merited an operation for the television, so did a dog, which would henceforth run on three legs. With this image of the RSPCA’s ‘loving care’ for every maimed animal – which is so untrue – it is no wonder that the population of unwanted animals is increasing.
Thank goodness for a little reality in this episode. Wildlife Victoria showed its expertise in catching a maimed goose, which was eluding the RSPCA’s ‘animal experts’.
30 April 08
Yet another cat in a drain, and possibly suffering from tick paralysis. It was impossible not to think of all those healthy cats which are killed by the RSPCA.
Dogs that attack and maim or kill sheep are a serious problem. These offending dogs were humanely shot by the owner of the sheep. No prosecution was warranted.
What a lot of expense to hire a cherry picker to rescue two baby magpies. Would such a rescue take place if the cameras were not rolling?
Channel 7 Wednesday 16 July 2008
This wounded dog did not appear to be in pain; the ‘wound’ was no doubt applied by the television crew. Despite the owners saying they could not pay for treatment, the RSPCA swung into action with x-rays and an operation, a strange response when there was no guarantee that the dog could be re-homed, and over half the dogs received by the RSPCA are ‘euthanased’. [Just read the reports in their official magazine, Paws or on their web sites.] But – like all the dogs operated for TV – it was re-homed.
Next it was another household of cats. As the carer said, most of these were ‘guests’, which he was feeding so they would not eat birds. The majority – if not all – would be killed by the RSPCA.
Newspaper reports reveal that the RSPCA is vigorously campaigning for de-sexing of cats. This need was mentioned in this programme, but no indication was given of the RSPCA’s aggressive campaign make this compulsory.
The sheep, muzzled for the cameras, was lively and healthy: no sheep could eat or drink with masking tape over its mouth. The idea of muzzling a sheep so as ‘not to disturb the neighbours’ is ludicrous. A sheep does not bleat the way a dog barks. It bleats if recently separated from a mob, or if a mob is disturbed, or when calling its lamb. If this were a true incident a fine should be imposed.
The RSPCA Inspectors need training in animal behaviour. In an earlier programme, their Inspectors chased several sheep which had a heavy overgrowth of wool. They should have used a sheep dog, or moved them quietly into a makeshift shelter. Chasing was cruel and could have resulted in their deaths.
Finally, there was a wounded sheep, previously attended by an RSPCA vet, and later bandaged, by its owner, with non-porous tape. An RSPCA vet should have given correct instructions for care of the wound.
Next week yet another kitten down a drainpipe is promised: these cute kittens bring in the donations.
23 July 08
The promised kitten in a wall. Enough said.
The koala was a sad case, obviously distressed by its capture. Though only 5 years old, and with a possible lifespan of 12 years, it was not to receive any antibiotics or treatment, unlike a cat, almost at death’s door, which was brought back to life in an early episode of Animal Rescue, and personally flown to its owner in Canberra.
The strangest part of this programme was the collection of 15 raucous dogs, and a sick cat, supposedly adored by their owner, but kept in foul conditions. A team of volunteers reportedly made this restricted area quite suitable for this abundance of dogs. No talk of prosecution. Just help. Yet the owner declined to express gratitude on television. All very strange and in great contrast to the RSPCA’s normal eagerness to prosecute.
Comment from Disgusted Viewer (name supplied) 19 Aug 08
The RSPCA is certainly pulling out all the stops to sweeten their image after a series of distinctly inhumane episodes across various widely separated areas of NSW.
Not only have they obtained as host for their lamentable (or should I say laughable) TV series, none other than a Wiggle, from the childrens' entertainment group, which pulls in a massive, world- wide income, but in their latest promotion for the post Olympic return of their series, they now describe themselves as “HEROES”, stressing their supposed great love of animals, a fact which many people find extremely hard to believe.
Well, a great deal of trouble to collect a foal less than a week old! Assistance from the Flying Doctor to get suitable milk to this young animal! Of course the foal needed the milk, and deserved every care, but the behaviour of the RSPCA towards this foal is in great contrast to their treatment of little calves.
Photos of these little calves, some only 3 days old when their mothers were shot by the RSPCA, are on this website. Like the little foal, these calves were certainly, ‘way too young to look after themselves.’
What about a fine of $6,500 or 6 months in gaol for each of the RSPCA Inspectors who abandoned these little calves, without even enquiring where, or if, the owner could get substitute food for them.
A great deal of TV time was given to the abandonment of six kittens. The possible fine was $6,500 and six months in gaol for a man who left them outside a veterinary surgery.
Comments from irritated and disgusted viewer (Name supplied)
The foal was a filly but was constantly referred to as ‘he’ or ‘Jack’. Its wounds had been successfully stitched by nursing staff and it was being looked after, yet the RSPCA travelled for ten hours to collect it and returned with an RSPCA Inspector illegally travelling inside the horse float.
A dry horse which had not had a foal, would not have milk, and would not allow a foal to suck. It was ludicrous to have a supposedly six-month old foal sucking from a supposedly dry horse. Moreover, the original bay foal had a black mane and tail, and ended up as chestnut with chestnut mane and tail. Obviously this was a mare with its own foal.
It is illegal to travel in a horse float as the RSPCA Inspector did with the foal.
Irritated and Disgusted Viewer
The long sequence of an Inspector ineptly attempting to catch a wounded dog and failing to do so hardly made interesting viewing.
It was heart-rending to watch the woman whose animals were taken.