In addition to the bulk of our caseload for individual animal owners, Donaldson’s Vets provide veterinary services for a number of kennels, catteries and rehoming centres in the region. We also do a lot of work with the RSPCA and the Kirklees Dog Warden Service.
Our work with the RSPCA falls largely into two categories: the services that we provide for the RSPCA Inspectors and the services we provide to the “Huddersfield and Halifax RSPCA” which are our local branch.
The local branch of the RSPCA is now based at The Animal Home in Halifax. The local branch deal with stray animals and do a tremendous job of rehoming animals, many of whom have been living rough or have been neglected, to loving homes. Despite their limited resources, the local branch do a great job of vetting prospective owners to ensure that all animals go to homes which can serve their needs so that the cycle of straying and rehoming is not repeated. We are often called upon to health check, neuter and vaccinate these animals to ensure that they are fit for rehoming and that they do not suffer from unwanted pregnancy that could add to the population of strays.
Our workload with the RSPCA Inspectors is varied. The Inspectors are often asked to deal with stray and injured wild and domestic animals and so we see everything from injured birds, rabbits and cats to badgers, foxes and deer.
The other aspect of the RSPCA Inspectors work which calls on our services is with regard to suspected cruelty cases. If an Inspector visits an animal and is concerned that its welfare needs are not being met, they will often require the opinion of an experienced Vet to confirm the best course of action. As you will imagine, this can be difficult and harrowing work. We are often required to treat and rehabilitate these cases and we are also required to act as expert witnesses and to state our opinion in court, should the RSPCA decide to proceed with a prosecution. While clearly a troubling part of the job, this work can be amongst the most important that we perform.
This week is national RSPCA week and the RSPCA has released figures showing that nationally the number of convictions for animal cruelty has risen over 15% in the last year. The RSPCA receive no public funding whatsoever and are entirely dependent on charitable donations to carry out their vital work.