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The RSPCA and "home for life"

The Advertising Standards Authority have today published their adjudication about the RSPCA's "home for life" adverts.

The ASA take the view that people do not need to be told that a proportion of the animals taken by the RSPCA under "home for life" are euthanased by the RSPCA even if they are rehomeable.

The background to this is that a constituent of mine had some dogs taken by the RSPCA - because they thought she had too many dogs.  She later found that the RSPCA had put them down.   Her concern was that had she known this she could have rehomed the dogs herself and it was not clear on the form that she completed that they were likely to put the dogs down without referring to her.

The "home for life" scheme advert can be seen here.

We have obtained the paperwork from the RSPCA about "home for life" and it also does not make it clear that the RSPCA do euthanise some of the dogs that they take in even if they are rehomeable.

My constituent's view, which I share, is that to refer to an animal as being "safe" if it is dead is a misuse of the word safe.

I accept that it is reasonable at times to euthanise some animals.   However, I do think organisations like the Dogs Trust have a better approach.

Note that their website says:  "We never destroy a healthy dog."

I do think the ASA and the RSPCA have both got this wrong.  People should be told that there is a reasonable chance that animals taken under "home for life" will be euthanised.  The 2011 figures are over 17%.  That enables people to make a reasoned decision.


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