Tuesday, 23 February 2010


PC Mark Johnson left 2 dogs to die in car for 7 hours, conditional discharge, no ban

VET Alex Gough (WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER) leaves 2 dogs in car for 6 hours , 1 dies, The RSPCA and RCVS take NO ACTION

Lee Ellerton left 2 dogs in car to die, for up to 4 hours was banned from keeping animals for life and sent to prison for 12 weeks.

James MacDonald left his dog in a car for 2 hours, the dog died, he was fined and banned from keeping animals for a year.

Saturday, 20 February 2010



RSPCA Membership figures (sourced from Annual Reports via Charities Commission WS)

2008 – 30,3042007 – 31,231
2006 – 31,271
2005 – 35,108
2004 – 36,319
2003 – 39,364

= lost almost a quarter of its members in five years.

Shall we take bets on 2009 and 2010?

Sharp fall in fundraising income predicted for 2009
Charity Market Monitor predicts dramatic loss
Fundraising income for the UK's largest charities could fall by £185m in 2009 compared with the previous year, according to the latest Charity Market Monitor report, published last week.
The report, written by Cathy Pharoah of Cass Business School, is based on annual accounts filed by the biggest 300 fundraising charities in 2007 and 2008.
It shows that overall income rose by 0.9 per cent on the previous year, a figure similar to the 0.7 per cent growth in the wider economy over the same period. If this correlation continues, income is likely to decline significantly in the year ahead, the report says.
"Fundraising income appears to be particularly close to the 'temperature' of the wider economy," it says. "If fundraising were to follow the 3.5 per cent contraction predicted for the national economy as a whole in 2009, that could mean a loss of £185m to the major fundraising charities, on current incomes."
The report highlights several other trends in charity income, including the rapid growth of the top 10 largest fundraising charities.
The top 10 saw their income grow by 2.3 per cent last year, compared with the 0.9 per cent overall average growth for the top 300 charities.
The top 10 charities are the same as the previous year, with the RNLI moving above the NSPCC into third place, the Salvation Army moving ahead of the RSPCA into seventh and the British Heart Foundation moving ahead of Save the Children into ninth.
The report also highlights marked differences in sub-sectors, with income increasing by 79 per cent for arts charities and falling by 17 per cent for faith-based charities.
The overall value of donations fell by 1.6 per cent, but legacy income rose by 8 per cent. However, the report says legacies are likely to suffer when the effects of the recession set in.
The report also predicts sharp falls in the value of grants from charitable trusts and foundations, including corporate trusts, because of the recession.
Charitable expenditure by the top 300 charities was £7.5bn for the period - about 74 per cent of total income. This was an increase of only 0.2 per cent on the previous year.
"Charitable expenditure barely grew, possibly revealing an extremely cautious attitude towards expenditure by trustees who are anxious and uncertain about the depth of the recession," the report says.

1 Cancer Research UK 353m

2 Oxfam 207m

3 RNLI 141m

4 NSPCC 124m

5 British Red Cross Society 123m

6 Macmillan Cancer Support 106m

7 Salvation Army Trust 106m

8 RSPCA 99m

9 British Heart Foundation 93m

10 Save the Children UK 87m

11 Tate 79m

12 National Trust 74m

13 PDSA 73m

14 Marie Curie Cancer Care 71m

15 Christian Aid 66m

16 Sightsavers International 65m

17 RSPB 62m

18 Guide Dogs for the Blind 60m

19 RNIB 55m

20 World Vision UK 54m

Friday, 19 February 2010


The RSPCA is highly litigious and likes to reward its in-house and out-house lawyers very well for the loyalty which the charity demands. However, even the charity's lazy trustees, who are usually preoccupied with politics, are beginning to ask questions about what happened last week. Two RSPCA High Court cases came to a conclusion - RSPCA v Gill and RSPCA v Mason.

In both matters, its unsupervised, greedy - and uselessly vicious - lawyers got a massive kicking from the High Court bench. In addition to the two huge orders for costs - one of which is on the indemnity basis and the other totals well over £1m - the RSPCA will also have to pays the costs of its own lawyers. That's an awful lot of money - especially now that donations are drying up and the charity's income is in free-fall. Apparently there are not so many sad, ill-informed, pensioners who are prepared to give hundreds of thousands of pounds to the RSPCA in the forlorn hope that the charity will look after their cats and dogs when they die - rather than apply the captive bolt.
In RSPCA v Mason & Others, Mr Justice Peter Smith made an order for indemnity costs worth hundreds of thousands of pounds against the charity to reflect his displeasure at the unreasonable behaviour of the charity (or more precisely its out-of-control £400 an hour lawyers). The RSPCA, through its lawyers, had acted unreasonably in launching "hopeless" litigation against a 85 year old man, and two others in their seventies, which stood no chance of success. After the litigation, the RSPCA was branded "disgusting" by probate specialist Clare Kelly from London lawyers Anthony Gold who acted for 85 year old Mr Mason - who the RSPCA sought to deprive of all but £20,000 of his brother's £1m estate.
In RSPCA v Gill & Others, Deputy High Court Judge James Allen QC made an order that the RSPCA should pay £1.3 million pounds in costs. Again, the judge was highly critical of the RSPCA's refusal to accept Dr Gill's offers to settle, her offers to engage in mediation and engage in reasonable settlement dialogue. The charity's laweysrs had offered Dr Gill just £50,000 of her parents' £2m estate - no doubt they wanted the bulk of the estate to pursue other hopeless litigation with. The case saw Dr Gill's own lawyer, Mark Keenan, have to defend the conduct of his own firm against a web of false allegations spun by the RSPCA's infamous PR Department.

Complaint to the Charities Commission (prop. "Baroness" Suzy Leather) anyone?

Monday, 15 February 2010


Following on from the Dr Gill case a while back, JuliaM draws my attention to the RSPCA’s latest little gimmick – attempted theft from the beneficiaries of the dead.

Visitors to the website of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are told that more than half of the charity’s annual income – which totalled almost £120m in 2008 – comes from legacies in wills. “We’re incredibly grateful to these thoughtful animal lovers and, as with any donation, their gifts will be put to good use,” the site says.
Which is very decent of those benefactors.
But John Mason, whose brother George bequeathed more than £480,000 to the charity when he died, would probably disagree.
As it turns out, he has good reason to.
The 85-year-old, from Enfield in north London, recently joined a growing list of people who have been dragged through the courts by the RSPCA after disagreements with the charity.
A bit like Dr Gill, only with a rather different and altogether nastier twist.
In his will, Mr Mason’s brother divided his £1m fortune between the charity, his brother and two of his closest friends, Norman and Patricia Sharp. But, under Britain’s complicated tax laws, the RSPCA was concerned it was going to have to pay inheritance tax on its share of the estate. So it took Mr Mason and the Sharps to court to try to get them to pay some of the tax out of their bequests.
I had to read that twice. This organisation wants the other benefactors of the will to pay its share of the IHT. Yup, that’s right. Greed doesn’t come close to describing this activity. Nor does spite, malice or wickedness. This is attempted theft by any other name and it smells as foul.
However, at the High Court in London last week, Mr Justice Peter Smith dismissed the claim and ordered the RSPCA to pay the costs. The judge said the charity’s case had been “extremely weak and should not have been brought”, and refused to give it permission to appeal.
This is a sensible judgement and sets a precedent should this evil, scheming organisation try the same trick with some other grieving unfortunate.
He said it was “clear” from George Mason’s will that he had never intended for any tax liability to fall on his brother or friends. Despite the ruling, he said, the RSPCA would still receive £370,000 of Mr Mason’s money.
Yes, I’d have thought it pretty clear, too. In general, when people leave bequests, they don’t intend that some benefactors pick up the tax liability for others. It takes a deeply perverse view of the world to reach such a conclusion – or one blinded by avarice.
The problem, of course, is that bullies like to use solicitors’ letters to cow people into submission. I’ve been there and understand what it feels like to read the dire threats issued in dry legalese, intended to frighten the recipient, despite the weakness of the claim being made. It’s designed to browbeat people into giving up their rights because it will be too expensive to fight, encouraging them to take the easy, less expensive option; submission, compliance and ultimately paying up to the tormentor. This is the tactic of the coward and the bully. However, my reaction was not the typical one. I do not give in to bullies. My reaction was to stand and fight. It is good that others respond likewise.
We decided that the only way forward was to try to stand up to them. To be honest, we didn’t think they would ever take it to court, because their position was so tenuous and their argument was so technical we thought they wouldn’t risk it.
In general, that would be the likely outcome of most disputes. It was the outcome of mine, for example, the bully backed down rather than have his tenuous case tested. The RSPCA are in another league when it comes to bullying, it seems. They went the full nautical mile. And, rightly, justly, it cost them dear.
The parasite who represented the RSPCA thinks the ruling unfair.
But Paul Hewitt, a partner at Withers law firm who fought the RSPCA’s case against Mr Mason, told The Independent yesterday that he felt the ruling in that case had been “grossly unfair” and that the judge had been “wrong” to dismiss the case. He also pointed out that the “vast majority” of legacy cases in which the charity is involved are settled out of court.
Mr Hewitt clearly does not use the same English dictionary as I do, as the only unfair, wrong thing here was the wholly reprehensible action he took on behalf of his sleazy client to bully the recently bereaved in order to squeeze even more than the generous donation they were left from the deceased’s estate. And, frankly, there was nothing to settle. The charity – and I use the word loosely – was given a very generous sum of money and decided to mug the remaining beneficiaries, too. But, then, I would have nothing to do with them in the first instance. This organisation will never see a penny of my money – alive or dead.
If I say to a charity: ‘I’m leaving you £200,000′, and the charity only receives £50,000, should it just walk away?
Yes, because the dispute is with the government, not the other beneficiaries.
In general, don’t give money to the RSPCA. Don’t leave them anything in your will. And if you find yourself in the same position as the Masons, fight the bastards every inch of the way. If you do want to give to animal charities, give to the small, independent ones not the RSPCA.

Saturday, 13 February 2010



THE LOCAL council, RSPCA, police and a vet have raided the home of exhibitor and breeder Violet Humes (Zoflora) and reportedly seized at least 100 dogs.

A few were put to sleep immediately.
The dogs – Poodles of all varieties, Yorkshire Terriers, and Dachshunds – are being held by the council. Among them are the Standard Poodle Ir Ch Kertellas On Bond Street with Zoflora, and the CC-winning Yorkshire Terrier Ir Ch Z Minnie Ha Ha.
A spokesman for On Bond Street’s breeder Roger Bayliss told DOG WORLD that he and Mr Bayliss were in contact with the council and that they were very concerned about the situation.
The RSPCA said it was no longer involved in the case, and its only role was in providing officers to accompany other agencies into the Bradford property. A police spokesman said the West Yorkshire force was taking no action. Bradford Metropolitan District Council declined to comment.
It is believed that some dogs have been returned to Mrs Humes. She told DW that she had been given back 15 Dachshunds and her daughter Shereen five Dachshunds. It is understood that Miss Humes, who shares the Zoflora affix, does not live at the house.
“The dogs were removed on Wednesday and Thursday of last week,” Mrs Humes said. “I put a lot of the old dogs to sleep – I signed them over to the council. They weren’t ill, just getting old.
“Everything’s a blank. There were a load of people in here and it went on and on. I’ve no idea how many dogs were taken, and they gave me no reason why they were doing it.
“I don’t breed that much. Some of the dogs aren’t actually mine.”
She said she did not know where the dogs were being held, although DW was told they were in kennels which the council was paying for.

Friday, 12 February 2010



A High Court judge has criticised the RSPCA for demanding that the heirs of a wealthy donor pay the inheritance tax on his gift.

The friends and brother of George Mason, who left the RSPCA more than £480,000 in his will, were taken to court by the animal charity.
However, High Court judge Mr Justice Peter Smith dismissed the claim and ordered the RSPCA to pay the costs of the legal action on an indemnity basis - the highest level that can be awarded, which usually reflects the court’s displeasure.
Had the RSPCA won its case, legacies to George Mason’s friends Norman and Patricia Sharp, who are in their mid-seventies, would have been cut by more than £130,000, and brother John Mason, 85, would have received just £ 28,820.
This comes just a week after the RSPCA was ordered to pay the bulk of £1.3million legal costs after losing a lengthy court battle against Christine Gill, who was disinherited by her mother’s gift to the charity. Judge James Allen QC punished the charity for refusing to negotiate before the case came to court.
George Mason, who died in 2007 aged 75, left £234,000 and his house in Gosport, Hampshire, worth around £169,000, to Mr Sharp, a seaman he had known for 30 years, and his wife.
Mr Mason had also given them £234,000 from his assets and £66,000 to his brother.
The residue of his estate - £482,820 - went to the RSPCA. The charity claimed the £112,667 inheritance tax should come from the other beneficiaries under the terms of the will.
But Mr Justice Smith commented during the hearing that it was “clear” from reading the will that Mr Mason never intended that any tax liability should fall on his brother or friends and should be paid from the remainder of the estate after their legacy had been calculated.
Mr Justice Smith, who is to give his reasons for dismissing the claim in a written ruling in the future, said although the claim was not “frivolous” it was “extremely weak and should not have been brought”.
Keith Gordon, representing John Mason, told the judge after he dismissed the RSPCA’s claim that the charity should pay the legal costs itself rather than from the money it was gifted.
He said: “This was a vexatious attack on the beneficiaries and the claim had absolutely no merit.
“To award costs directly against the RSPCA would give a message to the charity sector generally to learn from this lesson.”
Even though the ruling had gone against the charity, it would still be receiving £370,000 after paying the inheritance tax bill.
Sarah Cooper, an associate at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, said: “Generally it is presumed that gifts and legacies in a will are to take effect free of tax unless there is an indication to the contrary, meaning that the beneficiary of the residue is responsible for the inheritance tax.”

Thursday, 11 February 2010



Tuesday, 9 February 2010



The RSPCA was ordered to pay the bulk of £1.3 million legal costs yesterday after losing a lengthy court battle over the bequest of a family farm.

Christine Gill, an only child who was disinherited by her mother’s gift to the animal welfare charity, wept with relief last year when a judge ruled that she was entitled to inherit the £2.3 million property. She had laboured for many years on the 287-acre North Yorkshire farm to support her elderly parents.
Dr Gill, 59, a university lecturer, had further cause for celebration yesterday when a judge ruled that the RSPCA should pick up most of the bill for both sides’ legal costs at the High Court in Leeds.
Judge James Allen, QC, punished the charity, which is likely to face a bill of up to £1 million, for refusing to accept mediation or to negotiate before the case came to court. Dr Gill’s costs totalled more than £900,000 and the RSPCA’s about £400,000.
Two and a half years ago the RSPCA rejected an offer by Dr Gill to give the charity roughly three quarters of the estate. The judge said the charity had “clearly displayed a lack of enthusiasm in relation to the resolution of the disputed by a negotiated settlement”.
It emerged during evidence at last year’s hearing that Joyce Gill, a pro-hunting farmer’s widow whose death aged 82 in 2006 led to the shattering disclosure of her will, had an “avowed dislike” of the RSPCA. She thought its supporters were “a bunch of townies who knew nothing about the countryside”.
She was unaware that in 1993 her parents, John and Joyce Gill, had signed mirror wills by which the farm was left initially to the surviving spouse and then to the RSPCA, specifically stating that “no provision” should be made for their daughter.
The RSPCA said last year that it had been “legally obliged to seek the funds under charitable law” after Dr Gill’s parents left a will which “was very clear”. A spokesman said: “As a charity the RSPCA relies entirely on private donations and bequests. If it waives any legacies, its work would suffer enormously and thousands of animals would lose out as a result.”
The RSPCA made two offers to Dr Gill before the case came to trial. The first was an offer of £50,000, equivalent to 2 per cent of the estate, plus her costs. The second, shortly before trial, was £650,000, roughly 28 per cent of the estate, plus her costs.
Yesterday’s judgment described the RSPCA’s reluctance to mediate the case as “unreasonable”. “[Dr Gill] demonstrated a willingness to have recourse to mediation in an attempt to resolve the dispute between the parties and she persevered in her attempts to persuade the [RSPCA] to adopt such a course.
“Despite those attempts the [RSPCA] displayed an attitude ... which was somewhat unreasonable, out of step with the expectation of the court and the underlying spirit of the modern procedure.” Judge Allen reserved a further written judgment on costs until a date next week. The RSPCA has been granted leave to appeal.
Speaking after the hearing, Dr Gill said the judgment “reflects the attitude the RSPCA have taken right through this — they wouldn’t talk to me ever”.
“After last October’s judgment, the RSPCA attempted to justify its stance by saying it was obliged under charity law to defend the claim to trial, that it was a compassionate organisation and that I was a barrier to settlement. Today’s decision sets that straight.”
Mark Keenan, of Mishcon de Reya, said: “Parties who are not prepared to participate in recognised methods of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation will, like the RSPCA, be penalised in costs. This is what has happened today.”
The RSPCA said yesterday that the charity felt that it had acted in accordance with the wishes of Dr Gill’s mother, as expressed in her will, and had seen no reason to doubt her intentions. “At this stage no specific sums have been calculated so we don’t yet know what either bill will be,” it said. “It is therefore too early for us to comment on the costs, however ... we are happy that we are not paying the whole of Dr Gill’s costs.”


The RSPCA has expressed frustration after the sentencing of a teenager who microwaved his little brother's hamster was delayed for a second time.
The 16-year-old from Corby, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was due to be sentenced at a youth court in Kettering yesterday but a psychiatric report on the boy was not ready.
RSPCA Inspector Clint Davis said: "I feel frustrated. It's unfortunate, but doctors and psychiatrists don't rush.
"It's frustrating because we make all the arrangements but it's out of my hands."
When the previous hearing was adjourned for a psychiatric report the boy was told he would face a custodial sentence or hospital treatment.
The boy was released on bail and will appear at court again on March 12

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


Statement from Mr Goodall. Owner of Rosedene

At the time the RSPCA stormed my premises I was not on site so they had no right to enter and search Rosedene without my permission. They were trespassing. They are a charity and have no legal powers whatsoever.
The police had a warrant to search the premises but this authority did not enable anyone else to enter. I should have been able to check to see who is authorised to enter by the warrant onto my property and insist that the others leave. They conducted a search without authorisation from me.
I have not been charged with anything and have had no explanation to why this has happened. The police would have given a full receipt that lists in detail what they were taking but it was not the police it was the RSPCA that took the dogs and I had no information off them whatsoever.
When I arrived at the kennels I was harrassed, intimidated and threatened all day. The dogs were terrified and the so were the volunteers who felt sick by the RSPCA wanting the dogs to be signed over to them. If I had known that the so-called animal carers were going to start by putting three frightened dogs to sleep I would never have signed them over to the do gooders! The police did not show me any documents until the ordeal was over.
The volunteers who were their when the police and RSPCA stormed the premises were intimidated by the sheer volume of officers that turned up and although they knew their rights felt pressured to allow them in the premises. This is bully tactics and should not be allowed.
The volunteers were busy cleaning kennels on the morning of the raid. They had taken dirty bedding out in exchange for clean bedding. The volunteers were told to move away from the premises and were unable to continue cleaning up faeces/urine and mop, change bedding and top waters up. The RSPCA began recording their evidence on tape once the volunteers had left which is outrageous. Every kennels in the country would be routinely cleaning their kennels on the morning. The volunteers were not allowed to administer medication to dogs that needed it which is also a morning routine. Their evidence they have recorded is unfair evidence. If they had come down an hour later they would have seen that the kennels were clean, with clean blankets and a bowl of fresh water.
Dog walkers were stopped from taking any dog on their daily walk, so all dogs were locked in kennels all day and obviously stressed from lots of strangers peering at them. The dogs were left in their own mess throughout the day, some with no water.
Some of dogs were being treated for kennel cough. It is a very common bug that dogs are very susceptible to in kennel environment and it is highly contagious. The dogs who had kennel cough were being treated accordingly for this. Our vets go to Rosedene three times a week to check on the dogs and any poorly are seen by them. All kennels in the country have Kennel Cough at one time or another.
The kennels have heaters throughout, but the RSPCA vet expressed how cold it was inside the kennels. This is due to him walking around in a T-Shirt in cold weather and as the search was being conducted, they had opened every door in every place so the cold was getting in!!!
The kennels have NOT been shut down. We will be closed for refurbishment to take place. We have not been able to do much while the dogs were in our care due to noise of machinery and paint fumes which would make the dogs stressed and ill. Donations for improvement to the kennels will be greatly appreciated and the more people that get involved with this will have Rosedene up and running quicker so stray dogs will have a place to go. As you may be aware Rosedene is self-funded and we do not have goverment funds like other animal establishments have. The work we want to carry out will be expensive but worth the money.
Thank you for all of your support