|Verinica Mepham with rescued fox cub, the RSPCA would have added this to their 60,000 + animals they kill every year!|
"I do not trust the RSPCA as far as I can throw them. I will not donate to their ever growing cash mountain that they already have stashed because I feel they are using it more and more for their bullyboy agendas (such as this). They have become more of the "animal police" rather than animal "welfare officers".
"But it has emerged those charges are to be withdrawn if the couple sign a legal agreement to shut Rescuers down.
So, a larger competitor shuts down a smaller rival with legal blackmail, and the courts agree?
Just another reason to never, ever, NEVER give any money to the RSPCA.
And the next chugger that accosts me in the High Street soliciting money on their behalf is going to get the shock of his or her life!"
"No longer will the RSPCA receive any funding from me. These people did the best they could with NO help from the RSPCA, If the RSPCA were being proactive they would have offered help and support. What happens now when wildlife needs help who do we turn to certainly not the RSPCA, they simply do not respond to calls. It means more suffering not less. The authorities have simply ground this couple down instead of trying to help. Shame on the RSPCA and other parties who could have tried to mediate in this case."
THE husband and wife team running a Benfleet animal sanctuary for 13 years have agreed to close it to avoid prosecution over animal cruelty allegations.
Veronica Mepham, 70, and husband Reinhard, 64, have begun rehoming animals and dismantling the Rescuers Animal Sanctuary they’ve run in Watlington Road, Benfleet, since 1997.
The couple were due to appear at Southend Magistrates’ Court yesterday to face 18 counts each of animal cruelty charges.
But it has emerged those charges are to be withdrawn if the couple sign a legal agreement to shut Rescuers down, which is expected to happen before a court date next month.
The charges related to not giving adequate veterinary treatment to a variety of injured animals and failing to put down four birds.
Other offences included keeping a fox and fox cub in unsuitable conditions, failing to stop a duck from suffering preventable injury, and failing to give a wood pigeon adequate food and veterinary care.
Mrs Mepham told the Echo she had agreed to close the sanctuary, but said this did not mean she or her husband were guilty.
She said: “We deny the allegations and would have fought them in court, but we could not get legal aid. We do not have the money for the case because it has all gone into the sanctuary.
“Our volunteers have supported us and would not have worked here if they had not been happy with the conditions.”
She added: “It is heartbreaking to do after caring for animals for so many years, but we have to return it to scrubland.”
The sanctuary provided owls for use in the Harry Potter films, while squirrels from the sanctuary also featured in the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp.
The Mephams live in a mobile home at the sanctuary and are likely to have to go on Castle Point Council’s housing waiting list once the sanctuary is closed.
The RSPCA, which has brought the case against the Mephams, said it was unable to comment.