Author Topic: poor conditions at animal sanctuary  (Read 8639 times)

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2012, 10:16:05 AM »
Hello Angie
Thank you for your moderate response which is helpful and I take on board your suggestions.  As I have said throughout my posts I am calling for improvements to be made to the sanctuary, not necessarily  closing them down, as shelters are needed unfortunately more and more in today's climate. The RSPCA is in agreement with me that improvements need to be made and conditions are very poor, but as I was told by them they have chosen not to take action as they use the shelter for their overload.
I have not come onto this site to have to justify my case to people who have not even visited the site but to try and raise support in my endeavours to raise standards at the sanctuary.  Most of the cats that come to the sanctuary are NOT feral and are living in the sheds and outside in the yards. 
For me, once you have witnessed injustice in any form, one can't walk away and forget about it.
All the best
Fay

Offline Liz

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2012, 06:33:08 AM »
I have been injecting cats for the last 10 years as our last and current vets think it is safer and less stressful for my ferals, also having had 2 diabetics sort of gets a lot easier and I for one injected a feral twice a day with Heparin when he was hit by a car last year and got a saddleback thrombosis and after 18 hours in the vet I was duly phoned and handed the needles and Heparin and antibiotics after he had mauled a vet and vet nurse very badly here he was ok most of the time

Sometimes what the general public view as terrible conditions aren't as bad as they are

My ferals have 2 sheepskin lined litter trays one open and one with a hood they sleep in and we also have the bat cave an old catbox with no door that has a queue of regular sleepers

My outside ferals have armchairs and covered hooded beds but Big red still sleeps in a rather large litter tray with carpet in the bottom has done for 6 years since we moved here

I agree with Angie the private ones are like the National organisations all bells and whistles and looking at my OH feral habitat ie the wendyhouse that they love it looks very shabby after a soggy winter
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Offline Gill (sneakiefeline)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #34 on: May 09, 2012, 00:35:26 AM »
Yes you may be right Angie.

What you have said below sounds sensible I think

Offline Angie (covcats)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2012, 00:17:27 AM »
perhaps it a case that ABs need to be prescribed for a particular cat by a vet.

I think you are in a difficult situation Faye. My guess is that the standards are not low enough to concern the people who may be able to do something.

I suppose it depends on what you want to happen to this place.

Do you want it to be closed down? If you just want standards to be improved then I can only think you can contiune offering to help or perhaps do some fundraising and make sure any funds go to replacing old pens.
Negative publicity may only result in them losing some of their income and may not help.

I can certainly understand how upset and annoyed you are. I can't think of much else you can do that you have not done apart from keep plugging away at them to let you help in some way. Sadly, a lot of rescues are quite defensive.
You may find that for your own peace of mind you just have to walk away.

Do they do a lot of feral work there?


Offline Gill (sneakiefeline)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2012, 22:36:10 PM »
I suspect she is not a vet.........does she really believe that diabetic cats go to the vet every day or even 3 times a day!

Also epileptic cats are treated by owners, dont know if they are injected but Napoleon wasnt epileptic but was having seizures due to an infection in his brain.............it would not be practical for him to go everyday to the vets which is a 30 mile round trip.

He had two very bad seizures in the car and thought I was going to lose him.

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2012, 22:30:27 PM »
I am going by what Claire Bessant, chief executive of the Feline Advisory Board told me when she looked into this point.

Offline Gill (sneakiefeline)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2012, 22:27:17 PM »
The ferals cats supposedly have an area outside although I don't know where it would be.  The cats that are lying in litter boxes do so as the boxes are their beds.
One has to be a qualified nurse to be able to administer injections.

Sorry that is not true.

I was injecting my late Napoleon for about 3 years with abs, marbocyl which is a very powerful ab getting into the brain and also convenia and one other.

Diabetic cats are injected by their owners.

Sadly Napoleon passed to the Bridge on 10 May last year from something else  :'( :'(

Offline Mymblesdaughter

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2012, 20:31:13 PM »
The links working but the folder seems to be empty.

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2012, 20:01:54 PM »
The ferals cats supposedly have an area outside although I don't know where it would be.  The cats that are lying in litter boxes do so as the boxes are their beds.
One has to be a qualified nurse to be able to administer injections.
Although I appreciate your response, I have done my homework on this and do know what I'm talking about!  What I really need is support and practical ideas to bring improvements to this sanctuary and bring an end to the miserable existence that many of the cats lead at present. The chair of the trustees who is the person who is in overall charge of the sanctuary refuses to communicate with me and the FAB, and for some reason appears to be uninterested in any advice. In the past I have offered to work with her but my offer was never taken up.

Offline Angie (covcats)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2012, 19:33:54 PM »
I have to say that some cats do choose to sit in trays - typically any feral cats I've had in sit in tray and pee on bedding!

Re you letter of objections. I'm not sure that anyone other than a vet is legally allowed to inject AB's.

Finacially, they have a staff bill of approx. £250,000 per year , having lost £170,000 in the year to sept 2010.
so even though the £450,000 in the bank seems a lot its not far off 1 years operating costs. There are probably guidelines as to how much to keep in the kitty when you run a rescue with staff.

Maybe you could offer to run a refurbishment campaign for them?


Offline Angie (covcats)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2012, 19:12:29 PM »
trying links


https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=78c5f1a714c17829&Bsrc=Photomail&Bpub=SDX.Photos&resid=78C5F1A714C17829!135&id=78C5F1A714C17829%21135&sff=1



you may need to copy and paste the whole address into browser or highlight, right click and go to address
this may not work but other one does - perhaps permissions are different Faye?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 19:21:58 PM by Angie (covcats) »

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2012, 17:25:38 PM »
Glad the pics have arrived, I have sent another small batch of Harry and my observations report of the sanctuary.  Believe me I haven't spent a year on trying to make a difference just because the place looks tatty! You are correct to say that one has to go and see but I must stress one needs to go repeatedly to really see what is going on there.

Offline Angie (covcats)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2012, 17:00:45 PM »
Hi Faye,

have the pictures. It may be possible just to post the links on to here (I'm at work!)

I have had a quick look and initial thoughts are it looks tatty but not too bad. I think you must be there to assess properly

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2012, 15:28:30 PM »
Unfortunately you can make a website look reasonable and also sound reasonable with blurb under each cat, but in some cases such as this sanctuary, the blurbs and photographs do not reflect the true conditions that the animals live under.  I adopted Asia, a day after I had seen her for the first time with no questions asked. Some cats live out in the elements such as Harry who bolted through an opened door in the shed he had existed in for over eight months. None of the sheds have runs. They are cold, damp and dark, especially the ones in the back yard. bear in mind if you visit the sanctuary only once you will not observe all that I have over a dozen or more visits, each visit lasting an hour to two hours.  Cat viruses do not have to be a big problem if a vaccination programme is in place together with stringent hygiene practices. A shelter does not have to spend vast amounts of money on accommodation and it would not be feasible anyway, but improvements could be made for relatively little cost. The existing  walls and floors of the sheds could be easily insulated with the correct materials, see FAB's Cat Rescue Manual and as the RSPCA's chief inspector told me they could replace the existing forty year old hunt sheds with secondhand ones. The problem is it is easy to say the cats are better off existing in a place like this rather than on the streets, as they do get fed and watered, but one has to remember we have laws and regulations that every animal shelter should adhere to such as the Animal Welfare Act, the RSPCA's Five freedoms and of course the Charity Commissiion's mission statement for charities. The question is where do you draw the line between reasonable conditions and unacceptable conditions?  I have tried to post a photograph but it told me my file was too big. I see Angie you have put you email address so will send them directly to you.  Many thanks.

Offline Gillian (Ambercat)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2012, 13:45:16 PM »
I've had a look at the OAS website and while conditions don't look perfect, the cats don't look to bad for it. It does actually look as though some of the cats are out and about not just shut in pens. The sancutary have obiously put quite a bit of thought into the type of homes the cats need too,  by the look of the little write-ups for each cat. Obviously though, thats just what I'm seeing on the website and may not tell the whole story. I'm not too far from Oxford, I might take a trip out there and take a look. It won't be for a couple of weeks though.

Offline Gill (sneakiefeline)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2012, 16:11:08 PM »
Cat flu is I think a big problem in places like this because once a cat has had it, it never seems to totally go away and stress is the biggest thing that makes it reoccur and once a cat has it its passed on so easily, especially if the cats are not vaccinated

I am in agreement with you Angie, which is why I think we need to see pictures as I wrote a way back.

Offline Mymblesdaughter

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2012, 11:10:57 AM »
I must say I was thinking this as well Angie. some of the objections like cats not being let out and only a few staff are just the norm at a shelter. I volunteered at CHAT which is a well organised and well thought of rescue.  The cats are looked after by about three staff at one time. There are about 200 cats there and many of them in small inside "runs" with no outside access.  It can be upsetting to see but the alternative is them being put down. They are all well looked after and kept clean but cat flu etc seemed to be a constant problem.   

Offline Angie (covcats)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2012, 10:11:29 AM »
I've been reading this with interest but not really ready to comment without seeing conditions for myself.

I often wonder what sort of rescue centre we would be able to afford if we are ever lucky enough to have somewhere to put one.
Cats can be quite content in scruffy conditions (ask my poor lot!).

It can take serious money to refurbish a centre, wood being cheaper than plastic or brick.

A lot of rescues have to make do with what they have and perhaps poor conditions are better than wandering the street?

To balance that, there are rescues that need to be closed down, we have all read of them with animals not being treated for injuries and dead bodies lying around.

I'm sure there must be purrs members closer to oxford who can visit or if you wish to email me (angie@coventrycatgroup.org.uk) or admin some photos I'm sure they will be happy to post - though photos also do not always show the true picture.

I am delibrately balancing on the top of the fence here.

Offline MsB

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2012, 23:07:03 PM »
As a long shot, would it be worth dropping Liz Jones at the Mail a word about it? Even if she felt she could not do anything about it personally, she may well have the right contacts.

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2012, 19:13:46 PM »
Yes I am sure that the FAB could just show up on site, but one has to take into account that people representing an organisation are not willing, for whatever reason, to do so, and unfortunately, I can't force them.  People drag their feet and stay on the fence all the time. I have tried posting photographs on this website but haven't been successful. If you would let me have a contact address I will send the photographs.  I can't understand why you can't find my page SavingHarry, I will look into this and come back to you.
Best Fay

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 22:36:51 PM »
Can't find anything on Facebook about saving Harry , it comes up with Harry potter !
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 22:57:27 PM by bunglycat »

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2012, 22:26:54 PM »
Hello Fay - please give us a link to your Facebook page as I cannot find it either  -  thanks x
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Offline bunglycat

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 21:31:23 PM »
Can they not just go and turn up without making an appointment ?
I have concerns about a rescue and the RSPCA just haven't done anything there either and then when I thought they were responding by calling me , they ask for money to sponsor as I was an animal lover !
I basically told them where to go and that my friend runs a rescue and if I did have spare money it would go to her .
Having 5 cats means I don't actually have spare cash anyway.
We are considering going to the rescue I mentioned as soon as we can , unfortunately Pauline has cats coming in left right and centre , mainly Persians and is presently full now
 
Goin to have a look at your Facebook page now , I have 5 Persians .

What's your Facebook page as I can't find it ,thanks
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 21:33:48 PM by bunglycat »

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2012, 20:45:37 PM »
Hello Gill and Liz
Yes I and the FAB have been in touch with the Charity Commission and they are not interested in conditions and only interested in the financial side of the running of a charity.
I already have a Facebook page called Saving Harry and have three photographs of Asia, the cat I adopted, one of when I found her at the OAS but I unsure how to get it out there.   I will try to post some of the photographs that I have taken at the OAS onto this website.
I will contact Rescue Helpers Unite and see if they can advise me, any other sites you might know of them, please let me know.
Thank you to the both of you for responding, it's good to know others care.
Best Fay

Offline Liz

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 15:41:30 PM »
Facebook is a great place to start and Twitter is to as the charities all have a lot of followers on there

Also howabout a blog on one of the freesites and that way you can document and add your photo's and that again will be picked up by followers

Also join places like Rescue Helpers Unite and the like they have a very broad user base and they may be able to help in ways we haven't thought of here
Liz and the Clan Cats and Dogs

Offline Gill (sneakiefeline)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2012, 14:58:02 PM »
You have worked very hard on this and I have 3 further suggestions that maybe useless, however.

You have photos, could you put some up on Purrs in this thread and add a yellow exclamation mark as the icon........it means in Purrs language , that there is distressing info. This can also be added to the title by modifying your first post and then postin again.

I think it will help if we see what you have.

Second , have you written to the Charities Commision?

Just thought of another idea...............RSPCA seem to have guardians protecting them in the press but how about writing to the Queen as it is the Royal Society...............

If all of this fails, then get it onto Facebook and Twitter.............I dont know how the latter works but others on Purrs do. The idea here is to get the pictures and the story to the widest audience possible and if you can generate numbers, then take it to the National Press and TV but I have to warn you the press seem to protect the RSPCA for some reason. Angie, Sunny Harbour and others from here know how to set up their own pages on FB.

I think you need to dress all of this up into a package and the picture part will be very important cos thats your evidence, but it will have to be strong and then you can tell your story and ask why the RSPCA are allowed to police the Animal Welfare Bill when they will not take action against this place, even though they admit its bad.

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2012, 13:20:46 PM »
Dear All
For the record last year I contacted the Licensing Dept at the Oxford District County Council to be told there is a loophole as the shelter is a charity and there is no requirement for licensing or inspection by the DCC. I was told the RSPCA are currently hoping to change the law.  I wrote to Celia Hammond at the Celia Hammond Trust in the hopes I would get support, but no response. I spoke to an officer at the Environment & Health Dept, he said there was nothing they could do as they had no powers to go on site as the sanctuary is a registered charity. Spoke to Trading Standards who took no action. Wrote to the Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford who was invited by the sanctuary to attend Open Day as guest of honour,(normally the Mayor attends) no response.  Wrote to Desmond Morris, President of the sanctuary who subsequently stepped down.  Wrote to the Editor of the Oxford Times Group, no response. Emailed and spoke at length to the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes which was formed in 1985 to unite Dog and cat Welfare Organisations in matters of concern and importance to stray and unwanted dogs and cats. They have a Code of Practice and yet no help came from this organisation. Have corresponded with the RSPCA, Ms Suzi Graham, regional manager and Chief Inspector Hartley who was in full agreement with me about the poor conditions and Inspector Davidson, the local inspector who visited the site in January 2012 who in his report summarised that 'The Oxfordshire RSPCA, Blue Cross, Cats Protection would be even more overrun if OAS closed'. Wrote to the FAB and was in communication for months but in the end no action. Wrote to Vicki Halls, cat counsellor and although enthusiastic nothing materialised.  Spoke to Martha Cannon, expert Feline vet based in Oxford,  who told me that she, the FAB, Vicki Halls, and the RSPCA were going to visit the site, nothing came of it.
I now understand that if the RSPCA refuses to act then there is very little one can do. The sanctuary continues to operate and on my last visit in December I was told by the head warden, that they had over 200 cats.  The sanctuary also takes in dogs, rabbits,sheep, goats, horses etc.,
Any further thoughts would be welcomed.
Best Fay

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 12:21:22 PM »
The Cats Protection will not investigate other animal shelters. I have tried the press but have had no response.

Offline Angie (covcats)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 11:55:39 AM »
it might also be worth speaking to someone at CP headquarters.

the council.

If you do have photos then go to the press.

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 10:11:17 AM »
Hello
Thank you for the website of Hillside. I will certainly take a look.  I am in Oxfordshire.
Best Fay

Offline Mymblesdaughter

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 10:05:37 AM »
Hi Fay

I'm not sure where you are but you could try Hillside they do undercover investigations, they usually do farms and slaughterhouses etc but it might be worth a try here is their website http://www.hillside.org.uk/


Offline SamMewl

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 09:55:13 AM »
What a terrible story. What makes me very angry about this is that when it comes to the legal side of animal welfare we tend to have to rely on the RSPCA as independant shelters and even other national shelters do not have the legal expertise or trained inspecters to step in.

You say you have visited, do you have photographic evidence? If not would you be able to go back and get some? You could then submit the photos to the RSPCA asking them why they have a 'working relationship' with the place. IIf you could keep records of the RSPCAs response and ultimatly if nothing is resolved then you should go to the press. Whereabouts are you/the shelter? If there was a PURRS rescue nearby they might have experience with dealing with your local paper.

a lot of people give large amounts of money to the RSPCA with the idea that they are helping prevent suffering, if that is not the case which it appears to be here (aswell as other instances) they should be made accountable.

Edit -  Hello FayVD - you posted as I was writing!
How frustrating. the RSPCA should investigate any reported welfare issue. I am curious as to what the stated their reasons were for not attending.  Did they affer a statement?
:) Please text CATS22 £5 to 70070 to feed a cat for a week :)

Offline FayVD

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 09:47:27 AM »
Hello Gill
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post about the animal sanctuary.  Yes the RSPCA leaves much to be desired and I am greatly disappointed with their response, since it has been a year that I have been pressing them to take action. When I read the article about the gentleman who left in his will a wild life sanctuary and his house to the RSPCA and both were immediately sold, the latter to property developers, I feel it is absolutely shameful.  The RSPCA is a charity as is the animal sanctuary and their remit is to deliver public benefit by promoting human morality through the encouragement of kindness to animals and discouraging cruelty to animals.  See the Charity Commission general guidance on public benefit.
I have been in communication with Claire Bessant, head of the FAB since last May and again although she agrees with all that I say and at one point was arranging for herself and Vicki Halls, a cat counsellor and Martha Cannon, an expert feline vet in Oxford together with an officer from the RSPCA to visit the sanctuary this did not happen.  I believe the RSPCA decided against it and so the FAB has since tried to arrange an appointment for themselves with the trustees, but her requests have simply been ignored.
I have written to the Oxford Times, Mail etc., but no response. It seems all the doors are firmly shut.  The sanctuary is not willing to talk to me and discuss how effective measures can be put in place, as the attitude of the chair woman  is completely hostile.  In the meantime the cats continue to suffer emotionally and physically, it breaks my heart.
 

Offline Gill (sneakiefeline)

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Re: poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 23:26:15 PM »
This is terrible and if the RSPCA are giving them cats thats even worse.............a working relationship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really dont know what else you can do except maybe you and FAB can get the press interested. Maybe your photos will help and mention of the RSPCA not willing to help, there has been one bad story recently about RSPCA in On-line Mail where RSPCA have been left a load of money and land insomeones will to be used as a wildlife refuge and they sold it to property developers and its been flattened.

It is notoriously hard to get the press to publidh the truth about the RSPCA and their terrible activties.

Offline FayVD

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poor conditions at animal sanctuary
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 20:33:10 PM »
A year ago I visited an animal sanctuary in my home county and was shocked to see extremely poor conditions that the cats were living and continue to live under.  I have visited the sanctuary over a dozen times and have submitted detailed reports with over sixty photograph to the FAB and the RSPCA.  I have been prevented by the chair of the trustees of the charity from adopting a cat named Harry that came to me on my first visit as I questioned his state of health and raised objections to the conditions that prevail at the sanctuary. The cats are housed in wooden uninsulated, damp and draughty sheds, some are closed sheds so the cats are unable to go outside and remain for months as prisoners.  There is no vaccination programme so cats become infected due to communal feeding and water bowls and litter trays.  Hygiene is poor and I have only seen 2-3 full time staff looking after 180 plus cats.  There is no attempt to improve the accommodation and there is no limit to the cat intake. I have adopted a 17 year Persian Tortoiseshell from them as she was incredibly forlorn, with a coat that had been shorn to the skin, severe gingivitis, suffering from the  flu virus, swollen glands, sore throat and a very damaged immune system. Since adopting her in May 2011, I have spent approximately £1400 at my vet stabilising her and giving her the best possible life in a loving and caring home. I also have a friend who adopted a cat who unbeknown to them was suffering from leukemia and who died within a month of them bringing it home. The FAB has tried to arrange an appointment to visit the sanctuary but has been unable get a date from them, and a RSPCA Inspector and a Senior Inspector have visited the site twice and with whom I spoke to for over 45 minutes was in agreement with me but will not take any action against the sanctuary as they have a working relationship with them and use them to house cats when they themselves are full. I am now at my wits end and despite one year of trying to get improvements and to adopt Harry I have failed. Money is not the issue here as the sanctuary's accounts are shown on the Charity Commission website and they are well in credit. Any thoughts would be gratefully received. 

 


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