It’s easy to think that when RSPCA Inspectors take action by seizing animals from people when there’s a welfare concern, that we can simply put that animal up for adoption and find a loving forever home. Sadly, it’s not that simple. Here’s why.
When an animal is seized by our Inspectors due to a welfare concern, if an owner refuses to surrender that pet’s ownership to the RSPCA, this means animals can stay in the RSPCA’s care for months and even years while the matter is taken to court.
Currently, under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, there is no provision that allows courts to make orders with respect to transferring ownership of seized animals until after a prosecution has finalised with a conviction. This means that right now, animals are in limbo, waiting for court decisions in order to start a new life and be adopted into loving homes. These decisions can take years.
We’d like to share with you a recent case where German Shepherd dogs were seized by our Inspectors due to inappropriate living conditions and remained in RSPCA care for over two years while the owners appealed the seizure and defended breach duty of care charges in court.