CD - Condemned Dog!!

STOP PRESS 18/1/07 - The SSPCA have done SOMETHING for CD, they have published a statement. QUESTION - did they release this statement because they really care about CD or did they release it because poor CD's plight over the last five years has come to light and caused them so much bad publicity?

We have been asked by people incenced by the stories about CD and the horses starved to death, to put up an area where people can have their say about the Scottish SPCA

'Scottish SPCA statement on “Kyle” the German Shepherd dog 18/01/2007

The Scottish SPCA has been made aware of a website and two web forums that contain seriously inaccurate and potentially damaging allegations concerning a German Shepherd dog.

The Society has issued the following statement in response to these allegations:

It has been alleged that the Scottish SPCA had done “absolutely nothing” following a complaint

The conditions experienced by this dog had been reported to the SSPCA on several occasions over the preceding years and although an inspector did visit no action was taken despite the conditions being worse, i.e. there was no kennel outside and the animal was chained following an incident where it had escaped and killed a number of ducks..

On December 8 2006, the Scottish SPCA received a complaint about a German Shepherd dog and an Inspector responded within 24 hours by visiting the property in question and the dog’s owner. A second Inspector was then tasked with taking up the matter of the dog’s accommodation and welfare with its owner and visited him immediately at the property.

The SSPCA responded after several phone calls from the rescue on 8th December and only when it was suggested that we would go to the press if no immediate action was taken. A visit was hastily arranged and a lone female inspector arrived late afternoon on 8th Dec who left a notice for the owner to contact them. On a subsequent visit sometime within the ensuing 48 hours, two inspectors met with the 'owner' at the location

The dog’s owner was informed by the Inspector that the dog, named Kyle, was not being kept in an acceptable manner and the owner agreed to work with the Society to improve the situation. The owner was advised that if he did not work with the Society in this manner, statutory measures would be taken.

The Inspector’s immediate concern was that every item that could possibly cause the dog harm should be removed. The Inspector returned the next day and Kyle’s owner had removed all the items discussed.

Scottish SPCA Inspectors have made six visits to Kyle over the last six weeks and have witnessed further improvements at each visit. Most recently, Inspectors visited Kyle with an independent veterinary surgeon, who was satisfied with Kyle’s physical and mental well-being.

Was this in conjunction with the owner? If so, how fortunate the owner happened to be there at the time. If not then the independent veterinary surgeon would have made this assessment from behind a fence or was the dog already enjoying access to his new internal accommodation?

At the time of the first visit Kyle had an outside kennel which provided shelter and was water-tight. That kennel has since been removed and Kyle now has permanent access to a room indoors which has two mattresses and a duvet.

As the property is not owned by the animals owner could, this be construed as trespass/breaking and entering? If the dog now has permanent access to an indoor room does this indicate he can move freely between this room and the outside or does this room also double as a latrine. If this access inside the premises was so easy to arrange why has it taken some five years to achieve?

Under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 a Scottish SPCA Inspector may take possession of an animal providing a veterinary surgeon certifies that it is suffering or likely to suffer if its circumstances do not change. In Kyle’s case, the independent veterinary surgeon did not feel that Kyle was suffering or likely to suffer and was satisfied with the improvements that Kyle’s owner had made. RUBBISH!!!

From the SSPCA website: Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act. 'The Act, which came into force in October 2006, brings animal welfare legislation up-to-date in Scotland. Until then, it was not possible for a Scottish SPCA Inspector to remove an animal from a situation of distress unless it was certified by a veterinary surgeon as experiencing “unnecessary suffering”. Under the Act, an animal owner commits an offence by failing to meet their animal’s basic welfare needs, including the need for adequate exercise and a suitable diet.' THEY DIDN"T NEED A VET TO REMOVE POOR CD

So this 'vet' cannot see that this dog, a german shepherd which is a breed known for it's intelligence, has been subjected to appalling mental cruelty, has been denied the ability to exhibit normal behaviour, has been denied a suitable environment and not been protected from suffering, injury and disease!!! Was this not a good opportunity to test the new Animal Health and Welfare Act or have millions of pound of taxpayers money used to implement this, been wasted?

It has been alleged that the dog’s owner visited Kyle every few days and fed him by throwing him takeaways

The Inspector found that the owner visits Kyle every day, often twice a day and for lengthy periods. He also provides fresh food and water. This latter finding was backed up by an independent veterinary surgeon who concluded that Kyle is in good physical health and is clearly being fed a good quality diet.

Did the Inspectors actually monitor the place over several days or did they just ask the owner? This is clearly a recent development. Visiting more than once a day should be an interesting experience for the owner as this has not been known to happen for some considerable time. There is no water supply to the property and this must be taken from an animal trough in an adjacent field.

It has been questioned why Kyle lives at this property

Kyle is no longer a guard dog, although he was for the first five years of his life. He has lived at this property for the last five years. Both the Scottish SPCA Inspector and veterinary surgeon concluded that, given his age and the fact that Kyle is familiar with this set up, his welfare would be best served by staying where he is. Indeed the veterinary surgeon expressed that they would have grave concerns over his welfare should he be relocated to a home environment. The Scottish SPCA Inspector stated, “There is every chance this dog would bite or attack someone if it was rehomed. It simply could not adapt to a new, indoor situation.”

In a telephone conversation with Tom Gatherer SSPCA inspector, he informed the rescue that the animal was not aggressive and that he was friendly towards them. The rescue had no intention of putting CD straight into a family home and we had a pleasant safe haven for him to go to for assessment. This vet clearly knows nothing about the German Shepherd breed. Ricki's story is a wonderful example of how these dogs can be rehabilitated. Ricki now lives in a family home

The Scottish SPCA Inspector also found that the dog’s owner does take him to his home when he requires a bath or grooming, which has happened twice in the time since the Society received the complaint.

Twice in five years.. and both since Dec 8th what a result! Question: If the owner considers it reasonable to take the dog home for a bath and grooming why should it then be returned to this location? Did the SSPCA actually witness this or just take the owners word for it?

The Society is satisfied that the owner has done everything required of him and will continue to visit him to ensure this remains the case.

Photographs have been published which purport to represent Kyle’s current situation

These photographs are vastly out-of-date and depict a situation that no longer exists due to Scottish SPCA action. Together with the above allegations, they only serve to misrepresent the situation entirely and do the Scottish SPCA and its dedicated Inspectorate and staff a huge injustice.

Photographs taken less than 24 hours prior to the intial visit would hardly be vastly out of date.

If the SSPCA are so concerned that the photographic evidence provided is so desperately out of date, where is their photographic evidence to support this contention and demonstrate how much improvement they have been able to secure? It would be unusual for a press officer not to take advantage of before and after images to further their cause.

If a member of the public highlights animals subjected to appalling conditions, how are they to track the progress of a body such as the SSPCA who claim to have made at least six visits to this location although they fail to log whether this was on their own or in conjunction with the owner. Perhaps they should give consideration to issuing a unique 'incident' number and then posting their progress on a web site. Maybe in such a way the public could enjoy increased confidence in the level of service being provided.

If this dog is not being used for guarding, and he clearly isn't a pet, what is he and what is the point in keeping him here in such appalling conditions.?

In our opinion, this dog is being kept as a guard dog and the SSPCA are trying to side step another issue here in that there is specific legislation which applies to the keeping of a guard dog.

We don't believe that any animal lover who cares enough to visit CD, would consider his living conditions or quality of life to be acceptable or that the report about CD on this website be 'seriously inaccurate'.

We thought we would contact Advocates for Animals to see if they cold help. See what they had to say.

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