For most families, winter is an enjoyable time of year. Some kind people think of others as well as themselves and get busy thinking of fundraising ideas for charities. But for other families winter and Christmas in particular can be a difficult and stressful time. Money worries plus the fact that people tend to consume more alcohol and be trapped together indoors more often than normal mean that domestic violence or abuse can all too often result.
You may assume, correctly, that the people who suffer during incidents of domestic abuse are the two adults involved and any children who might be present. But animals that share a home with people who are involved in heated arguments and fights often suffer considerably. They don’t understand what’s going on but they know that the atmosphere is scary.
Sometimes when the police are called to a domestic incident that has spiralled out of control they report back to the animal charity RSPCA, if there are animals known to be kept at the address. Other times, concerned neighbours or friends of the family might call the RSPCA anonymously. But whenever the RSPCA Inspectors are notified of an animal at risk of harm they will investigate. The RSPCA is authorised to bring criminal prosecutions where they can prove that an animal has been abused or neglected and they have the authority to remove animals to safety. However, doing so can be extremely difficult and fraught with danger for the Inspectors.
The RSPCA Inspectors have to be dedicated to their job and to protecting animals but they also have to be brave and prepared to enter situations that might be dangerous, to tell potentially violent people unwanted news, or to ask difficult questions. Many have faced threats and actual violence as part of their jobs.
RSPCA Inspectors are paid, but their wages come from donations made to the RSPCA. Without public donations, the RSPCA would not be able to hire Inspectors. This year the RSPCA is asking people to make donations through RSPCA Choices to fund their winter campaign called ‘Everyday Heroes’. This campaign aims to inform people of the difficult job that the Inspectors do and to ask members of the public to make donations towards their wages and the cost of their training.
Without the Inspectors doing their jobs, people would continue to abuse or neglect their pets and future pets. They would continue to take shots at wildlife just for fun, or to throw darts and bricks at passing cats. Many people who would not want to call the police would be prepared to call the RSPCA, but could only do so if there was someone there to answer their call.
If you feel that their job is important then please consider making a donation to the RSPCA Choice’s Everyday Heroes campaign. If you have the time, there are many easy fundraising ideas available online and through the RSPCA’s site to enable you to make an even greater donation.