The Canberra Chronicle this week reported as news the euthanasia of a cat by the RSPCA. Why was this considered newsworthy?
Because a woman claimed she had wanted the cat. She had taken the cat to the RSPCA and said that she wished to take the cat if the owner was not found. Whether this request was documented is unclear – an important point when one considers how many animals the RSPCA deals with every day. The owner was found and surrendered the cat to the RSPCA who, after vet and behavioural assessment, made the difficult decision to euthanise. This is a pity. It is a pity the cat died. It is a pity the woman who found the cat did not end up being able to keep it. Perhaps the greatest pity of all, however, is that the RSPCA received public criticism for the incident which was likely the result of simple miscommunication.
RSPCA staff do not euthanise for the sake of it and must make tough decisions every day. They also save thousands of lives and reunite thousands of pets with grateful owners.
It is these stories which should be used to highlight the important role which the RSPCA plays in our community – not the far less common incidents of disgruntled or disappointed people who unfortunately did not get the outcome they wanted.