Sunday, 1 November 2009

Captive bolt case - police now involved

Here's an extract from today's Sunday Telegraph - thank you so much to @PaulineMM on Twitter for alerting me to this. Here's a link to the whole story.

If you want the background to this story click here for the previous blog which also includes the link to the petition which has helped build the momentum to keep this case in the public eye.

Have to say that at last the RSPCA press office appear to be sounding a bit less supportive of the use of the captive bolt now it's a national newspaper asking the questions. I think they should have announced their own internal enquiry and maybe made a ruling that captive bolt would never be used ever again in these circumstances.

Good on WSPA for showing a bit of backbone. If it's unacceptable for the rest of the world to kill dogs with the captive bolt, you'd think it would certainly not be tolerated here - never mind be a method used by our biggest welfare charity. I'd be expecting the RSPCA to be prosecuting any local authority that started dispatching their pound dogs in this manner.
How have they dealt with one of their own using it?
To date there's been no action taken apart from the press office backing up the decision of the officer who pulled the trigger.
Will the police investigate this thoroughly or are they just that little bit too close to the RSPCA to make that possible?
Either way the RSPCA has to take some action otherwise this blood stain will not fade and their reputation will be forever tarnished and their other good works dented.

The use of captive bolt guns is deemed "inhumane" and "unacceptable" for the destruction of dogs by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

Last month German Shepherd Rescue, which rehouses between 200 and 300 of the breed every year, complained to South Wales Police about the incident.

The force has now written to the organisation to confirm that they will investigate the allegations.

The letter, from Inspector Mark Hobrough, states: "In relation to your correspondence received on 18th September 2009 can I please assure that this matter is receiving our thorough attention.

"I am sorry that I have no update to provide you at present and can only state the matter is undergoing investigation."

Jayne Shenstone, the founder of German Shepherd Rescue, said the dogs had a treatable condition called sarcoptic mange, a skin disease caused by a mite infection.

She said: "The RSPCA did not consult us or any other dog rescue centre. There was no vet present and there was no diagnosis. The dogs did not need to be killed, especially in such a brutal way.

"The RSPCA has claimed it's the only time they have heard of such a weapon being used like this, but captive bolts are routinely issued to inspectors.

"We believe that serious offences have been committed and that they merit charges for both the RSPCA and the officers responsible.

"If anyone else had killed ten dogs in such a cruel way the RSPCA would have been the first to prosecute."

The RSPCA says that it would have been impossible to rehome the dogs and there was no alternative to having them destroyed.

But instead of being put down with a pain-free injection, they were caught with a "grab" pole – a noose at the end of a stick – before being dragged outside and shot in the head with the bolt gun, which fires a metal bar about three inches long into the animal's brain.

According to the WSPA, use of the captive bolt gun to put down domestic animals is "unacceptable" because of the difficulty of ensuring a "clean kill".

The RSPCA, which last year rehomed 15,872 stray unwanted dogs and destroyed a further 8,313, admits that it did not approach animal rescue shelters for help in finding homes for the animals.

A spokeswoman said: "The RSPCA will co-operate fully with any police investigation. But as yet we have not been told by the police that we are being investigated.

"The police contacted us several weeks ago to ask for some information, which we provided, but they did not state that we were under investigation.

"It was an absolutely extreme case. The bolt gun is certainly not used routinely by our officers."


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Anonymous said...

interesting that that rspca blasting dogs heads off with a shot gun is drawing less comment/criticism from the readers of this blog than the kennel club and crufts, etc.

congrats for taking a fair and balanced approach and well done on such a fab fan base!

Anonymous said...

good job the RSPCA dont go to Crufts, I cant see the way they now shoot dogs would go down very well with sucha large number of the public there, it has echo of their "mountain of dead dogs" about he whole situation, they can no longer be seen as a welfare charity. Has any one heard ANY comment by Mark Evans on this, I would of thought DT should of asked him for his comments?

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the first Anonymous poster is commenting on a fair and balanced approach while accusing the RSPCA of "blasting dogs heads off with a shot gun".

A captive bolt gun is NOT a shot gun. It is certainly not the method of dispatch I'd want to see used either, but let's at least get the facts clear...

Anonymous said...

I had one of those "tin rattlers" stop me today and asked to make a monthly payment to the RSPCA, when I said to them that as the RSPCA had done this I would not consider funding further such cruelty, the Tin Rattler said well if they didnt get more money then more dogs would have to die!!!Why hasn't anyone asked Mark Evans to comment on this as their Vet Spokesman this must be what he is paid to do?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be offline... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please answer to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at could post it.


Beverley Cuddy said...

Hi Mark

The link to the Telegraph piece worked okay for me, so do try it again - it may have been that their site was down for maintenance when you tried?

If still having probs please email me and I'll send you a screen grab.


Beverley Cuddy said...

BTW My email is beverley (symbol for at)

Anonymous said...


I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at

Can I use part of the information from this post above if I give a link back to this website?


Beverley Cuddy said...

Hi Oliver

no problems, if any other queries please email me - see comment just above yours for address.