Corby woman hits out at RSPCA after concern over dog's welfare

Roxy, a staffordshire bull terrier with cherry eye
Roxy, a staffordshire bull terrier with cherry eye

A dog from Corby was taken by the RSPCA on Tuesday following concerns for its welfare.

Ann-Louise Wright says she was promised help by an RSPCA officer in finding a vet with a payment plan to get her staffordshire bull terrier, Roxy, checked out for an eye condition called cherry eye.

The RSCPA dispute Roxy's owner's version of events

The RSCPA dispute Roxy's owner's version of events

Ann-Louise, 32, said: "They [an RSPCA officer] came out Sunday and she informed us she would find out places that did payment plans and would ring us with details so we could get out dog treated.

"She never called us back till she showed up with another RSPCA officer and two police officers and they removed her from my garden before we had even opened the door to them."

However, an RSPCA spokesperson has said: “We attended an address in Corby on Sunday (September 1) after receiving a report from a member of the public about a dog which had a concerning eye condition and we advised the owner to take the dog, Roxy, to the vet’s for treatment urgently.

“Sadly, they failed to make an appointment for the dog so on Tuesday (September 3) we attended the address with police to take the dog to get the vet attention that she needed."

When Roxy was taken, Ann-Louise was handed a pink slip that said Roxy was being taken under section 18 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which allows inspectors to take steps to alleviate an animal's suffering if they believe it is suffering.

Roxy's cherry eye is a condition that can be common in certain breeds of dogs and is caused by a swollen gland in the third eyelid which can create a lump that covers the eye.

The animal charity Blue Cross advises that while the condition might not be uncomfortable for dogs, the glands are "crucial to maintaining optimum eye health, so it's important that problems are treated promptly" and that without treatment, complications can occur.

Ann-Louise said: "We saw a vet back in 2014 and he was a specialist surgeon and his opinion was that it was not affecting her or causing her any harm and she was healthy.

"He advised surgery would cost up to £4,000 to have both eyes fixed but it wouldn't guarantee a fix, he said within three months most dogs' pop back out."

Ann-Louise said she gives Roxy eye drops daily and uses warm salt water to clean them.

Ann-Louise also says the RSPCA officer who saw her on Sunday was going to check Roxy's veterinary history, which she said would have confirmed the advice she described from her vet.

When the RSPCA took Roxy to get the vet attention they believed she needed, they said: “Roxy was taken to an eye specialist who examined her eyes and found she had a severe case of cherry eye - a condition which affects the dog's eyelids and can be very painful.

"The vet gave advice on how to treat her but thankfully found the condition was not currently causing Roxy to suffer, so she was returned to her owner at the earliest opportunity later that same day."

Ann-Louise said she is very glad to have Roxy home but the incident had been distressing to her and her two young children, aged two and three.

She also claims Roxy was returned without any advice or explanation and said: "No advice, no paperwork, no report, nothing. A transport block dumped my dog our a van and left, no apology, nothing."

Ann-Louise said she filmed Roxy's return on her Facebook group, Diary Blog Group for Mental Health Awarenessx, and she claims this shows no advice was passed on.

The RSPCA spokesperson said: "We passed on the advice about how to make her more comfortable and how to treat the condition. We hope Roxy continues to receive the care she needs.”

Ann-Louise said: "I wouldn't allow any animal to suffer, my cat came home a few weeks back limp, couldn't walk.

"It was found someone had hit my cat on the head causing a bleed to the brain so I sadly had to have my cat put down but I paid a big vet bill.

"I love my pets dearly, I have a heart. If Roxy needed the treatment I would do it, I got her chipped before the law came out as I am a responsible owner."