Disclaimer - a measured and composed rant, so no comments about swearing/capitals required etc.
Right, so previous attempts to adopt a dog and subsequent interviews/interrogation that you might expect if you were a paedophile trying to adopt a 2 year old baby aside, my experience with the RSPCA today has left me seething.
Working just off the M1 Junction 11 (Luton) today, on the roundabout to the A505, I found a trapped dog - a German Shepherd. It was seemingly trapped between a high security fence and a hoarding erected by a demolition company. It had no visible way out, but could move around freely (8ft gap). Although it had a run in either direction of approx 100mtrs, it seemed quite distressed and wanted to stay close to where I was working.
Initially I presumed it was an agitated guard dog, as it paced up and down snapping and barking, but as the day wore on, it became more apparent that it wasn't. I tentatively approached it and ended up fussing it through the security fence - it now appeared to be quite young (less than 12 months), despite being a large beast - it was very friendly though and desperate to get to me through the fence.
So, first call - local Police. Not interested, told me to ring the RSPCA, totally unwilling to help and surprised that I couldn't instantly memorise a 10 digit phone no. No worries, I got the number for the local RSPCA from my smartphone.
2nd call - RSPCA. Whilst the operator seemed irritated that I'd bothered to wake her up, asked a series of totally irrelevant questions, came across as totally irksome and difficult, she eventually managed to log my location, acknowledge why I had called and even realised that she had been a bit of a pain and thanked me for my call and my patience - someone would be in attendance shortly.
Half an hour later, a call from a different member of the RSPCA. Quite bluntly she told me that as the animal wasn't being treated cruelly, or in any immediate danger (bear in mind I initially selected the option for a trapped animal) that I had to contact the dog warden, as they weren't going to deal with it. I explained that I'd now spent an hour of my day (whilst I was being paid and supposed to be working for a customer) to really devote any more time to this. Not their problem apparently, at which point I pointed out that I had informed them of an animal in obvious distress and surely they had (if not a duty of care) at least some responsibility to deal with the situation.
Apparently not - "we are a charity, the dog warden gets paid" was the response. Right, I'll just leave it there then shall I? I said. This was met with (don't quote me, but) something along the lines of - do what you want, we won't be attending. At this point I put the phone down, as not to swear.
So, I eventually get hold of the local dog warden - guess what? "Sorry, it's on private property, we can't attend." Fortunately my exasperation struck a chord at this point and some sensible thinking came into play. Based on the possibility that if the dog escaped, it may possibly end up on the motorway, they overruled protocol and decided to attend. They did stress that if I/we could get it out somehow it would be of a great help.
I'll go on, and I'm sure there'll be plenty of I struggle with long sentences, but some might like to know the ending....
Don't think I went through all this without investigating an escape route - a colleague had previously looked and couldn't find a way in/out. Anyway, a slightly less stupid(??) colleague had now found a way in and approached the pooch - fortunately, it was pleased to see him and didn't rip his face off. He tried to lead it out, but my new best friend wouldn't go unless I followed it along the fenceline. It came straight to me when it came out and had a good fuss. A bloke from the demolition site (who'd been phoned by the warden) came out and said he'd take it to a cabin for a warm and a drink.
The final chapter - after HATO had been scrambled for assistance (by the dog warden, warning of the possibility of a loose dog on the motorway), everyone turned up on site - I was prepared to take my new best mate home if it was going to the pound to be destroyed. It seems the bloke who'd taken it onto the demolition site had taken a shine to it and was now it's new owner. Exactly what had been sorted with the warden was done before I came back. I don't think some owner was sat at home distraught - the general concensus was that it was a pikey dog. It was very smelly and seemed pretty much untrained.
Flame forth with critiscism, but that's just how the day went. I think it was a blessing it didn't come home with me - as I spent 2 and a half hours sat in a jam on the M1 because of a loose pig nr Leicester!