Putney RSPCA Hospital Threatened With Closure

Rolf Harris association blamed for fall in donations

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The RSPCA have announced that they are ‘with great sadness’ planning to close the Putney Animal Hospital. They say the facility has been selected for closure because most of the pets treated have owners and they want to focus on the care of animals without owners. The value of the land on which the hospital sits has risen substantially in recent years and the RSPCA's intention is to sell it.

A spokesperson for the charity said, “The RSPCA has to target those animals most in need of our help and streamline our frontline services. As part of this process Trustees have considered all options very carefully and are now proposing to close Putney Animal Hospital and three London clinics and relocate most of the services offered to other areas in London. “

Rolf Harris association blamed for fall in donations

Rolf Harris with Edwina Silver and Rhodri Williams outside Putney Animal Hospital. Pic: BBC

The RSPCA claim to have faced increased demands on its services and income derived from legacies has fluctuated in recent years. The proposal to close Putney Animal Hospital and three London clinics is part of an overall restructure, which would also see veterinary services offered at other clinics. They hope to keep ‘most’ of the ‘dedicated and much-valued staff’ through the redeployment opportunities opening up at the other London sites.

The RSPCA said, “Evidence-based work has been done on redirecting our services to the animals most in need of our help, those picked up and rescued by our inspectors. Most of the animals treated at Putney Animal Hospital have owners. The charity proposes to concentrate its work on those areas of London where it can have greater impact on those animals that do not have owners.”

As many of the animals treated belonged to people on low incomes who could not afford vet bills there is concern that they may be forced to give up valued pets.

Putney RSPCA Hospital Threatened With Closure

Putney Animal Hospital

In an article in today’s Mail on Sunday it is speculated that the clinic has seen donations dry up due to its association with Rolf Harris, the Australian comedian who was recently jailed for sex offences. The BBC series Animal Hospital was based at Putney. The RSPCA have made no link between the closure and Rolf Harris.

There is concern that the hospital was chosen for closure due to the value of the site which would be extremely lucrative if developed. The RSPCA says they own the site and it their intention to sell after closure.

January 26, 2015