I’m Susan Haywood and I’ve been an RSPCA inspector for seven years.
I have three cats, three rabbits and four chickens. One of my cats was found as a kitten tied up in a carrier bag under a children’s playground slide.
He had such a bad infection in his eyes that they both had to be removed – so he’s completely blind. I named him Stevie and he gets around fine now. He is a perfectly happy little cat.
On this particular day I’d received a call about some kittens living in dirty conditions in a lady’s house, so I went round to the address. The owner was already known to us, she’d previously kicked a kitten down the stairs and killed the poor thing, sadly we’d been unable to secure a conviction.
I was invited inside the house, which was strewn with faeces and rubbish. The owner quickly admitted some of the kittens had already died, she thought because of fleas. When she showed me the remaining kittens it quickly became clear that they were very underweight, boarding on emaciated. One of them had diarrhoea and fleas.
All the kittens were lethargic and not being normal kittens – just sitting there staring.
We talked for quite a while about the fact that the kittens needed to see a vet so they could receive emergency vet treatment but the woman refused.
Assaulted on the front line
Suddenly, she bundled the cats into a carrier and barged past me onto the street. I followed, begging her to let me take the cats to the vet, I knew they would die soon if they didn’t receive treatment.
We ended up in a supermarket, the woman still carrying the kittens in a carrier, now dripping with diarrhoea. Unsurprisingly, she was asked to leave the store and the police were called.
I asked again and again to have the kittens, so they could be taken to the vet. Then, out of nowhere, she started hitting me round the head with a mobile phone. To add insult to injury the phone was covered in faeces.
The police arrived shortly afterwards and I was able to take the kittens for the immediate veterinary treatment that they desperately needed.
I’d do it all again
A vet said that the kittens would have died within 48 hours had they not been seen. Thank fully they all survived, but were poorly for a long time afterwards.
The bottom line is that the call comes in and your only thought is that there is an animal needs my help and you don’t even think about what could happen to you and whether there could be violence directed at you.
Help inspectors save lives
Please, help myself and my colleagues continue to be there for animals this winter, make a donation online today.
- Inspector Susan Haywood