RSPCA under fire after it recommended putting down rescued Bulgarian dog 

Animal charity embroiled in row over "discrimination against non-UK animals"

The RSPCA is engaged in a row with a rival animal charity over the fate of a severely disabled, injured dog after vets recommended it should be put down.

Former street dog Bobi was brought to the UK from Bulgaria on 21 December after being rescued from starvation in the gutters.

Action Aid for Animals, a Staffordshire-based charity that focuses on helping Eastern European strays, said the dog can enjoy a good quality of life, despite having disabled hind legs, incontinence and bed sores.

But the RSPCA took the three-year-old terrier away, saying that the dog was “in a poor state of health” and that vets had recommended "that the kindest thing to do was to put him to sleep as he has no quality of life".

Action Aid for Animals, which has been trying to rehome Bobi in the UK, has launched an online petition in which it accuses the RSPCA of “discrimination against non-UK animals and those that have a disability" and demands that the dog be allowed to live.

The petition, which has amassed over 9,000 signatures, states: “Bobby [sic] is from Bulgaria, he lived the most miserable of existences. He did not stand a chance in a country that deems dogs vermin to torture, abuse to do what they want with. Bobbie [sic] was rescued, cared for, internally and externally examined by qualified veterinarians including x-rays and a CT scan. Despite his twisted spinal column ALL agreed with the right care he would lead a quality life the same as any other dog regardless of disability”.

The petition adds that Bobi was cleared by Defra as fit to enter the UK. 

He spent the run-up to Christmas with a foster family in the West Midlands but they struggled to cope with the demands of a disabled dog that has to wear nappies. Bobi was then taken to another foster home but was subsequently collected by an RSPCA officer, who said she would return the dog after some routine tests.

But a vet decided that Bobi would be “better off dead”, according to the petition.

As the Save Bobi campaign gained momentum, the RSPCA took Bobi to a specialist vet of the owner's choosing for further assessment.

In a statement on Monday, the charity said, "Sadly their report confirms the first vet’s opinion that Bobi's condition is so bad that he would never enjoy a good quality of life and the kindest option is to put him to sleep.

"In short, there is no likelihood of recovery of a good quality of life.  Bobi has now been seen by a total of five independent vets, all of whom believe the kindest option is for him to be put to sleep.

"However the expert veterinary advice, provided today by specialist vets from Langford Veterinary Services at Bristol University, does say that whilst they would not recommend them, there are potential intensive, long-term treatment options available as long as Bobi can be kept comfortable, even though they may do no more than temporarily delay a decision that could be taken more quickly to put Bobi to sleep.

The vets will discuss these with the owner, so that the owner may reach a decision as to their preferred course of action.

This is a very sad situation and a very difficult decision for the owner, with whom the RSPCA will continue to be in contact."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own