Scottish SPCA slams RSPCA in ad campaign

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2009:
The Scottish SPCA in February 2009
published £100,000 worth of full-page ads in
several Scottish newspapers that accused the
Royal SPCA of Britain of “stealing food from the
mouths of Scotland’s defenseless animals.”
Alleged Scottish SPCA chief executive
Stuart Earley to the BBC, “Many people do not
know that the RSPCA does not rescue or rehome any
animals in Scotland. By advertising here it has
been intentionally adding to the confusion to
make money. We are a completely separate charity
and have asked the RSPCA to make it clear it does
not save animals in Scotland so people can make
an informed choice about who to donate to. After
six months of talks we are no further forward.
This has increased the huge pressure on our
resources for many years.”

The RSPCA, in a prepared response, said
“Every piece of [RSPCA] printed literature,
television advertising and internet banner
advertising always features the wording ‘The
RSPCA is a charity registered in England and
Wales.’ We always make every effort to exclude
advertising messages reaching Scottish consumers.
All Scottish donors who contact us via RSPCA
fundraising campaigns are directed to the
Scottish SPCA. With television advertising, if a
station is able to restrict Scottish coverage,
we only buy English and Welsh airtime. However,
many satellite channels only enable us to
purchase UK-wide.”
The Scottish SPCA in a 2005 survey of
10,000 donors found that 87% had mistakenly
donated to the RSPCA. While the RSPCA raised
£114 million in 2007, helping to fund 172
branches in England and Wales, the Scottish SPCA
raised £10 million, and has struggled with cash
flow for most of the decade. Threatening to
close seven of 13 regional rescue centers in
2002, the Scottish SPCA now operates 10 regional
rescue centers plus wildlife rescue units in Fife
and Shetland.
The Scottish SPCA was founded in 1839,
15 years after the London SPCA, renamed the
RSPCA in 1840.
Alleged confusion of names which might
lead to misdirected donations is also at issue in
a lawsuit filed in December 2008 by the
130-year-old Wisconsin Humane Society, of
Mil-waukee, against Humane Milwaukee, founded
in 2005 as the Companion Animal Resource &
Adoption Center.
The case was in January 2009 moved to federal court.

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