Danielle Bateman feared for her pet's life after the RSPCA said that they would not treat her sick dog

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Danielle Bateman with Roxy Danielle Bateman with Roxy

A dog owner claims she was left in a state of panic when an RSPCA hospital refused to treat her sick pet “over a postcode”.

Danielle Bateman’s rottweiler Roxy became ill last week and by Saturday the two-year-old was refusing food and began vomiting.

Miss Bateman, 22, of Crooked Mile, phoned private vets to find help, but faced high costs as Roxy was not insured.

Miss Bateman finally took the dog to Medivet in Waltham Abbey for a consultation, but was told costs could reach £3000.

Desperate to help her pet, Miss Bateman took Roxy to Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park, which is run by the RSPCA.

But vets refused to treat the dog and did not carry out any tests, she said.

“I took her to the RSPCA and they said that, because I wasn’t in the catchment area, they would not deal with her,” Miss Bateman said.

“People all over the nation donate to the RSPCA but they wouldn’t treat my dog over a postcode. I think it’s disgusting.”

Miss Bateman was then helped by friends and family to raise the money to get Roxy treated for gastroenteritis at Vets and Pets in Nazeing.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately as a charity that relies totally on public donations, we cannot afford to provide every pet owner with financial assistance for veterinary fees. As an organisation that exists to prevent cruelty to animals we must prioritise those animals most at risk of cruelty, suffering, neglect and abuse.”

But Vets and Pets owner Joyce Buchan believes the hospital should have treated the dog.

She said: “I am a private vet owner and I would never turn an animal away, they are a charity.

“This happens all the time, there is no animal hospital for people in Epping Forest.

“I think it was out of order. In fairness, you don’t know what you’re dealing with all the time but she didn’t even have an x-ray.”

Comments (9)

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1:16pm Thu 5 Dec 13

villager1 says...

"I never thought it would happen to her" said Ms Bateman - how irresponsible; if you cannot afford to look after your pet and you have not checked what free veterinary services are available then you should not have animals. This also presumes that the dog is not vaccinated - so what is her Plan B next time her dog needs treatment as it invariably will?
Anyone who has an animal who is not insured or who has no access to free vets if they are on benefit and in the right area needs their head examined - it generally cost a minimum of £75 for consultation and some basic ointment and any illness or a broken leg usually costs £2-3000. That is expensive but there is no reason why animal medicine should cost any less than people medicine.
"I never thought it would happen to her" said Ms Bateman - how irresponsible; if you cannot afford to look after your pet and you have not checked what free veterinary services are available then you should not have animals. This also presumes that the dog is not vaccinated - so what is her Plan B next time her dog needs treatment as it invariably will? Anyone who has an animal who is not insured or who has no access to free vets if they are on benefit and in the right area needs their head examined - it generally cost a minimum of £75 for consultation and some basic ointment and any illness or a broken leg usually costs £2-3000. That is expensive but there is no reason why animal medicine should cost any less than people medicine. villager1

2:14pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Debbie2312 says...

I agree pets are expensive and when you take an animal on you should be aware of this, but with regard to the RSPCA it came as a shock to me when I had to call them as I had a Fox in my garden that didn't look well at all and before I could even speak with someone to give the details they put me through to the donations department. After I gave a donation they sent a girl round that had only been around the corner on another call. I understand they are very busy and the awful cases they have to deal with and I am the first to give generously to this organisation, but in my experience calling the RSPCA for help was nothing like they portray on the television
I agree pets are expensive and when you take an animal on you should be aware of this, but with regard to the RSPCA it came as a shock to me when I had to call them as I had a Fox in my garden that didn't look well at all and before I could even speak with someone to give the details they put me through to the donations department. After I gave a donation they sent a girl round that had only been around the corner on another call. I understand they are very busy and the awful cases they have to deal with and I am the first to give generously to this organisation, but in my experience calling the RSPCA for help was nothing like they portray on the television Debbie2312

3:07pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Dave mp says...

She said: “I am a private vet owner and I would never turn an animal away, they are a charity.
If she is a 'Vet Owner' perhaps they can set up in opposition to the RSPCA?

In all seriousness i gave up on the RSPCA years ago after hearing stories like this. I give money to various small charities caring for animals and have visited them all. They are always willing to help and seem devoted to the care of animals, NOT the money they get through donations and the willingness of hundreds of people to donate their time free.

In conclusive people shouldn't have pets if they can't afford them. However the ladies circumstances could have been a lot different when she first got her pet?
She said: “I am a private vet owner and I would never turn an animal away, they are a charity. If she is a 'Vet Owner' perhaps they can set up in opposition to the RSPCA? In all seriousness i gave up on the RSPCA years ago after hearing stories like this. I give money to various small charities caring for animals and have visited them all. They are always willing to help and seem devoted to the care of animals, NOT the money they get through donations and the willingness of hundreds of people to donate their time free. In conclusive people shouldn't have pets if they can't afford them. However the ladies circumstances could have been a lot different when she first got her pet? Dave mp

3:37pm Thu 5 Dec 13

dorothy2014 says...

The RSPCA exists to prevent cruelty to animals. It is not the role of the RSPCA to provide a cheap veterinary service to those pet owners who can't be bothered to take out pet insurance or to ensure that their pet is protected in the event of an accident or illness.

The Vet who was contacted should have arranged a payment plan with the owner rather than rubbishing the RSPCA who do fantastic work/

At the end of the day if you can't afford the vet you can't afford the pet.
The RSPCA exists to prevent cruelty to animals. It is not the role of the RSPCA to provide a cheap veterinary service to those pet owners who can't be bothered to take out pet insurance or to ensure that their pet is protected in the event of an accident or illness. The Vet who was contacted should have arranged a payment plan with the owner rather than rubbishing the RSPCA who do fantastic work/ At the end of the day if you can't afford the vet you can't afford the pet. dorothy2014

7:29pm Thu 5 Dec 13

stickmanny says...

I wonder if the RSPCA exists for its own sake.
I wonder if the RSPCA exists for its own sake. stickmanny

7:50pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Billy Yerache says...

Yes that is right, public expected to pay for all of anyone's indulgences, kids, dogs and any other thing they cannot afford?
Yes that is right, public expected to pay for all of anyone's indulgences, kids, dogs and any other thing they cannot afford? Billy Yerache

10:06am Mon 9 Dec 13

queenie1 says...

The RSPCA themselves are guilty of causing suffering if they refuse to treat a sick animal on grounds of postcode. My daughter in law used to take her dogs to the RSPCA vet and she always had to pay, so why the postcode rubbish.? They should have given this lady's dog emergency or urgent treatment as needed at the very least.
I certainly won't support any organization that turns away sick and distressed animals, whatever the reason might be !
The RSPCA themselves are guilty of causing suffering if they refuse to treat a sick animal on grounds of postcode. My daughter in law used to take her dogs to the RSPCA vet and she always had to pay, so why the postcode rubbish.? They should have given this lady's dog emergency or urgent treatment as needed at the very least. I certainly won't support any organization that turns away sick and distressed animals, whatever the reason might be ! queenie1

1:28pm Mon 9 Dec 13

G_Whiz says...

The RSPCA does their Job fine. And i have seen them do it many times. - If they started making up for lazy or unprepared whinging owners they would set a precedent they could not cope with or afford.

This paper has done a fantastic charity a great disservice in this story - They should have looked at the bigger picture.

Imagine if the RSPCA could afford to treat all animals for free. Where would that leave the moralising Vets and Pets owner Joyce Buchan?
The RSPCA does their Job fine. And i have seen them do it many times. - If they started making up for lazy or unprepared whinging owners they would set a precedent they could not cope with or afford. This paper has done a fantastic charity a great disservice in this story - They should have looked at the bigger picture. Imagine if the RSPCA could afford to treat all animals for free. Where would that leave the moralising Vets and Pets owner Joyce Buchan? G_Whiz

6:16pm Mon 9 Dec 13

lisaoo says...

If a person can't afford vet fees or pet insurance they should't have a pet, simple.
If a person can't afford vet fees or pet insurance they should't have a pet, simple. lisaoo

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