• You can find lots of information on how to settle in, understand your new guinea pigs in our New Owners Guide Collection but please ask any questions you have in Wannabe and New Owners' section.

I was left a card from the RSPCA :( ....worried sick and need some advice!

badger2503

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
48
Likes
58
Points
200
Location
Cannock
#1
Hi,
Me and my partner came home from work yesterday and found a business-like card from the RSPCA with "please contact Inspector ******". There was no additional info or anything to suggest what it was related to, just asking us to get in touch. Obviously had someone round while we were at work. I'm feeling pretty shaken and wondering what on earth this could be about. Our guinea pigs are looked after immaculately, they're my absolute world and the thought that someone has reported me makes me feel terrible.

I rang the number, they took my details and asked what pets I had (two guinea pigs). They told me the inspector would call me back when they were back on shift - I rang about 6pm yesterday and am still waiting. They couldn't tell me what it was about either.

The wait is killing me because I just want to know what is going on. As I've said, I know my guinea pigs are treated like kings. They've spent the last six days at boarding while we were away and the lady who runs it has told me what happy, confident little boys they are - we sorted their holiday lodgings we even booked our own tickets just to make sure they would be well cared for. As they live indoors, only our friends and family see them, but none of them would report us. The only people who could have possibly done it are our neighbours as they a) obviously know where we live and b) have seen them during grass time. They have only been outside once in the past year since we moved here and we were with them the entire time. I just can't understand why anyone would report us and I feel horrible even though I know I've done nothing wrong. All I can think is that one of the neighbours noticed we were away for the week and thought the we'd left the pigs in the house, which is crazy and I don't understand why anyone would assume that.

It's not a nice feeling and the anxiety of waiting for this inspector to contact me is killing me. I know they do good work, but I've heard horror stories of the RSPCA going a bit gung-ho and prosecuting people unnecessarily. It makes me angry to think that there are plenty of people out there with no idea how to look after piggies, keeping them in tiny cages, keeping single pigs, not giving them a proper diet who never get reported, yet for some reason I have been!

Has anyone had anything similar? Is it normal for the RSPCA to not put info on the card as to what the call was about? Is is possible they want to speak to us about a neighbour's animal? Any advice? :(
 

Betsy

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
16,179
Likes
16,656
Points
2,125
Location
Southampton, UK
#2
I know I would be concerned in your situation. But you have nothing to worry about! You wouldn't be on this forum if you didn't care about your piggies. You have been a member for a year. If someone has reported you, you can show the RSPCA Inspector your set up and show him/her the invoice from where they went on holiday while you were away. An RSPCA Inspector will soon see that your piggies are well cared for. It may be that do indeed wish to speak to you about an animal they have seen and want to know if you can give information about it. Let us know what they want.
 

Kallasia

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
609
Likes
1,236
Points
625
Location
Manchester, UK
#3
If you haven't already, do call the mainline number for the RSPCA rather than the number on the card left, just in case it's some sort of scam. You can see their contact details on their website at Contact us - RSPCA
If the RSPCA don't know anything about a card being left, you need to contact the police on 101 (non-emergency line) to report that you have been a victim of a scam.

If it is genuine and you take good care of your animals you have nothing to worry about.
 

badger2503

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
48
Likes
58
Points
200
Location
Cannock
#4
I know I would be concerned in your situation. But you have nothing to worry about! You wouldn't be on this forum if you didn't care about your piggies. You have been a member for a year. If someone has reported you, you can show the RSPCA Inspector your set up and show him/her the invoice from where they went on holiday while you were away. An RSPCA Inspector will soon see that your piggies are well cared for. It may be that do indeed wish to speak to you about an animal they have seen and want to know if you can give information about it. Let us know what they want.
If you haven't already, do call the mainline number for the RSPCA rather than the number on the card left, just in case it's some sort of scam. You can see their contact details on their website at Contact us - RSPCA
If the RSPCA don't know anything about a card being left, you need to contact the police on 101 (non-emergency line) to report that you have been a victim of a scam.

If it is genuine and you take good care of your animals you have nothing to worry about.
Thanks for the responses. The number on the card was the 0300 1234 999 number, which is the RSPCA cruelty line number listed on the link you gave. I just wish they gave more information on what they were wishing to contact me about! It's like when someone says "I need to speak to you" and you have that horrible apprehension while you wait to find out what's wrong. If it is to do with them wanting information on another animal, surely they should make this clear on the card or be able to advise this was the case when I rang them, instead of leaving a vague request to contact them that makes people fret. If that is the case I shall be really angry!
 

FurryBabyMama

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
143
Likes
249
Points
250
Location
Plymouth, UK
#6
That must be so awful for you. I had a similar thing happen a few weeks ago, with child protective services, so understand how frightening it is. They showed up randomly at 8pm whilst my daughter was fast asleep in my arms with a whole list of horrible lies against me. They stayed for about an hour, with me in absolute tears, didn't have the slightest clue where any of the allegations had come from. They wrote it off as a malicious false report and me and my daughter are now protected against any future reports made against us. It was obviously a "close friend" or family member who had put in the false allegations, I don't know who I'd upset to deserve it. Are you absolutely sure it can't be a friend or family member? It's crazy the things people will do as revenge when you aren't even aware you've upset anyone. I had the angry feelings you do too, about there being babies out there who are genuinely neglected, starved, hurt by their parents, parents who do illegal drugs, yet child protective services were in my home, accusing me of all those things. She's so loved and wanted. It horrible being accused of neglecting the thing that means the whole world to you. I was so terrified they'd want to see me again, when I've never wanted or needed them to be part of our lives, I know I'm a good mum. I was waiting for the RSPCA to show up for weeks afterwards, accusing me of neglecting my hamsters too (it was before I got my piggies, in fact I got the piggies to help take my mind of this awfulness), in case whoever made the report wanted to make a second strike against me.

All you can do is wait for them to come back, show them how good of an owner you are. If you know you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about. If any false allegations are made against you, don't go into angry and defensive mode. Just be calm, happy and polite when you refute the allegations.
I know it's awful and nerve-wracking, especially having no clue who said those horrible things about you. You just have to try and put it to the back of your mind, don't let it get to you, don't let it make you question yourself as an owner if you know you've done nothing wrong. Try and stay positive. :) Nothing will come of it, they'll come back, see how well you take care of your guinea pigs, leave and never see you again
 

Eriathwen

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Jan 11, 2016
Messages
1,320
Likes
3,401
Points
1,075
Location
West midlands
#7
I expect as you think, someone has assumed you have left your pigs unattended while you went away. You can handle it 2 ways, you can let them in, show them around and most likely they'll tick their box and go, put it down as a malicious or unfounded complaint, and not blow things out of proportion as they may sometimes do, as you have proof of boarding your pigs. OR as they're a charity, not law enforcement and have no right to enter your property to look at your pets without a warrant, you can show them the proof of boarding on the doorstep and then tell them to go away, this option runs the risk of them thinking you have something to hide though.

It will depend on the inspector and their knowledge I would imagine, ive known people have repeated visits for their snakes that are kept perfectly well, but as the inspectors usually dont have a clue, they assume they're not being cared for and get a bit heavy handed, even if the inspector cant even identify the species concerned therefore possibly know how they should be cared for. Hopefully as piggies are more commonly kept pets they will at least have enough knowledge to see that yours are being cared for correctly.
 
Last edited:

Louise's Zoo

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
2,004
Likes
3,410
Points
1,175
Location
Surrey
#8
I've heard of this many, many times on reptile forums I am on. People who own exotic pets are always getting reported by paranoid neighbours and many forum members have been left cards by the RSPCA. Don't panic. They have to follow up the report but that does not mean they suspect you of any wrong doing. They will be happy to see much loved piggies and will be on their way. Case closed :)
 

Jaycey

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,663
Likes
3,815
Points
1,235
Location
Leicester
#9
I understand how stressful it can be, but like the others have mentioned, try not to worry.

The inspector may have been in contact about someone else, maybe a cat in the area has been an issue.

Unfortunately they have to check up on all reports as it would bring them into disrepute if they ignored something that ended up being an issue.

Maybe your neighbours don't understand that pigs can live indoors. My neighbours don't even know what guinea pigs are. They'd probably report me for harbouring rats or something crazy.

Once they find out the details they'll soon understand that you're a caring owner.
 

Jess565

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
121
Likes
257
Points
340
Location
Lancashire
#10
I had a card not to long ago and it was because there was an injured pigeon on our roof and they wanted to know if they could come in and get it.
It's sad if it's a malicious call. They do very good work and it's a waste of time and money. But if I was you I would look forward to showing my piggies off! any excuse to talk about them :drool:
 

Swissgreys

Forum Buddy
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
4,387
Likes
8,009
Points
1,475
Location
Zürich, Switzerland
#11
I had a similar thing happen to me.
We took on a pair of rabbits from one of the kids friends at school.
One was dropped off in a terrible state, and we had to immediately called the emergency vet (it was on a Sunday).
We then took the rabbit to our regular vet the following day, and she registered a neglect report against the previous owners, as the poor rabbit really was in unbeleivably bad condition.
At the time the vet warned me to expect a call from our local animal control in the next 6 months, as she said once you register a neglect case people will often try to retaliate.
I was contacted but knew we had nothing to hide, so I was happy to allow the inspectors to visit and see all of my animals.
I also passed on the details of my vet who would be able to back up my claims that it was merely a way of someone retaliating, and the inspectors were totally happy. They even took photos of the C&C cages (we don't get them here in Switzerland).

I know it is stressful but you have nothing to hide.
Chances are some nosy neighbour assumed you left the piggies home alone while you were away, so the inspectors probabably just want to check this isn't true. They will be perfectly happy once you explain and I doubt you will be contacted again.
 

badger2503

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
48
Likes
58
Points
200
Location
Cannock
#12
Thank you for your replies everyone! Finally got a call from the inspector about "my cat and rabbit"....turns out they got the wrong house. While I'm very relieved, I'm still a bit annoyed. People make mistakes but the RSPCA could have been a bit more informative - if they'd written a simple "re your cat and rabbit" on the card I'd have known straight away they had the wrong house and it would have saved me worrying myself sick all day :(
That being said I know exactly which pets are in question here and I hope they do something about it, as I've considered reporting them myself recently. Oh well, can relax now and enjoy some cuddle time with my boys later :))
 

sport_billy

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
45,669
Likes
27,073
Points
2,850
Location
Wolverhampton
#14
Thank you for your replies everyone! Finally got a call from the inspector about "my cat and rabbit"....turns out they got the wrong house. While I'm very relieved, I'm still a bit annoyed. People make mistakes but the RSPCA could have been a bit more informative - if they'd written a simple "re your cat and rabbit" on the card I'd have known straight away they had the wrong house and it would have saved me worrying myself sick all day :(
That being said I know exactly which pets are in question here and I hope they do something about it, as I've considered reporting them myself recently. Oh well, can relax now and enjoy some cuddle time with my boys later :))
Pleased this has been resolved, sorry for the distress it caused you. Understandable to have been worried. So glad it has all been a misunderstanding.
 

Tim

*Rescue Buddy*
Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
Aug 29, 2013
Messages
10,118
Likes
11,671
Points
2,135
Location
Sutton Coldfield
#15
Oh my, I’m so relieved that it was a misunderstanding. I hope they are aware of the undue stress they have caused you.

Sit back and relax now :)
 

Flutterby

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
27,657
Likes
24,761
Points
2,445
Location
Wigan, UK
#16
So glad it has been sorted for you, I would be worried sick too, even though I know my animals are well cared for. I think it's natural.
 
Top