Animal cruelty solicitors

Accusations of animal cruelty can be high profile because of the amount of media attention and public interest they raise. Animal cruelty is a complicated and unusual area of law including a wide range of actions towards any pets or protected animals. If you have been accused of animal cruelty call our solicitors on 0203 816 1098.

Most allegations of animal abuse are from the RSPCA. The RSPCA have been on a mission to prevent cruelty, promote kindness to and remove suffering of all animals since 1824. They are a charitable organisation who does not have any specialist powers or powers similar to the police so any prosecutions they bring are considered a private prosecution. There is a lot of public confusion regarding the RSPCA and not many people know that you are under no obligation by law to answer any of their questions. This being said, you are still in the same position when dealing with the courts if you are accused of or convicted of an animal cruelty offence.

High profile cases

Whether the case ends in conviction or not, the defendant is often a victim of public hate campaigns or abuse due to high media coverage so it is important that you get legal help at the earliest stage of proceedings. It can make a big difference to the outcome of your case and getting your case dealt with quickly and efficiently will mean publicity can be minimised.

Either action or omission can result in prosecution in an animal cruelty cases, sometimes whether you intend the outcome or not.

The RSPCA often visit people’s homes after they have had anonymous reports of ill treated or sick animals and often people find that they use the accused’ vet to gain a case.

What do we advise?

At Stephensons we advise that all our related clients should keep full records of any illnesses their animals have had, veterinary advice given and/or instructions they have been given to act on. Knowing what the right procedure of care is for your pets can be very hard, especially for new pet owners but we are here to help.

It can be a scary time when a member of the RSPCA turns up at your door but even though they will wear a uniform and give themselves a title like Inspector, they do not have anywhere near the same level of authority as the police. If you are contacted by the RSPCA and they say they wish to interview you under caution, you still have exactly the same rights as you do in a police interview. You are entitled to legal representation during any interviews they ask of you and if they demand an interview straight away you are well within your rights to refuse until you have legal representation present.

This is very important. In a lot of cases clients come to us when they have already been interviewed and a lot of the time the damage has already been done. Legal representation is there to protect your interests so see an adviser as soon as possible.

Because animal cruelty cases are not as common as other criminal cases, it can be hard to find good legal support. Similarly, it can be hard to find lawyers with experience from successful animal abuse cases, mainly because of the amount of public emotion they raise. The RSPCA equip themselves with strong evidence in cases such as these and put all resources they have to their disposal so you need to do the same.

If you or anyone you know is having trouble with the RSPCA do not hesitate to call us on 0203 816 1098 or complete our online enquiry form.

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As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.