On Air Now
Heart's Club Classics with Annaliese 7pm - 10pm
26 January 2015, 18:10
The animal hospital in Putney where Rolf Harris used to film his '90s TV show is going to close.
Campaigners believe the centre has been chosen for closure because of its links to the entertainer who was jailed for five years for child sex offences in July 2014.
The RSPCA say after funding cuts, they've got to concentrate on sites where help's most needed.
Rolf Harris presented 'Animal Hospital' for ten years from 1994 to 2004. Viewers followed the stories of sick animals and Rolf became famous for even crying with owners when they were told their pets would have to be put down.
In a statement, the RSCPA said: "The RSPCA has to target those animals most in need of our help and streamline our frontline services. As part of this process Trustees have considered all options very carefully and are now proposing to close Putney Animal Hospital and three London clinics and relocate most of the services offered to other areas in London.
"For the past few years the RSPCA has faced increased demands on its services and, like other charities, has had to face a fluctuating income mainly due to the volatility of legacy income.
"Evidence-based work has been done on redirecting our services to the animals most in need of our help, those picked up and rescued by our inspectors. Most of the animals treated at Putney Animal Hospital have owners. The charity proposes to concentrate its work on those areas of London where it can have greater impact on those animals that do not have owners.
"The very difficult proposal to close Putney Animal Hospital and three London clinics is part of an overall restructure, which would also see veterinary services offered at nearby clinics and centres strengthened.
"It would be with great sadness that the RSPCA would lose the roles at Putney and the London clinics but we would hope to keep most of our dedicated and much-valued staff through the redeployment opportunities opening up at our other London sites."
Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said: "It is extremely sad that the RSPCA is withdrawing frontline care for animals in London, but this in an inevitable consequence of pursuing a politicised agenda that has alienated so many of its supporters.
"Even with falling voluntary donations the Society has a choice about where to cut spending. The closure of Putney and the other London clinics suggest it is once again prioritising politics and prosecution over caring for animals on the front line."