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To be upset by some parents reactions to my DP dressed up for charity.....

(32 Posts)
boobookins Sat 17-Oct-09 19:53:32

We both d work for the RSPCA and since I run a company we recently bought a cat costume. Not a cheapo thing but a full padded professional costume - it will be a charitable donation. Previously we hired one and decided it was better in the long term to just buy one. And yes, I know we play on your little ones in order to get your attention and your small change (but every penny helps)

Anyway today was the first day out with it - its been about 18 months since we use a costume whilst collecting for various reasons..........

There were several reactions I found bizarre:

1. Parent on seeing him remove the head to take a drink and have lunch started yelling at him or traumatising her child (child in push chair - I'd say toddler rather than baby but then I dont have kids so it was an estimate based on my nieces and nephews) because they now thought the "cat" was headless

2. Parent on seeing child stroking the cats tummy - think a suit the size of mr blobby - started reprimanding about not stroking people inappropriately????????????

3. And this is the one I found totally abhorrent....... Parent had been quite happy to let two children - one girl/one boy hug and fondle cat. About five minutes later he took a drink break - the mum came up and started yelling at partner about being perverted and doing it to get felt up by little children. She would have had no problem if I had been in the costume but because it was a 47 year old male who looks like a hells angel, this was apparently perverted.

I am not a troll, I posted once before on here about why people with no children post on here and I have lurked here one and off for a few months. i'm just interested as to how anyone can justify any of the above reactions. It was a male helping a charity surrounded by three female minders (yes we did that JUST IN CASE someone over reacted - seems it was not enough).......

Over to the panel

Goblinchild Sat 17-Oct-09 19:57:56

Many parents lose the plot when surprised.
Some are loons most of the time.
You are upset, but how does your partner feel?
I once spent a weekend dressed as a giant pink rabbit and alarmed a couple of children by using their names as I knew them.
Fortunately the parent thought it was hysterical that a teacher was doing something so stupid as wearing the costume and didn't Report Me To The Authorities.

ShinyAndNew Sat 17-Oct-09 20:00:49

They all sound nuts imo. YANBU.

DamonBradleylovesPippi Sat 17-Oct-09 20:03:09

Some parents are so paranoid is beyond belief.

FlightAttendant Sat 17-Oct-09 20:05:04

Yanbu about the costume but if you have a search on here recently there have been doubts expressed re the RSPCA' general usefulness.

I think I would consider doing it for a different charity...lovely of you to do it at all and your dp sounds like a dear.

FlightAttendant Sat 17-Oct-09 20:05:24

Yanbu about the costume but if you have a search on here recently there have been doubts expressed re the RSPCA' general usefulness.

I think I would consider doing it for a different charity...lovely of you to do it at all and your dp sounds like a dear.

Doobydoo Sat 17-Oct-09 20:05:24


FlightAttendant Sat 17-Oct-09 20:05:50

Ooh sorry it did that weirdy preview thing with the dollar signs.

Vallhala Sat 17-Oct-09 20:11:10

I agree wholeheartedly with FlightAttendant (including that it was lovely for you to do it). I must add too that if anyone has a right to be traumatised after the event its your poor DH!

ParanoidAtAllTimes Sat 17-Oct-09 20:13:04


boobookins Sat 17-Oct-09 20:16:48

Ok - some facts about the RSPCA.....

Most people working for them actually loathe corporate RSPCA

The structure is - head office and national who fund the propaganda and the inspectors - then the regional branches who are all individual charities in their own right who have to pay to use the RSPCA name. Not only do we have to pay but if a member who live in our branch area dies and does not SPECIFICALLY mention it goes to our branch, the national advertising fund gets the whole lot. Also - when people sign up to the credit card or DD - none of that goes to local or animal work - its all spent on head office or inspectors salaries. They do not however provide any money towards rehoming and animal welfare but the sad fact is, if you want to help animals in your area then he RSPCA name gets you into places to do collections that ABC animal welfare group would not.

We have rehomed in my county - and I just checked these figures - 220 cats, 80 dogs, 70 small animals - and at any time we have about 40 animals we are looking after, being treated, at the vets etc etc - all of this comes from donations and legacies and not a penny from head office.

The people you see with collecting tins and on the grounds are probably helping animals - ignore the politicing and crud head office spew out

boobookins Sat 17-Oct-09 20:19:55

That was not intended to be an advert for the RSPCA but the bad press we get is not because of 99% of the people you want to do good on their behalf.

My OH is feeling slightly put out - especially by the idea his todger is big enough to have any sensation through about 8 inches of foam! (re the one who didn't want he kid stroking a cat!)

We are beginning to wonder if we should just dress one of the women in the suit but then I think it would be counter productive as a hells angel look a like would immediately put parents off approaching us!

Vallhala Sat 17-Oct-09 20:26:32

Booboo, I come from the 'other side', i.e. independent rescue and I'm aware of the corporate HQ vs the regional branches and have no respect for the former and much for the latter. My own beef with the RSPCA in general is their PTS rate and policy on reasons for justifying it, including but not by any means exclusivly the recent killing of 10 GSDs by captive bolt gun. Sadly for those like you and the animals you seek to help this is why imo many like myself prefer to donate to independent and/or no kill rescue.

That doesn't mean that I don't respect what you do and boy do I feel for your poor DH after today's events.

Wishing you, yours and all the animals under your care all the very best for a healthy, happy future as you all deserve it and s*d what the idiots said to you today as you no doubt do more good work than they ever would.

FlightAttendant Sat 17-Oct-09 20:31:50

Really interesting to read that Boo, thanks for explaining. I don't know much about it all so hope Valhalla and you aren't going to fall out as you obviously both have the best interests of animals at heart. It is such a shame that politics comes into it at all, not sure how the bolt gun thing comes about - would that be head office dictating it was Ok or some local branhc doing it?

Vallhala Sat 17-Oct-09 20:38:59

I hope we won't fall out over it too FA, we're all aiming for the same, regardles of how we do it (though I'm very pro the no-kill approach obviously).

Re the bolt gun I would very much imagine that HQ gave the go-ahead, I can't see that such an instruction/decision would come from their (in their opinion) poor cousins, the local branch. I think that major decisions have to be referred to the Chief Inspector before the area inspector gets the go-ahead, but I'm sure that Booboo will put me right on how it all works if I'm mistaken.

IsItMeOr Sat 17-Oct-09 20:55:18

What do PTS and GSD stand for please?

IsItMeOr Sat 17-Oct-09 20:56:08

Oh, and YANBU OP, some weirdos also happen to be parents, and the experience doesn't necessarily improve matters grin.

Goblinchild Sat 17-Oct-09 20:56:54

GSD= German Shepherd Dog

Vallhala Sat 17-Oct-09 20:58:23

PTS = Put to sleep.

boobookins Sat 17-Oct-09 20:58:53

PTS = Put to sleep

Vallhala Sat 17-Oct-09 20:59:21

PS Goblin, for me GSD also means Gods Special Dogs, but then I'm a fanatic about the breed!

boobookins Sat 17-Oct-09 21:05:34

No - things like that come from one of two places.....

Either (1) the case is handled by head office and is an inspectors decision and they cannot find homes or boarding or the animals. And note, in my region, we do phone around dogs trust, any independents to see if they can take them as a last resort. So if an inspector in my region has this case first thing (assuming there is no history of ill abuse or unsocialisation that would make the animal unhomable) is to contact the branch. If we have no space at kennels or foster homes, then we contact dogs trust, any other local specialist charities to see if they can take them......

At the end of the day, if we only have 20 kennel spaces and the fosterers will not take on any more we cannot take in more than that for the dogs sake.....

If that fails - we HAVE to refer them to head office ........... thats when the horrid decisions are taken to PTS animals that we'd prefer not to be PTS.

Remember - the public think the RSPCA are part of the emergency services in some cases..........a lot of cases come to us that the independents would never see....Although no one I know would have PTS the GSD's but that did not occur in my area so I do not know if all solutions were investigated first.

The ONLY thing corporate has done useful is te change in the law for when a prosecution can be brought (I hate fox hunting but the law is a joke so I discount that one!)

boobookins Sat 17-Oct-09 21:06:50

GRRR done t again - did not want this to become an RSPCA discussion!

Guilty as the next person

Vallhala Sat 17-Oct-09 21:12:08

Sorry booboo, I'll go away and shut up!

To refer to the topic in hand YAdefinatelyNOTBU!

boobookins Sat 17-Oct-09 21:22:01

I'd really like to split this into two discussions but the RSPCA discussion is OT for mumsnet. My post here was to try to understand how ANY parent could get worked up over a guy in a cat costume in the food court of a shopping centre surrounded by three helpers all of whom were female (not that it should matter) potentially being a peadophile.

(although I would like to know what you thing we should do if the local charity just cannot take in the animals.......we have no choice but to hand over to head office!). Note - we had one legacy that left us 750K - she'd been on the local committee for 20 years and a local member - but because her solicitor made spelling mistake in the will meaning the county branch (mine) she left the money to (which was intended to let us set up our own animal home and therefore hopefully not have to refer any animals to head office) did not officially exist, head office got all 750K. We've never seen a penny of it.

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