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dd's friend's pets keep dying - do I report it to the RSPCA?

(40 Posts)
geekgrrl Wed 18-Jan-06 20:52:06

Dd1 is 6. Her best friend X has had a vast array of pets in the past year - hamsters, mice, two kittens - all of whom have died. Dd told me that X's hamster had disappeared and was found 'completely flat and dry' in her bed. [GAG] And now these two kittens have both died.
I don't know what to do. They've already got two cats which are alive and well, but the mother keeps buying pets for X and her 8 year old brother, and these animals are obviously not well cared for.
X's background is very different from dd's and I'm worried that I might be motivated by some sort of middle-class-superiority kind of feeling rather than wanting to prevent yet more pet deaths.
Do I report it anonymously? Or just keep quiet?

Dd goes round to X's house regularly - TBH the flat hamster thing has really put me off but I try to rise above it all...

Marina Wed 18-Jan-06 21:02:38

Are you sure dd1 has been told the truth about the flattened hamster...or is telling you the honest truth? Ds is the same age and he and all his little pals are full of tall tales about aliens plucking teachers from the classroom, daleks roaming the playground. I caught ds asserting very convincingly to a friend that we let him watch Young Frankenstein the other day, after the other boy claimed to have been given an iPod Nano for Christmas, and to own an air rifle (very unlikely on both counts given what we know of his family).
Anyway, we had mice as children and the little blighters died quite quickly despite pretty good care. Fancy mice are quite fragile little beasts and if they come from a bad pet-shop they may well already have been doomed.
Or the adult cats got them...
I can understand your concern Geekgrrl and I would be pondering this issue too...but you can have a run of bad luck with pets. My parents lost three kittens in less than a year (run over; cat flu; feline enteritis ) despite being avid cat-lovers, so they had me instead and their next cats lived to be 12 and 17 respectively.
If all the animals came from the same source that's who I'd be tempted to contact the RSPCA about, but finding that out won't be easy I guess

daisy1999 Wed 18-Jan-06 21:03:27

If you can do it anon I would but I don't have a great deal of faith that anything much will be done by the rspca.

Janh Wed 18-Jan-06 21:06:23

I agree with Marina, geekgrrl - unless you could manage to speak to X's parents about this at some point I wouldn't do anything - X's reports to DD1 may not be 100% accurate and DD1's to you may have Chinese whisper effects.

morningpaper Wed 18-Jan-06 21:07:40

Animals are a bit fragile, mice die all the time, they are basically five-minute-pets; kittens are sadly notoriously sickly; and squeezing a hamster to death is surely a rite of passage for a pet owner?

Seriously, I wouldn't worry too much about this degree of carnage, unless you have other reasons to worry e.g. you've seen them harming animals.

expatinscotland Wed 18-Jan-06 21:09:03

One of my sister's cats killed THREE of their hamsters w/i as many months. Turns out she'd sussed out how to take the lid off their cage!

Glad no one called the SPCA on her.

Marina Wed 18-Jan-06 21:14:12

I think at least five hamsters at my primary school dived from their owners' hands to their deaths on the floor. Unlike a lot of rodents, they don't fall with style.
My friends' gerbils Starsky and Hutch escaped and got under the carpet. Her mother, a feisty woman of wide reknown, trod on Starsky while he was skulking there and killed him. You could hear the shocked swearing for miles...

morningpaper Wed 18-Jan-06 21:16:13

I dropped a cage on a guinea pig and killed it.

My friend accidentally squeezed her hamster to death when it bit her.

I buried my terrapin but I think it was still alive.

I'd repressed all of this

Ellbell Wed 18-Jan-06 21:19:07

I don't think the RSPCA can do anything unless they can prove serious neglect/ill-treatment. AFAIK, it has to be pretty bad for them to be able to act.

As a farmer friend used to say... (imagine broad westcountry accent - no hint of irony): 'You got livestock; you got dead stock'!

geekgrrl Wed 18-Jan-06 21:19:57

ok, I'll leave it - am reassured by your reports of pet killings.
I do think that the flat, dry hamster thing was a true story, it fits in with other stuff at their house.
I'm just dreading dd telling me that X has a new kitten again...

Marina Wed 18-Jan-06 21:21:24

I know it is vile but I had to suppress an urge to snigger nervously as this could SO have been an amalgam of me and my primary school friends here. Hamsters hurled onto airing cupboard cylinders by loving but tripped-over owners; mice frozen to death by bizarre October cold snap; and yes, it is all spooling back. Even the survivor tales: the cairn terrier whose backside I trimmed with a pair of nail scissors because I wished she was a poodle...the mouse found holed up in my dad's wellingtons with 15 babies...
Oh geekgrrl, what have you done to us all?

geekgrrl Wed 18-Jan-06 21:22:06

actually, one of dh's hamsters died when MIL sat on it by mistake. And my father once stood on a kitten and killed it (it was dark and he was carrying stuff). I really shouldn't be pointing fingers...

morningpaper Wed 18-Jan-06 21:22:53

ooh my dad one trod on a baby chick and killed it


he will go straight to hell

PennyLess Wed 18-Jan-06 21:23:12

Morning paper - I have tears rolling down my cheeks. I know I shouldn't....

Janh Wed 18-Jan-06 21:23:32

The flat dry hamster probably escaped, crawled into someone's bed, and was squashed by someone lying on top of it...although I have to agree that the "dry" bit suggests something a bit more long-drawn-out!

Marina Wed 18-Jan-06 21:23:33

I think the crucial factor that you pointed out was that you have concerns with the household anyway. We of course were all highly respectable but accident-prone animal lovers...

Janh Wed 18-Jan-06 21:24:20

As an adult I was responsible for an innocent baby chick being roasted alive in an Aga.

expatinscotland Wed 18-Jan-06 21:24:34

OMG! We had a neighbour pet sit for us once. I had this vile gerbil who was part rodent/part Antichrist. Anyhow, he died of natural causes whilst we were away - the sitter found him dead in his cage - and the neighbour went and FROZE him in our freezer (never forget my mother's utterly shocked face) 'in case you wanted to have an autopsy.'

NO, you weirdo!

Marina Wed 18-Jan-06 21:24:36

I bet the airing cupboard played a role. Airing cupboards and pets don't mix. I witnessed the carnage...

Ellbell Wed 18-Jan-06 21:25:00

Perhaps you should get her a Furby geekgrrl?

Marina Wed 18-Jan-06 21:25:17

Janh that really is awful. Did he taste good?

morningpaper Wed 18-Jan-06 21:25:17

mmm poussin! Good with tarragon and cream

Marina Wed 18-Jan-06 21:25:55

We are not helping geekgrrl here one jot

morningpaper Wed 18-Jan-06 21:25:59

lol at frozen gerbil!

PennyLess Wed 18-Jan-06 21:26:53

This thread has GOT to be the basis of the next MN book!!!!!!!!!

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