The Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed two complaints which alleged advertisements for RSPCA’s ‘Home for Life’ service did not make clear the charity sometimes puts animals to sleep.
An MP and member of the public complained about the RSPCA’s press and television adverts requesting legacies for the charity’s ‘Home for Life’, which looks after animals once their owners have passed away. The complaints claimed that the charity had mislead the public by failing to make mention of the fact that it occasionally will euthanise animals entrusted to its care.
But the RSPCA responded in the ASA adjudication report that it had met with similar criticism of its Home for Life adverts in 2007, and that the tenor of the adverts had not changed to make them fall foul of the advertising regulations.
The ASA agreed that the charity’s references to “doing all we can” to ensure pets are re-homed did not mislead the public into believing the organisation would never put a pet down.
A statement from the RSPCA said: “We are glad that this complaint has been dismissed by the ASA. One of the most important reasons that the RSPCA, let alone other animal welfare charities, run schemes and adverts like these is to encourage people to make plans for their animals to be cared for when their owners pass away.
“It is a free service, and our adverts are very clear - we pledge to do our very best to find them a loving new home.”
RSPCA said that in certain circumstances, such as the illness of the pet, animals will be put down but that the charity never shirks from explaining its position.
“Anyone interested in Home for Life by our adverts has to apply for more information, and we are very clear about how the free service works, and how it can help animals and pets during a difficult time in their owners’ lives.”
View the ad in question below.