RSPCA safety expert receives charity honour

From L to R: Dermot Murphy, Tim Minty, Jeremy Cooper.

From L to R: Dermot Murphy, Tim Minty, Jeremy Cooper.

An RSPCA officer who has worked for the charity for almost three decades has been presented with an RSPCA Honour for his work to keep field staff safe during rescues. Superintendent Tim Minty, based at the RSPCA’s headquarters near Horsham, West Sussex, was awarded the Gordon Jones Award, which is presented to RSPCA inspectors for their outstanding ability and efficiency.

For more than 100 years, the RSPCA Honours have been presented to recognise people and organisations that have helped in the charity’s goal to end cruelty, protect animals from abuse and further its knowledge of animal welfare.

Superintendent Minty joined the RSPCA as an inspector in 1987 and now is the inspectorate’s lead on health and safety issues. He reviews procedures and equipment RSPCA officers use to commonly rescue animals and also more specialist equipment needed to help in difficult situations such as pets trapped by floods and sheep that have fallen down cliffs.

Jeremy Cooper, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, said, “Our officers do an incredible job rescuing animals, and as demonstrated with the flooding in York over Christmas, sometimes people too from desperate situations. I am incredibly proud of our teams who are extremely professional and work alongside emergency crews in potentially dangerous situations. I know they are all very grateful to have Tim working so hard in the background to ensure they are safe and have the equipment they need.”

The RSPCA has more than 100 inspectors specially trained to carry out flood rescues, use boats to reach animals and ropes to abseil down cliffs and buildings. As part of his role Tim liaises with other agencies such as police, the fire and rescue service and coastguard to operational agreements to help RSPCA officers on the ground can work quickly and efficiently with others emergency workers to rescue animals, and sometimes people too.

Dermot Murphy, Assistant Director of field operations at the RSPCA, who nominated Tim, said, “Tim is held in high regard by inspectors involved in high risk rescue work as they know their safety is his top priority. Thanks to his tireless dedication the RSPCA has forged some great partnerships with other rescue organisations, which means we can work better together to rescue animals which need help.”

Tim has been responsible for the introduction of the wildlife casualty volunteer scheme, a network of members of the public who are trained to collect injured, sick or suffering birds and transport them to a centre, inspector or vets. He is also currently overseeing the introduction of specialist farm animal welfare officers.

Tim said, “I am very proud to work for the Inspectorate and overseeing the development of all the specialist roles within an already highly skilled workforce has been an immensely rewarding. The individuals and teams I have worked with over the last few years have reinforced what I already knew in that we have very dedicated and enthusiastic people within our organisation and these are the people who deliver and support the unique and vital front line animal welfare work.”

The RSPCA Honours ceremony was held on 18 June at The Law Society in London. This was especially appropriate as 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Animal Welfare Act. Since it’s introduction the RSPCA has helped more than 150,000 cats and dogs.

This year 19 people who had gone the extra mile for animals were awarded with RSPCA Honours.