Nurse Imprisoned For Dog Rescue


Sarah Whitehead is a committed vegan and an uncompromising activist who has dedicated her life to saving animals and helping people. For many years she has worked tirelessly as a nurse whilst rescuing and rehoming abused and neglected animals with the rest of her time, as well as campaigning against the notorious Huntingdon Life Sciences and other violent abusers.

She is not someone to sit back and let animals be abused, she stands up and fights wherever she sees injustice and never puts herself first. She is a true friend.

A year ago Sarah was tipped off about an abused beagle at a house in Kent. It was living outside in a back yard in a wooden cage, and was muzzled at all times except for when it got to eat. The dog was made to wear an electric shock collar and neighbours informed Sarah that they had witnessed it suffer many beatings from its owners. The neighbours had also heard the dog screaming on many occasions.

The RSPCA had been called numerous times, but as is so often the way with this toothless, money grabbing organisation they failed to help the dog and left it with its nasty owners.

All avenues had been explored in trying to lift this animal from its torment. The RSPCA, despite numerous complaints and visits to the owners, did nothing; even the police had been called by neighbours, but they just told them to call the RSPCA… See where this is leading?

Dumbfounded by their inability to act and desperate to help the dog whose cries she had heard Sarah was forced to try and rescue the dog herself. How else could it be saved? Knowing how much it was suffering, could anyone just leave this dog to live in pain? Anyone but the people who are meant to help that is! How many people have found themselves in this position!

Sarah was already on a suspended sentence for rescuing animals from a notorious puppy farmer in West Sussex (see <>) which the RSPCA again failed to deal with which meant that if she re-offended within two years she would be sent to prison for that rescue mission. Even knowing this risk to her freedom, Sarah put the dog's life and well-being first and broke him out of his hell.

Unknown to Sarah she was under police surveillance during the rescue as part of Operation Achilles which was committed to ending the campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences. Police followed her and watched her rescue the beagle, and then watched her take the dog to the second stage of its journey to its new home.

However, once the beagle was handed over, instead of tracking it to its new home the police carried on following Sarah. Luckily this means that the beagle was kept safe and in now living under an assumed name in the south of England.

Some time later once the police had finished following Sarah around she was arrested. Bizarrely they tried to accuse her of stealing the dog so that she could sell it for £500 to raise money for SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty - <>)! Another example of the utter nonsense they’ll make up to further their nefarious campaigns against decent people trying to bring about positive changes.

Sarah was charged and put on trial for burglary in June 2008. She pleaded not guilty to the offence as she believed she had not committed a crime in rescuing this beagle. She told the court she believed she had acted reasonably and honest and that it was the right thing to do because the police and RSPCA had failed to save this dog. Statements from the neighbours were read in court which described the cruelty to the dog, the beatings, and the screams but bizarrely the jury took the view that Sarah should have left the dog where it was and she was found guilty. It was revealed in court that the police, keen to encourage the neighbours to give evidence against her had told them she was someone who was into setting houses on fire with their children inside! These people are sick

Sarah Whitehead was sentenced to two years in prison, nine months of this for the suspended sentence she was on, and the rest for giving the beagle a new life. Following sentence, Detective Inspector Patricia Geary of Kent police, said of the imprisonment of the nurse and animal rescuer: "We are pleased with the outcome of today's verdict and sentencing”. Decent people think its appalling, are inspired by her actions and offer Sarah their wholehearted support.

Sarah Whitehead (VM7684) HMP Bronzefield, Woodthorpe Road, Ashford, Middx TW15 3JZ.


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From Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

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