A FURIOUS animal charity volunteer has resigned and launched a scathing attack on the RSPCA after it put down a young deer that miraculously survived a car accident.

Mervyn Symonds, aged 63, said the RSPCA had “lost its way” after their specialists killed the healthy male fawn because it was “too tame”.

The deer was hailed as a miracle when it emerged unhurt from its mother’s womb after a car accident in Chapeltown Road, Turton, in June.

The story came to a sad end, however, when RSPCA deer experts at a centre in Norfolk tried to release the fawn into the wild.

They said the young roe deer had to be put down because it was too tame and posed a danger to humans.

Now Mr Symonds, who has spent the last five years volunteering for the RSPCA, has quit because he is so angry and upset.

Mr Symonds, of Newbury Road, Little Lever, said: “I felt that I was helping animals by working for the RSPCA.

“I thought they were against cruelty to animals, but the shocking story of them killing this poor defenceless deer has really stunned me.

“Even I know organisations that would have taken this poor animal in, so they must be able to think of alternatives.

“I could understand if it was ill or injured, but this was a healthy animal. I think the RSPCA have lost their way.

“They’re more interested in money than helping animals.

“To kill this poor animal goes against everything they should stand for — it’s cruel, and I’m quite upset about it.”

Mr Symonds, a retired carpet shop owner, volunteered twice a week at the RSPCA shop in Chorley Old Road.

He handed in his letter of resignation yesterday, along with a furious letter of complaint about the RSPCA’s handling of the matter.

An RSPCA spokesman said: “We are obviously disappointed to hear this individual no longer wishes to be a volunteer.

As the work we do to rescue, rehome and promote animal welfare attests, we do care about animals.

“Obviously this particular incident is very sad. Our staff spent many hours over the last five months hand-rearing the deer in the hope he could be successfully released back into the wild.

“We took the chance we could rear it knowing we might have to euthanase it if it sadly proved unsuitable for a life in the wild.”

julian.thorpe@ theboltonnews.co.uk