A PENSIONER who has turned her home into an animal hospital broke down in tears as RSPCA workers boxed up and removed some of the sick animals she was treating.
Devastated Pat Seager watched in horror as inspectors stormed in and began filming and making notes on the 47 neglected or injured animals that had been left on her doorstep.
Two RSPCA vehicles, a council van and a police car parked up outside the Rock Ferry Wildlife Hospital last week, and a council animal control officer, a vet and two RSPCA inspectors demanded entry into the premises.
Former schoolteacher Pat, who was surrounded by scores of supporters and members of the Globe team, said she was "made to feel like a crook" when officials measured up cages and read out her rights.
"I have never experienced anything so terrible in all my life," said the 70-year-old, who looks after dogs, cats, birds, hedgehogs, ducklings and a goose.
"I have been caring for animals that have been subjected to cruelty for nearly 30 years - I can't believe that this is happening."
RSPCA chief inspector Rachael Kavanah said that they were investigating one public complaint about the conditions that the animals are living in.
She rejected claims that the RSPCA were retaliating for a considerable loss in Wirral donations after the Globe reported how Pat had taken in four orphaned ducklings after their mother was run over and killed - despite a host of previous calls to the society from concerned residents worried for the duck's safety.
A backlash on the Globe website saw readers pledging to put a stop to their regular donations to the charity.
Chief inspector Kavanah said: "The loss of donations in Wirral has absolutely no bearing on our actions.
"We receive hundreds of complaints of animal cruelty and abuse each year - we don't need to come out and make work for ourselves.
"We have a duty to investigate concerns and that is just what we are doing."
But Pat's tearful neighbour Bruce Harly branded it a "stitch-up". He said: "You can't see RSPCA wardens for dust when you need them and yet they turn up here in their masses like this is a crime scene.
"Pat has given her life and money to the animals and taking them away would destroy her - this is a farce."
RSPCA wardens boxed up and removed 11 birds from the property as well as four hand-reared hedgehogs.
Pat said the experience was "heartbreaking", adding: "I don't know if I'll see them again, or where they are going but I am determined to fight for them."
Pat has cleared out her life savings to fund her work and recently received £200 from the police to help fund a new aviary. She has taken in many dogs and cats that have been badly mistreated by drug users and left on her doorstep in carrier bags.
She added: "I have never run the RSPCA down to anyone. I am just trying to help sick animals and the RSPCA should support me and not criticise. Even the police bring sick animals to me I just don't understand it."
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "The RSPCA visited Mrs Pat Seager, along with an official from Wirral Council and an independent vet. A significant number of animals have been taken away as a result of that visit, because of concerns for their welfare. They are now being looked after by the RSPCA.
"There remain concerns about a number of other animals left at the property. We have requested that improvements are made, and will continue to monitor and help where we can."
She added: "Anyone thinking of setting up any kind of sanctuary needs to be aware that it involves a tremendous amount of work, is very costly and that they have a duty of care to the animals involved.
"We are unable to confirm any further details as the investigation is ongoing."