February 19, 2022 7.00 am

Heartwarming tributes to much-loved RSPCA inspector

David worked in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire

Heartwarming tributes have been paid to a much-loved RSPCA inspector who dedicated 31 years of his life to rescuing animals across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Former paratrooper David McAdam from Mansfield sadly passed away at the age of 57 on Friday, February 11. He leaves behind his wife Tina and 10-year-old daughter Cara who are devastated by their loss.

Dave worked for the RSPCA for over three decades and was more recently based in the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire Inspectorate group. He previously worked in the Derbyshire and Staffordshire group, and met his wife Tina through his work while she was also an inspector.

Dave dedicated 31 years of his life to rescuing animals and saving many of their lives. | Photo: RSPCA

Over his career he helped save thousands of animals and gave advice to hundreds of people about caring for their pets. He also brought to justice those who had committed serious animal cruelty offences.

Some of Dave’s rescues include:

  • A ‘walking skeleton’ dog was found so emaciated that a vet said he was one day away from death. He was rescued by Dave after the poor pet was found alone inside a filthy North Derbyshire property. He was rushed for emergency treatment and later made a full recovery, and found a new loving home
  • Dave rescued six kittens aged around six weeks old, who were left squashed up in a cat carrier which was dumped in Long Eaton. He rushed the distressed kittens for veterinary help and they all made a recovery, and were rehomed by the RSPCA Radcliffe Animal Centre
  • A spooked dog which got stuck behind a water tank at her home, after being frightened by a loud noise in Nottingham last October, was rescued by Dave. Poor Suzie, 9, got her leg stuck under a pipe tight onto her hip. A plumber drained the tank and cut the pipe so rescuers could carefully pull her free
  • A Staffordshire bull-terrier cross with a deformed paw was abandoned in Eastwood in Nottinghamshire. The dog, who he named Chelsea, was rescued by Dave after she had been left tied to a lamppost in 2016. Chelsea was taken into RSPCA care by Dave and went on to be rehomed by the charity.

Just some of the many animals Dave rescued during his career with the RSPCA, which spanned over three decades. | Photo: RSPCA

In a touching tribute posted on the branch’s Facebook page Jo, and her deputy Donna Cuthbert, said: “The word devastated does not come anywhere close to describing how we felt on hearing the news of his passing. It doesn’t seem real.

“We were beyond lucky to have a workmate like you. You always, without fail, went above and beyond for animals, never losing sight of what you became an inspector for. You had the enviable ability to put people at ease – to connect with those from all walks of life to reason calmly and get positive results with the least amount of fuss.

“We’ve known you over 25 years and back in those days you were known as ‘Action man McAdam’ happy to abseil or coordinate boat rescues to save animals in and help take new officers under your wing to train them.

“All you did for the thousands of animals; hundreds of people and your grieving friends is appreciated more than we can say.

“The RSPCA in Nottingham is a family. The job becomes part of you, a way of life and Dave, you were the family’s heart, and your passing has consequently, collectively broken ours.”

Dave’s colleague Ella Carpenter said he could “light up any room and make anyone laugh and feel worthwhile”. | Photo: RSPCA

Ella Carpenter, the manager of RSPCA’s Radcliffe Animal Centre in Nottingham, worked closely with Dave throughout his career.

She said: “The world has lost one of the kindest, bravest, most dedicated, heroic, funniest, caring human beings that will ever be known to us. A person that gave his life to the rescue of vulnerable animals, a person that saved so many and changed the lives of those that couldn’t help themselves.

“A person brave enough to stand up for those that didn’t have a voice, that brought them to safety regardless of danger.

“A person who helped bring justice and inspired his colleagues, young and old. A person who listened, understood and showed compassion to those people that needed help, those that struggled or had fallen on hard times and needed advice and support with their pets, not judgment.

“We miss you so much. You are irreplaceable. You could light up any room and make anyone laugh and feel worthwhile. We know you will be watching over us and that is why we will find the strength to go on. Every animal we save will be one for you.

“All we ask is that you now rest in peace, beautiful and cherished soul. You will never be forgotten and remain in our hearts forever.”

Matt Sacks, RSPCA Superintendent for the North area, worked with Dave for 27 years. He said:  “Dave was absolutely dedicated to the job and passionate about animal welfare. His determination and strength of character shown during his career was second to none and he always worked tirelessly towards the best solution.

“He also had an incredible capacity to always make time for everyone around him, no matter how busy, or how challenging the demands at the time may have been.”

“He would be the first to drop everything to help a colleague in need – whenever a particularly challenging rescue or case investigation cropped up, Dave was there for his team – leading or supporting so that nobody felt vulnerable or under too much pressure.

“He had a great personality and an infectious sense of humour which all those who knew him will undoubtedly miss. Dave’s passing is an incredibly sad loss to the RSPCA family and our thoughts are with his family at this tragic time.”