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RSPCA accuser found dead in home

A former RSPCA inspector who spoke out about working for the charity has been found dead at home.

Dawn Aubrey-Ward, 43, accused the RSPCA of unnecessarily killing animals during an interview with a newspaper last year.

Ms Aubrey-Ward, who by her own admission suffered from "severe depression", had worked for the charity as an inspector for two years.

In an article in the Mail on Sunday last December she claimed she was forced to put down healthy pets because they could not be rehomed.

After the interview was published, the RSPCA issued a statement denying allegations that healthy animals were put to sleep "routinely" and described Ms Aubrey-Ward as a "disgruntled former employee".

In response, she wrote on Twitter: "They really are stooping low!!!! My animals are happy healthy and as for concerns omg! That is evil!"

She later explained on the social networking site why she joined the charity. "I joined because I wanted to help animals and their owners care for them, not to run round using a gun to end healthy lives," she wrote. In another tweet, she said: "I'm beyond caring! They put me through hell and back and I just about survived!"

Ms Aubrey-Ward's body was discovered at her home in Martock, near Yeovil, on May 8.

An RSPCA spokesman said: "We are very sad to hear the news and our thoughts are with Dawn Aubrey-Ward's family." He said Ms Aubrey-Ward was found hanging at her home in Martock on May 8.

A spokesman for East Somerset Coroner Tony Williams confirmed an inquest was opened and adjourned on Monday in Shepton Mallet. Avon and Somerset Police spokeswoman said the death was a matter for the coroner.

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