Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Heat stroke hits fast - Don't let your pet fall victim

With hot weather and rising temperatures forecast for the week, RSPCA NSW once again reminds pet owners not to leave animals unattended in hot vehicles.

Year after year, the animal welfare organisation warns of the dangers associated with leaving animals in hot cars. Yet RSPCA NSW continues to receive calls state-wide from concerned members of the public.

“Last week, we logged 19 calls pertaining to animals left unattended in cars,” said RSPCA NSW Call Centre Manager Nicole Louise. “This is actually lower than the number of calls we’ve received in previous years.” Ms Louise suspects the reduction in calls is due to mild weather conditions this year in comparison to years prior. In addition, this figure isn’t representative of all complaints lodged, as most calls go directly to local police and council rangers, not the RSPCA.

A common misconception is that it takes a blistering hot, sunny day to wreak havoc on animals. In fact, temperatures inside vehicles can reach dangerous levels even on overcast days.

“Dogs can’t sweat to cool themselves down, so they can become stressed in warm temperatures,” said RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian Dr Magdoline Awad.

“Heat stroke comes on very quickly. In fact, it only takes six minutes for an animal to die of heat stroke,” warns Dr Awad.

Older, overweight and brachycephalic dogs (short-nosed breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs and Boxers), as well as dogs with heart problems, are at an even higher risk of suffering the effects of the heat.

Cars left stationary in the sun can quickly reach temperatures in excess of 80° and can remain dangerously hot even with open windows. Ute trays also become extremely hot.

“It’s fantastic that people want to spend time with their animals. But this is best done outdoors where the animal has plenty of access to shade and fresh water,” said Dr Awad.

If a dog suffers as a result of being left in a car, the maximum penalty is $5,500 and can carry a six-month prison sentence.

If a dog dies as a result of being left in a car, the maximum penalty is $22,000 and can carry a two year prison sentence.

Members of the public are urged to contact local police or RSPCA NSW on 1300 CRUELTY if they see a stressed animal left in a car or tied to the back of a stationary ute.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Looking for love? Find your perfect match at the tap of an app!


Lonely hearts looking for love now have the chance to meet their perfect mate whilst on the move, thanks to the launch of the RSPCA’s innovative iPhone/iPad application, adoptapet.

The mobile application, passionately created and funded by well known dedicated animal activist and lover, television and media personality Suzie Wilks and her husband Nick, coincides with the launch of an innovative multi-media advertising campaign to highlight the breadth and diversity of animals available from RSPCA Adoption Centres nationwide. Suzie has dedicated her time to creating this application to change the lives of animals forever.

Akin to the RSPCA’s new-look online pet search engine and information bank; http://www.adoptapet.com.au/ -  the iPhone/iPad application showcases the plethora of animals available for adoption - from purebreds to lovable cross breeds - at an RSPCA Centre nearest to the user. Lists of animals available for adoption can also be further fine-tuned to suit individual lifestyles and circumstances through a colour coded system, which makes finding a perfect pet match easier and quicker than ever before. It will also alert you with an SMS when the dog of your dreams is available. The application also features handy pet care tips from Suzie and her dogs Junior and Lilli to help new owners care for their pets.

As the RSPCA Ambassador, Suzie Wilks said: “Online and mobile dating has become a huge phenomenon, and with the process of adopting a pet very similar to finding a soul mate, the RSPCA has embraced the concept to find as many of their loveable pets forever homes. I have always been extremely passionate about animals, so creating the application with my husband to make the RSPCA’s animals even more accessible, has been a dream come true. One of my life goals has been to help animals in a big way - so coming up with this idea and creating it has fulfilled a dream for me. We are very proud and hope with the help of this app, animals throughout the shelters will have a good chance of a new life and new home. Both the application and the adoptapet website allow you to find the perfect pet at a time and location convenient to you, so whatever type of pet you are looking for, including breed, colour and temperament, all you need to do is grab your phone to find it.

The mobile application, which is a first for any animal welfare organisation in Australia, can be downloaded from the iTunes store for free here. All animals at RSPCA Adoption Centres looking for love, can also be viewed online at http://www.adoptapet.com.au/. Suzie hopes that this helps home all animals and match them perfectly to the owners.

Friday, January 14, 2011

RSPCA QLD Flood Crisis Appeal!

Shelter staff wade through the small dog pens in the adoptions area.

RSPCA Qld appreciate all offers of assistance. RSPCA Qld are currently in assessment/clean up mode and will be for some time to come. Logistically it is just not possible to accept donated goods at this stage please keep an eye on the website - it will be updated daily - http://www.rspcaqld.org.au/.

There are two ways people can help:

1. Monitor the RSPCA QLD website and it will let people know if we need particular goods or services (including volunteers for roles)

2. Financial donations are the best way to help at this stage and are gratefully received through the RSPCA Qld website or by post - made payable to RSPCA Queensland Inc and sent to RSPCA Queensland Inc, PO Box 6177, Fairfield Gardens Qld 4103, Australia.

RSPCA aren't like the human charities and don't currently fit into the legislative framework for the way disaster funds are distributed, so donations directly to us are greatly appreciated.

All animals in the care of the RSPCA Qld are currently safely housed at other locations. Inspectors and other staff, including staff from RSPCA in other states are assisting with the recovery in various locations around Qld.

Thanks for your offer and support, please keep an eye on the website.

Fur-i-day Find A Friend; Tim Tam, Male Kelpie X

Tim Tam is a highly active working breed dog who requires a lot of time and effort put in to him. He has had little to no training so is relying on his new owners to start teaching him right from wrong and how to be a good boy. He can be a little anxious especially if inside and will jump up a bit.

Tim Tam is very treat motivated which helps to keep his focus for training and rewarding. Once Tim Tam bonds with you he is a sweet and affectionate young boy and will love spending time with you.

He can get a little excited and rough during play so please bring any children in to meet him. As with all animals any children should be supervised when with Tim Tam.

If you have another dog they MUST come in to the shelter to meet Tim Tam. He has missed out on some important socialisation so is unsure of the most appropriate way to meet and greet other dogs.

Daily exercise is a MUST. This should include a quality walk/jog and once trained maybe a run in the park, play time and a short session of obedience training.

Fencing must be well maintained and secure.

Tim Tam is available at the Sydney Shelter. You can contact him by...

Phone (02) 9770 7555
Fax (02) 9770 7575

Address 201 Rookwood Road, Yagoona, 2199.


Monday to Tuesday: 9.30am to 3.00pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday to Sunday: 9.30am to 3.00pm
Closed on Public Holidays

The RSPCA is open six days, closed Wednesdays, for adoptions. For more information please visit: http://www.rspcansw.org.au/ or call 9770 7555.

Animal cruelty offence – Bankstown Local Court.

Photo #1 – taken on day of seizure, 2 July 2010

Photo #2 – taken 27 July 2010

A local Bass Hill man appeared at Bankstown Local Court Monday, 10 January 2011. He was charged with failure to provide veterinary treatment to his female Staffordshire Bull Terrier crossbreed dog.

An RSPCA Inspector responded to a complaint on 2 July 2010 about the dog which had a metal rod protruding from an open wound above the hip joint. The dog was unable to put any weight on her left hind leg due the injury. The Inspector seized the dog for veterinary treatment. A veterinary examination confirmed that the wound was severely infected. X-rays also revealed that the lameness in the leg was due to a femoral bone infection. It was confirmed that the metal pin was left over from a previous surgery dating back to September 2008. Follow up treatment would have been required approximately eight weeks post surgery to remove the pin. The dog was never taken back in for post-operative care, resulting in the subsequent infection and lameness.

RSPCA veterinarians removed the pin and the dog was put on a long course of antibiotics and pain relief. After four weeks in RSPCA’s care, the dog was walking on all four legs with no signs of limping, and the wound had completely healed.

The owner was found guilty and placed on a Section 9 good behaviour bond for twelve months. An order was made prohibiting him from owning any animals for two years. He was ordered to pay $4,772.82 veterinary/boarding costs and $4,785 professional costs.

The dog was surrendered to the RSPCA and, pending medical clearance, will be available for adoption.

Frank & Mary Hanns of Broken Hill go above and beyond!

The people of the Broken Hill community that donate to the RSPCA are such wonderful spirits. They help the animals so much with their donations of money, blankets, toys and food.

In the Broken Hill district, Frank and Mary Hanns have helped our vet clinic and shelter every year and we would like to say a big thank you.

They always enquire as to what we need for our shelter and their wonderful donation of money to purchase the shelter a portable anesthesia machine to take to our outback clinics for desexing in remote areas is just wonderful.

This fabulous couple has not stopped donating money for such vital items as stethoscopes, a pulse oximeter, larygoscope and other items that are used in the clinic and are very much appreciated by all the staff.

Frank Hanns has been slowed down in recent years by diabetes and problems with sight but that has not stopped him coming into the clinic to visit the staff and bring them morning tea. On one of these visits, Frank was introduced to one of our cases in the clinic; a chihuahua called Tiny that had been surrendered to the clinic with a broken leg and the owner could not afford to have her fixed. Once Frank had a cuddle of her, the deal was sealed and we are happy to report that Tiny is now residing at Frank's house and acting as Franks other set of ears and eyes. Tiny the dog loves Frank and is his devoted little friend and it is lovely that we could find him a companion.

Once again, where would we be without wonderful people like this in our community. To everybody who donates to the RSPCA a big thank you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

RSPCA warns of deadly Heartworm Disease.

The RSPCA is advising pet owners in the Broken Hill area to take preventive measures to protect animals against deadly heartworm disease.

“Traditionally, heartworm disease occurs in coastal areas of NSW and hasn’t previously been a prevalent issue in western NSW,” said RSPCA Veterinarian Dr Lucienne Downs. “But increased rainfall in the area has brought with it a higher number of mosquitoes, which spread heartworms in cats and dogs.”

Heartworms are large parasites that – as the name suggests – live in the heart of cats and dogs. They can also be found in the main blood vessels of the lungs. These parasites interfere with your pet’s circulation and damage tissues. Left undiagnosed or untreated, heartworm disease is typically fatal.

Infected animals may show signs of persistent coughing, lethargy and an inability to exercise without becoming breathless. In more advanced cases, animals’ abdomens may also appear distended or swollen. “Symptoms aren’t present until the disease is well advanced,” warned Dr Downs. “So prevention is the key.”

While cats are typically less susceptible to infection than dogs, they’re still at risk. In fact, infection in cats is more difficult to treat and full recovery is often not feasible.

Heartworm prevention is best started when animals are eight weeks of age and should continue for the life of the animal. If no preventive measures have been taken, it’s important that pets are tested for heartworm prior to starting treatment. Your veterinarian can test for heartworm infection using a small blood sample.

There are a number of heartworm treatments available. Speak with your veterinarian to find the best option for you and your pet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Please give to the RSPCA QLD Flood Appeal!

RSPCA Qld is calling for donations that can be used to purchase pet, livestock and wildlife supplies in areas affected by the current flood crisis. We're urging people to donate financially rather than dropping off supplies because of the logistics involved in moving those much need items throughout the State. Money that could otherwise be used to help animals would be taken up in transportation and packaging costs.

RSPCA's Townsville and Fairfield Shelters sent crates to help authorities deal with domestic pets stranded in Theodore and we have now set up a temporary Shelter at the evacuation centre at Central Queensland University. We have also set up a data base of foster carers in the area who can look after pets and livestock during the crisis. We have three Inspectors plus a boat and our volunteer ambulance devoted to animal rescues. To date their efforts have been encouraging, particularly in regard to livestock and native wildlife.

In simple terms we're doing the best we can. But we are a charity and whichever way you look at it we can't solve the problems by ourselves. We continue to rely on assistance from local authorities and of course the pet and livestock owners of Queensland. We have to become proactive rather than just reactive. In the meantime our dedicated Inspectors and ambulance officers will continue to do their utmost to help animals affected by the floods.

Below you'll find the anticipated costs of items that we think will be needed. However please understand that donations may not necessarily go directly towards the items you have selected.

  • $2000 can rent a helicopter to support rescue efforts.
  • $1500 can rent a semi trailer to transport feed and animals through affected areas.
  • $1000 can purchase a large animal rescue sling.
  • $500 can purchase a field medication kit.
  • $300 can help to purchase equipment to rescue, transport and house wildlife stranded in the floods.
  • $250 can purchase a domestic animal transport crate.
  • $150 can help to get a rehabilitation kit to a carer to assist wildlife who have lost their homes.
  • $100 can help with Veterinary Treatments for multiple animals.
  • $70 can help with equipment to assist with rescue efforts.
  • $60 can provide special dietary requirements, a pouch or a perch for wildlife.
  • $50 can purchase a pet care pack for stranded domestic pets.
  • $40 can buy a bale of hay to feed stranded livestock.
  • $25 can buy a pet food pack for stranded domestic pets
You can choose to donate in a way that suits you best. Post, Phone or Online.

To post your donation, send a cheque or money order (payable to RSPCA Queensland Inc) to: RSPCA Queensland Inc, PO Box 6177, Fairfield Gardens Qld 4103, Australia.

Telephone our donation line on (07) 3426 9972 -- have your credit card details ready! US or Canadian residents can call tollfree on 1866 539 6589.

Direct Debit, please call our donation line on (07) 3426 9972 for RSPCA Queensland Inc account details. Please indicate "Flood Appeal" when depositing.

The Trust Company "Dig Deep" for Corporate Support Day!

After meeting the great team from The Trust Company when we presented them with the trophy for the corporate Cupcake Day fundraisers of 2010 we invited them to a corporate support day in December. Boy was it hot! Without doubt the hottest corporate support day we have experienced and their uniform was heat absorbing black. Nevertheless the great team of 14 walked dogs and met cats in the morning, had lunch and then got stuck into planting the adoption row so that the native plants create shade and make the shelter look that little bit better for our four and 2 legged friends.

Thanks again Trust Company.

FYI - For those wanting an in-depth understanding of the work the RSPCA undertakes, then the Corporate Support Day at our RSPCA Sydney (Yagoona) Shelter is for you. The day includes an information briefing from our Education Department, a tour of the shelter with our trained RSPCA staff, dog-walking, cat grooming and planting native trees in our shelter.

For further information please contact:

RSPCA NSW Business Relations Manager
Mr James Roden
(02) 9782 4491.

Monday, January 10, 2011

RSPCA knows love is blind!

Among all the wonderful animals currently residing at the RSPCA Care Centre in Rouse Hill, two of the most noteworthy are Bam Bam and Benji – an inseparable father/son duo with a very special bond. Benji is blind and doting dad Bam Bam acts as his son’s guide dog. Jack Russell Terrier Cross Benji suffered from a congenital condition called microphthalmia, resulting in an abnormal development of both eyes. When Benji and his dad were surrendered to RSPCA’s Sydney Shelter, Shelter veterinarians discovered Benji was blind. His condition had progressed to such a degree that RSPCA vets decided to remove both of his eyes to stave off future discomfort, complications and infection Benji might otherwise face.

After recovering from his surgery, Benji and dad Bam Bam were relocated to the RSPCA Care Centre in hopes of meeting a new family to love them.

“These two boys are amazing together,” said RSPCA NSW Retail Manager Karen Heath. “Benji follows his dad around everywhere. Bam Bam is really diligent about keeping an eye out for Benji. He’s always looking around to make sure Benji isn’t far behind.”

RSPCA Care Centre staff members are astounded by eight-year-old Bam Bam and 4-year-old Benji’s heart-warming relationship. “Benji was most certainly born blind, so Bam Bam’s been acting as his son’s guide dog for four years now. We’re all very moved by the bond they share,” said Ms Heath.

Benji and Bam Bam must be rehomed together. Both dogs are desexed, microchipped, behaviour assessed, health-checked and are up to date on their flea and worming treatments. If you’re interested in learning more about these handsome boys, please visit the RSPCA Care Centre located at the Rouse Hill Town Centre or visit the Adopt A Pet website: http://www.adoptapet.com.au/

UPDATE: Here are a few more pics of Bam Bam and Benji settling into the Rouse Hill Care Centre uploaded to our Facebook Fan page.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bon Voyage Bailey!

It could be said that EVERY animal that comes to the Sydney Yagoona Shelter (under whatever circumstances) inspires us with their history, personality and limitless gift to love. One such animal was Bailey! The community has been watching for some time as to Baileys fate. And it is with great pride and pleasure that we can announce that Bailey was adopted this past Sunday from our Sydney Yagoona shelter.

Bailey was considered one of our long term shelter pals having been brought to our Sydney Shelter in July of 2010. Not one to avoid the spotlight, Baileys star was sent sailing into the dog-oshere after being chosen to appear in our Peter Alexander "Hot Boys & Cute Dogs" fund raising calendar. As you can see from the pics above, the camera loved him; as did the entire RSPCA/Shelter staff and online community.

Although Bailey's smile & energy will be surely missed by us all here at the Shelter; We certainly wish Bailey and his new owners all the best for 2011 and beyond. Bon voyage beautiful!

Adopt a Pet Profile: Gromit, Jack Russell Terrier X

Gromit originally came to the RSPCA Orange Shelter as a lost dog. She wasn't claimed and was transferred to the Sydney RSPCA to give her a better chance at being adopted quickly. We noticed that little Gromit was not walking that well and quickly diagnosed her with a luxating patella. This is where the knee joint causes discomfort and limited motion.

The Auxiliary agreed to donate $800 to the RSPCA to enable Gromit to have her knee joint operated on. We are extremely happy that we can help Gromit lead a better life and she is now available for adoption.

We do recommend that Gromit goes to a home with no children under the age of 8yrs as and that older children are shown the best way in which to interact with Gromit. Gromit has also met other animals while here at the shelter and although she gets along well with all of them we recommend that she be closely monitored around cats/pocket pets initailly and that any prospective housemates meet Gromit before adoption.

If you or anyone you know could provide her with a great home please visit her at the RSPCA Yagoona Shelter.

View Gromits photo and details here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Adopt a Pet Profile: Tilly, Domestic Short Hair

Tilly is an independent beautiful girl looking for a loving home. She first came into the shelter as a stray with her 3 kittens. After time in a foster home her kittens have grown and all been adopted and now it is time for Tilly to find a family to call her own. She was a fantastic loving mother and since being in foster she is slowly gaining confidence.

Tilly can be very shy and a little nervous at times so she is looking for a mature and quiet family who will help her gain more confidence. It will take her some time to settle in to her new home so her new family will have to be patient. She will be best in a home with no kids and must be kept as an indoor cat. With time Tilly will show her smoochie and affectionate side, she is just looking for the right family who will give her all the love and time she needs.

Tilly is $160 to adopt, and is desexed, vaccinated, wormed and health tested. The RSPCA is open six days, closed Wednesdays, for adoptions. For more information please visit: http://www.rspcansw.org.au/ or call 9770 7555.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

RSPCA’S tips for travelling pet owners

With the Christmas rush behind us, many people are now making plans for their summer getaway. RSPCA NSW reminds pet owners to plan ahead to ensure people’s furry friends remain safe. Planning well in advance will ensure your trip is as worry-free as possible.

Before departing, make sure your pet is wearing identification and is microchipped. A trip to the vet may be necessary to ensure your pet is in good health and up to date on all vaccinations, as well as flea, tick and worming treatments. You may also want to ask your veterinarian for a copy of your pet’s medical history for reference. These steps are important whether pets will be travelling with you or staying behind in someone else’s care.

If your pets are going with you and you’ll be travelling by car, make sure animals are secured safely inside the vehicle. “A large number of animals die every year in car accidents because they were not properly restrained,” said RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian Dr Magdoline Awad. There are several harnesses and carriers made specifically for pet friendly travel which can help reduce the risk of injury. If possible, familiarise your pet with its carrier prior to travel – this will help reduce stress during transport. Carriers should be large enough for animals to comfortably lie down and stand up while inside, and should be placed out of direct sunlight while travelling. Make sure your pets always have access to fresh air during the journey.

“Have plenty of water on hand, and be prepared to make regular stops, as some pets may get aggressive or sick if they are kept confined in the car too long,” said Dr Awad.

Most important, don’t leave animals unattended in cars – particularly during hot summer months. Cars left stationary in the sun can reach temperatures in excess of 80°Celcius, and can remain dangerously hot even if the windows are open. “It only takes an animal six minutes to die from heat stroke,” warned Dr Awad.

When travelling by plane, make sure your pets are well hydrated prior to check in, as animals can easily become dehydrated during air travel. Many airlines won’t permit animals under the age of eight weeks to travel, as the risk of severe dehydration is too high. Speak with your airline carrier to confirm age restrictions, as well as weight restrictions and check in times for pets.

If travelling overseas, make sure to research specific countries’ quarantine requirements.

Speak with your veterinarian if you know your animal suffers from anxiety or is afraid of loud noises or enclosed spaces. “Some animals become so stressed during travel that sedation may be required,” said Dr Awad. It’s important to seek veterinary advice before administering any sedatives to pets.

Animals can become stressed not just from travel, but from a change in environment or routine as well. To help make your pet as comfortable as possible, remember to pack familiar items like beds, blankets, toys and treats. If necessary, pack pet food to ensure your animal’s diet – and digestive patterns – aren’t disrupted. It’s also a good idea to pack a pet-friendly first aid kit, as well as a towel in case your pet gets wet, needs a bath or gets sick along the way.

If you don’t intend on taking your pets along with you, it’s important to organise pet care while you’re away. Pets are typically more comfortable and less stressed if they remain in a familiar environment. So you may choose to enlist the help of a responsible, reliable friend or family member to pet-sit or check in on your pets once or twice a day. Be sure to leave clear instructions on how long you’ll be away, any special diet or medical requirements and emergency contact numbers. It’s also good to let your neighbours know you’ve organised pet care – RSPCA NSW often gets calls from concerned neighbours who think animals have been left unattended or abandoned.

Alternatively, there are a number of boarding facilities available. They fill up quickly during the busy summer season, so plan ahead to ensure you get a space. Make sure to choose a reputable facility, and take time to visit the premises in person for an inspection. Ask whether your pet will stay on site, or be transported to an off-site facility while you’re away. You can also ask about exercise time, confirm whether there are on-site veterinarians available in case of an emergency and meet with staff members who will be caring for your animal.