Monday, October 31, 2011

RSPCA ADVOCATES EDUCATION, THANKS TO COUNCIL GRANT



RSPCA NSW’s Education Team will visit high schools in the Hastings community from 31st October to 4th November to help teach students about the importance of animal welfare. The Sydney-based team’s visit is thanks to a recently-awarded grant from Hastings Council.

As part of their week-long visit, the Education Team will work alongside RSPCA’s Port Macquarie Shelter and Volunteer Branch to raise awareness about animal welfare issues including: responsible pet ownership; the importance of desexing; laws surrounding animal cruelty; and the humane treatment of animals. They will also speak about ways to get involved with RSPCA initiatives in the local community.

RSPCA Port Macquarie Volunteer Branch President Jackianne Wright said the need for animal welfare education is apparent in the level of animal-related crimes reported, and is further evidenced by the number of animals being surrendered to the local RSPCA.

“Currently, there is no animal welfare organisation in the Hastings area equipped with the skills, knowledge, resources and experience that RSPCA’s Education Team can offer,” said Ms Wright.

“We expect the team’s visit may help reduce the level of crime involving animals and encourage not only responsible pet ownership within the community, but overall responsible citizenship as well.”

RSPCA NSW Education Officer Stephanie Sok said the team is very much looking forward to next week’s visit.

“Our overarching goal is to help teach students and the larger community that each individual can make a difference in the welfare of animals,” said Ms Sok.

The program is suitable for audiences of all ages and can be tailored to suit the needs and size of the group.

RSPCA’s Education Team has already booked speaking engagements at Heritage Christian School, Byabarra Public School, Hastings Public School and Camden Haven High School. Please call 02 9782 4477 or email education@rspcansw.org.au for more information about school visits or to make a booking.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Find-A-Friend; Conan, Boxer X



Conan is a very strong boy who needs an owner who has experience with large dogs, and will be able to provide him with the training, and daily exercise Conan needs. Conan really enjoys going for a walk and will need a long walk, at least once per day. He does pull very hard on the lead, and needs further lead training- using a halti would also help.

During his stay at the shelter, Conan has met several other dogs, both large and small. He is not overly excited to meet them, but is happy to have a sniff and wag to say 'Hello'. He has also been very tollerant of excitable dogs jumping all over him when they met. If you do already have another dog and you are thinking of adopting Conan, you will need to bring your dog along to the shelter to meet him so we can see how they interact. Conan will chase small animals so will not be suited to go to a home with cats or pocket pets. Conan also tends to jump up a lot, so children should be supervised around Conan at all times, and the children need to be encouraged to participate in Conans training and general care, so they learn how to interact with him.

To ensure Conan is kept safe and secure he will need a large yard which has fences and gates that are at least 5ft high, colourbond would be best, and must be in good condition with no gaps or footholes. To help keep Conan looking and feeling his best he will need a brush once or twice a week, along with a bath every 6-8 weeks. As Conan has short coat he would also need a warm coat put on in colder weather, along with a kennel to protect him from the elements. Conan loves human company and would do best in a family who have plenty of time available for him, and will include him in the daily family routine, not leave him alone in a backyard day in, day out, as if he was, he would become bored, then possibly noisy or destructive.

Conan is available from the RSPCA Yagoona Shelter. You can view his Adopt-A-Pet profile HERE.

RSPCA Sydney (Yagoona) Shelter
201 Rookwood Road
Yagoona, 2199
ph; (02) 9770-7555

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

Puppies stolen from RSPCA Hunter Shelter

The stolen puppies are brindle in colour, similair to the pup featured above.

This past Wednesday night, two puppies were stolen from RSPCA’s Hunter Shelter in Rutherford. The 10-week-old female Mastiff Cross pups were being treated for a medical condition and require medication urgently to ensure they don’t become fatally ill. Concerned Shelter staff are asking for the public’s help to expedite the dogs’ safe return.

The puppies had been in RSPCA’s care since the end of September, when they were brought in as strays. Due to their medical condition, they were not yet up for adoption.

Acting Shelter Manager Scott Meyers said the thief/thieves cut through three fences and smashed a window to get to the puppies.

“The puppies were taken from an indoor enclosure sometime between 6pm yesterday and 6am today,” said Mr Meyers.

“At this point, we’re extremely concerned about the puppies’ health and wellbeing,” said Mr Meyers. “They were due to have their medication this morning. Without continued veterinary treatment, their lives are in grave danger.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Maitland Police or the RSPCA’s Hunter Shelter on (02) 4939 1555.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Biscuit - An eye for an eye!


As more and more pet owners are faced with hard choices mandated by today’s difficult economic climate, an unfortunate result is that many family pets are not getting the level of medical care they need. Desparate pet owners are faced with ‘no-win’ choices of no medical care, minimal medical care or surrendering their pet.

'Wong Wong' was one such Pomeranian who was brought into the Sydney Shelter. He was a little worse for wear but it wasn't like you would know it by looking at him play. He had only one eye and a plate in his leg from a previous injury. As is becoming more and more common, his owner couldn't afford the mounting vet bills and to add to their woes - pets weren’t allowed at their new home. Things looked dire for little 'Wong Wong'.

And then along came Samantha. Samantha took one look and adopted 'Wong Wong' right there and then, renaming him Biscuit and shuttling him back to his new home.

Surrendering your dog can be a difficult decision. Often, people believe they must give up their dog because they do not know how to handle a particular issue. However, most issues such as housing options, steep veterinarian bills, allergies, and behavioral issues all can often be addressed.

We at RSPCA NSW are aware that no responsible pet owner would make any of these choices if they had any other option. Therefore, one of our goals in this blog is to try to provide you with education that leads to additional choices. In that light, we would like to make you aware of the resources, suggestions and options suggested in this blog and on our RSPCA NSW website. Or, as a last resort if you are forced to surrender your pet, we urge you to contact an RSPCA Shelter or rescue in your geographic area to see if they can take in your pet and try to find them a new happy home.

Samantha tells us that Biscuit has settled in really well. He has so many toys that choosing a favourite is difficult - they are all his favourite. If they are playing a game of tug a war he runs over and jumps in the middle! His injuries don’t stop him in any way enjoying life. He still loves to run around and play but mostly enjoys to sit and have a cuddle on his new owners lap.

Good luck Biscuit! May all the holes that you dig, be deep and the treats you receive, chewy :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Jay Jay comes to the rescue!


Catastrophes unite us in our courage, our challenges and our grief. But they also provide a blueprint for our future. Particularly when that blueprint allows for the saving of human life and when natural disaster strikes the bond between animal and man has never been stronger.

Above is a picture of Jay Jay (previously known as Johnny) prior to being rehomed. He was brought by his owner Zoe in April of this year from the Yagoona Shelter and is currently enrolled in the K9 Urban Search and Rescue team for the SES & NSW Fire Brigade.

RSPCA NSW Inspector Slade Macklin is working with SES & NSW Fire Brigades Steve Austin in rehabilitating and training Jay Jay for eventual deployment into disaster zones. The canines help search teams to locate victims, using their incredible sense of smell to detect live human scent, even from a victim buried deep in the rubble.

Urban Search and Rescue dogs are all trained to locate people that may have become buried due to natural or man made disasters. All of the dogs are trained to give a bark indication when they have located live human scent. Canine searchers play a critical role during structural collapse incidents. Canines with high "toy drive" are used for urban search and rescue. It is a game of hide and seek" for the dog. In training, people run from the dog and hide with the toy, playing with the dog when found. By the time the dog is on a real search, he is looking willingly for trapped people.

"He is doing really well - his drive and focus is fantastic. By September next year Jay Jay and other dogs on the team will be qualified and deployable to natural disasters zones such as Christchurch and Japan to search for victims." said Inspector Macklin. "I wanted to forward this on as we dont often see where the dogs that we have rehomed have progressed to and that they dont need to be pure bred to be life savers."

We here at RSPCA NSW wish Jay Jay the safest of travels and all the best in his new home and vocation.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Find-A-Friend; Susie, Greyhound


I am a sweet, gentle girl who is looking for a new family who has knowledge of my breed.

I require 1-2 walks a day to keep me fit and healthy. I get very excited when I see the lead and am out on a walk. I do like toys and love to chase them so please provide me with different toys to keep me busy when left alone.

I do like to greet other dogs but sometimes may not show much interest in meeting them. I cannot be re homed with small breed dogs but if you have another large breed dog at home, I will have to meet before taking me home.

I require a fully secure 5 ft fence with no holes or gaps where I can escape through.

A quick brush once a fortnight and a bath once a month will keep my coat maintained.

NO CATS OR POCKET PETS.
NO SMALL ANIMALS.
MUST HAVE BREED KNOWLEDGE.

I am available from the RSPCA Yagoona Shelter with the rest of my pals.

RSPCA Sydney (Yagoona) Shelter
201 Rookwood Road
Yagoona, 2199

ph; (02) 9770-7555

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New RSPCA Program Helps Homeless Pets and People!


With over 30,000 homeless people reported in NSW, the RSPCA today announces it will launch Australia’s first dedicated program to helping homeless pets and their owners. Living Ruff is a unique program that hopes to provide a range of community outreach services for pets and people living without access to long-term accommodation of a suitable standard.

Living Ruff Program initiatives include: emergency boarding and foster care; access to veterinary services; access to food for pets; education programs; and outreach services.

RSPCA NSW will officially launch the first stage of the Living Ruff Program on Wednesday, 5 October with the Exodus Foundation in Ashfield. The RSPCA is actively seeking funding to roll out incremental stages of the program.

“The RSPCA is about animal welfare, as well as human welfare,” said RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman.

“We understand the bond between pets and their owners is strong, particularly during times of hardship and distress. Living Ruff will offer services for homeless pets and their owners in the hopes of helping them remain together during this challenging time,” said Mr Coleman.

Exodus Foundation Founder Rev Bill Crews said that for many homeless people, the only stable love in their lives is the love they share with their pets.

“This love can provide friendship in the face of loneliness and inner warmth when it’s cold outside. The more homeless people know there are services available to look after their pets, the more secure they’ll feel in – what is for them – an insecure, scary world,” said Rev Crews.

RSPCA NSW Special Programs Coordinator Fiona Millhouse developed Living Ruff after joining the RSPCA earlier this year as part of the Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference Program.

“Through to the Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference Program, Ms Millhouse has come on board to share her extensive knowledge on both program development and homelessness,” said Mr Coleman. “We’re very fortunate to have her as part of our team during this exciting time.

Walking on Sunshine!





The RSPCA Cat Legacy House at Somersby has been busy planning and building outdoor climbing frames for the residents, since April 2010. While all cats have access to a landscaped garden, it lacked environment enrichment. It did not encourage the cats to be outside and to be active. This leads to behavioural problems and some very lazy cats!

Imagine looking at the same four walls and garden for five years. Enough to pull your hair out? Well that’s just what our Legacy Cat, Jia, was doing in his free time. We decided that Jia needed some enrichment by the way of a climbing structure. This would provide physical enrichment with different surfaces to explore and varying platforms to climb, jump and discover while also providing visual stimulation.

The concept for designing the climbing frames on this side of the house was to make use of the walls in the construction process. Some of the residents have smaller gardens (privacy issues) and the frames were planned to utilize the small space in the best possible way. With some clever thinking and design work, we were able to stretch our funds to incorporate 3 climbing frames and to trial ‘bunk beds’ in two rooms. The result? Jia now has a climbing frame that extends up and over his garden and incorporates a sunning platform and a tunnel to investigate. Fred has a climbing frame that includes a sunning platform, shady retreat and a hideaway tunnel. And Miss Mini and Miss Puss have a climbing frame that is shaded by their own native tree which includes a deluxe cabin to dream away their days.

The two boys are also trialing the bunk beds; Fred likes the top bunk and Jia the lower.

I am pleased that our climbing frames continue to benefit and enrich the lives of these much cherished cats. It does feel like they are Walking on Sunshine.

Lisa Brennan
Animal Attendant
RSPCA Cat Legacy House

p.s. Many thanks to Mick Clarke and the boys at Kincumber Men’s Shed, for their ongoing commitment to community projects; including their time, energy and beautiful construction of the RSPCA Cat Legacy House climbing frames.