Monday, February 27, 2012


Ruby Rose is a Red Kelpie born deaf and with one working eye whose new owners are embracing her special needs and teaching her to surf.

Ruby Rose was surrendered to the RSPCA Tweed Heads Adoption Centre in August 2011. The Centre was informed that she was deaf and born with an eye condition that required it to be removed. A hearing specialist at the University of Queensland confirmed that Ruby Rose is completely deaf from congenital deafness and has damaged nerves between her ear and brain.

Despite her disabilities, Gavin and Sally Smith fell in love with Ruby Rose when they saw her on the RSPCA Adopt a Pet website and could not resist adopting her in October 2011. Mrs Smith said that they had a feeling about Ruby Rose and thought she was lucky to have made it this far given her special needs. “We just knew she was right for us and she has settled in perfectly with the two children and our older Border Collie cross Kelpie, Mia,” said Mrs Smith.

The Smiths do not want other people to be put off by adopting a pet with disabilities from the RSPCA.She said, “People are surprised that we knew Ruby Rose was deaf and blind when we adopted her. She is a very happy and extremely loyal dog. We just did lots of research and it helped that we had experience with working breed dogs. You can’t be a lazy dog owner.”

The RSPCA Adoption Centre staff and Ruby Rose had some help learning hand signals from experienced deaf dog trainer, Robyn Adair. The Smith family also had to learn to communicate with Ruby Rose through hand signals. They speak to her so she can learn to read facial expressions and use lights to get her attention in the dark. Ruby Rose has even become a learning tool with the Smith’s two sons and was brought into the school to teach 4-year-olds about bullying and being different. “Ruby Rose did a great job! All the kids were giving her thumbs up (a good dog sign). The children were fascinated with her and loved learning about her special needs,” said Mrs Smith. Ruby Rose enjoys a lot of normal dog activities including sleeping, going for long runs with friends and other dogs, playing frisbee and she has even started surfing lessons. “She went for her first surfboard ride last month - I think she is a natural!” said the very proud Mrs Smith. The Smiths feel they have helped saved an animal’s life and gained a great companion for their family.

Monday, February 20, 2012


The RSPCA NSW Education Team will be in Inverell 23-25 February to attend the upcoming Inverell Show. As part of their visit, the Education Team will work alongside RSPCA’s local 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.

RSPCA Education Officers will provide information about ways to get involved with RSPCA initiatives in the local community and schedule school visits. They will also conduct dog safety demonstrations in the RSPCA Pavilion. RSPCA’s Inverell Volunteer Branch President Barbara McLane will also be on hand to offer information about local volunteer opportunities and branch membership.

RSPCA NSW Education Officer Stephanie Sok said she’s looking forward to the upcoming Show.

“The Education Team is based in Sydney, but we try to get on the road as much as possible to offer support to RSPCA Branches state-wide and visit local schools and community groups,” said Ms Sok.

“Our overarching goal is to help teach students and the larger community that each individual can make a difference in the welfare of animals. Our Education program is suitable for audiences of all ages and can be tailored to suit the needs and size of the group.”

Thursday, February 16, 2012


RSPCA veterinarians in Broken Hill are warning rabbit owners to protect their pets against myxomatosis after a pet rabbit was euthanased this week due to contracting the deadly disease.

Myxomatosis is a highly contagious, incurable disease caused by the myxoma virus. The virus was originally introduced as a way to help manage wild rabbit populations. However, it can easily be caught by pet rabbits. Spread between rabbits is through close contact and via biting insects such as fleas and mosquitoes. Currently, there is no vaccine available in Australia to help protect pet rabbits from contracting the virus.

Symptoms include red swelling of the eyelids, ears, feet and private parts, which progresses to discharge from the eyes. Rabbits usually die within 10 to 14 days of infection.

RSPCA NSW Veterinarian Dr Douglas Dixon-Hughes said myxomatosis is a terrible disease.

“We euthanased 10 rabbits at our Broken Hill Veterinary Hospital last year as a result of the disease,” said Dr Dixon-Hughes. “But with all the rain recently, we’re expecting an increase in the number of cases this year due to rising mosquito populations.”

Dr Dixon-Hughes advises rabbit owners to take preventive measures to help protect pet rabbits from contracting the virus.

“We encourage rabbit owners to cover rabbit hutches and enclosures with protective mosquito netting every evening and regularly check pets for symptoms,” said Dr Dixon-Hughes. “It’s also important to speak with your vet about safe mosquito and flea prevention, as some products can be toxic to rabbits."

If your rabbit contracts the virus you should seek immediate veterinary attention.

If a pet rabbit has been infected, thoroughly disinfect the rabbit’s hutch and any food and drink items. Due to its highly contagious nature, it is recommended to wait at least four months after a case of myxomatosis before introducing another rabbit into the environment.

RSPCA also recommends that all pet rabbits are vaccinated against the deadly Calicivirus.

Please speak to your vet for more information or visit RSPCA’s Knowledgebase:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I choo, choo, choose you RSPCA NSW!

RSPCA NSW would like to wish all our supporters a very happy Valentines Day and hope everyone’s sweet hearts are spoiled rotten. It’s a day dedicated to showing someone how much you love them; either with a small or grand gesture, through words or with gifts. To which, RSPCA NSW would like to remind the public that if you are considering giving the gift of a companion animal this Valentine’s Day that they consider the consequences and responsibilities that come with caring for and raising a Dog, Cat, Pocket Pet etc etc.

Giving a companion animal is an amazing gift that can put a smile on anyone’s face. At RSPCA Shelters across New South Wales there are plenty of homeless fur children waiting for their right ‘hooman’ to adopt them. But, perhaps before you present your betrothed with an animal decked out with a heart shaped bow around its neck, ask yourself these questions. Will the new puppy/kitten owner have the time, ability and funds to care for the animal over the next 5, 10 to 20 years? Is their current space better suited for a Terrier (small dog) or Malamute (big dog)? Do they already have a fenced yard? Please review our checklist HERE to learn what considerations you should make prior to adopting an animal from the RSPCA if giving as a gift.

So if given the choice this Valentine’s Day, please go with a box of chocolates instead. Or perhaps a gift certificate. Maybe a soft toy…:P

Fast facts and figures:
No of animals abandoned(doorstop) in 2011: 1052
In 2011 we cared for: 44,187 animals
No of cruelty cases reported: 22,692
Average annual cost of keeping a dog: about $1000-$1500 a year
Average time/ commitment: Dogs and cats live to average age of 12 years but some can live up to 20 years.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Find-A-Friend; Chase, Male, Staffy Terrier X Kelpie

'Woof', my name is Chase as I love to chase and retrieve balls, sticks, frisbee and anything you want to throw, I'll bring it back. The more exercise the better as I am a bit on the tubby side so I'm in boot camp. I'm really enjoying the fitness regime of walking, runs and swimming plus a diet, well maybe not enjoying the diet. I am a friendly and loveable lad and I don't leave your side when I am off lead. I am good with other dogs but may try and pinch their food, toys and your attention, but I am now learning to share. You can take bones and other things from me without a problem. I am better suited to children 10+ years. I'm looking for a family who can give me lots of TLC, some exercise to keep me trim and in return I will be your loyal and loving companion for life.

I'm available from the Albury Volunteer Branch. My adoption fee is $150 which covers a vet health check, behavioural assessment, desexing, vaccination C3, gastro wormed, heartworm tested and heartworm vaccinated, microchip registered in NSW and national registry, collar and lead.

The Adoption Process

1. From the web site see which animals that may suit your lifestyle. Consider ongoing costs and time.
2. Email or phone the Adoption Number 0447 367 837 and provide your name, phone number and which animal. If no answer, please leave a message as we are all volunteers and may not be able to return you call until after work hours.
3. All animals are in foster care in family homes. The Foster Care Coordinator will contact the person who is fostering the animal to phone you to explain all about the animal. The goods and the bad's so you have a well informed decision.
4. Arrange a play date to meet with the foster carer. Bring along the whole family including other animals to ensure all get along.
5. Although you may live some distance from Albury, we would really prefer that you meet with the pet if possible.
6. If you wish to go ahead with the adoption then phone the Adoption Number 0447 367 837 or let the foster carer know your intention.
7. The Foster Care coordinator will arrange a handover time for your new pet and finalise paperwork and payment. We do not have EFTPOS facilities so payment can be made pre-adoption via direct credit into Albury RSPCA bank account or at adoption by cash or cheque.
8. We may require to visit your home for a premise inspection. Or if you are not local to the Albury area we will require your address and photos of your house yard.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Shoalhaven Council Rangers seized malnourished Willow her & the pups
New owner Makere Clark with Willow today

When Willow arrived at RSPCA’s Nowra Shelter, she was malnourished, emaciated and nursing eight small puppies. Looking at her today, you’d never guess she was the victim of such neglect.

Shoalhaven Council Rangers found Willow roaming the streets of Nowra in search of food. Her owner was nowhere to be found and the person who’d been left to look after Willow could not care for her or her pups.

Despite the neglect she’d endured, RSPCA staff immediately recognised something special about Willow.

“From the first instance, Willow’s nature was gentle and loving,” said RSPCA Inspector Lisa Lindsay. “She was so thin, and clearly wasn’t getting the care and nourishment required to sustain herself and all her pups.”

RSPCA Nowra Shelter staff nursed Willow and her pups back to health. All the puppies were adopted, while Willow remained at the Shelter, waiting for a new home.

“When I saw Willow’s profile on RCPCA’s Adopt a Pet site, I felt an immediate connection with her,” said Willow’s new owner Makere Clark. “Not only was Willow gorgeous, but her profile on RSPCA’s adoption site listed her as a mother – just like me. I knew then that I wanted Willow to be a part of our family.”

With the generous support of Jet Pets, Willow was flown free of charge from NSW to meet her new family in Queensland.

“Seeing the photos of Willow now, the change is incredible,” said Inspector Lindsay. “Willow’s new life is thanks to the Shoalhaven Council Rangers, the dedicated staff at RSPCA’s Nowra Shelter and the support of Jet Pets.”