Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dogs and decibels don't mix!

Simple steps to keep pets safe during fireworks

RSPCA NSW is reminding animal owners to keep their pets safe during New Year’s Eve fireworks tomorrow night.

On average, fireworks explode at a staggering 145-150 decibels. But for animals such as dogs, who have hearing ten times as sensitive as humans, these explosions can be terrifying and distressing.

Many animals fear fireworks and they often injure themselves trying to escape the noise. In a frantic bid to flee, dogs can jump or dig under fences finding their way onto dangerous and busy roads. The RSPCA urges pet owners to ensure their pet has a microchip and an ID tag and that their details are updated.

If possible, stay home with your pet and provide them with a comfortable environment and keep them engaged.  If you can’t be home, make sure your pets are safe, secure and comfortable; bring them indoors if possible.

RSPCA NSW has six simple steps to minimise fireworks stress in pets:
  • Ensure your pets are exercised and well-fed before fireworks start.
  • Keep your animals indoors where they are safe and comfortable.
  • Leave the TV or radio on to mask the sound of fireworks.
  • Remove any nearby objects that might cause injury to a panicking animal.
  • If your pet is particularly prone to fireworks panic, stay home with them.
  • For some animals a visit to the vet is required before the fireworks season begins as there are medications that can help.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Tips to keep your pets safe this New Year's Eve!

New Year celebrations can be scary for your pets!

Across Australia, many people are getting ready for New Year celebrations, and often these celebrations will include firework displays.

Unfortunately, many animals are terrified by firework displays which can indirectly pose risks to animal safety by causing them to take flight and try to escape the loud noises. Dogs and horses in particular may be afraid of fireworks and many try to run away, sometimes injuring themselves in the process.

What can I do for my dog?
  • Prepare early. Talk to your vet about the treatment options available for managing noise phobias – ask them about any new treatment options.
  • Take your dog out for exercise before the fireworks start e.g. reasonably long walk, then after a couple of hours you can feed a meal. A tired and well-fed dog may be less anxious during the night. If you can, stay home to be with your pet.
  • Let your dog be with you and try to be calm and normal. Avoid fussing over your pet excessively but try to engage them in normal activities such as playing. Reward your dog for their calm behaviour, rewards include giving them treats and giving them their favourite dog toy.
  • Close the blinds/curtains, create a comfortable hiding place and allow your dog to go to there to feel safe, put on some music or the TV to help mask the noise outside, and distract your dog with games and food.
  • Dogs who panic can choke themselves on a collar or lead, so never tether your dog during these times and never use a choke chain to restrain your dog.
  • Make sure your dog is micro-chipped and that your contact details are up to date on the microchip register. Also ensure they are wearing an ID tag so they can be easily returned if they accidentally escape.
  • Direct supervision is important to help prevent injury or escape. If you cannot supervise your dog on the night consider making alternative arrangements so your dog will be supervised by a responsible person directly or consider boarding your dog so they will be safe.

What about cats, rabbits and other pets?

Cats should be kept indoors during fireworks displays. Most cats will find somewhere safe to hide and will usually venture out when the noise stops. Make sure you cat is microchipped and your details are up to date on the microchip register in case they wander and become lost. 
Rabbits and other small animals like guinea pigs should be safely housed during the fireworks display.

Horses are particularly vulnerable to bolting when exposed to fireworks. If possible they should be securely stabled, or removed to a different location away from the fireworks display, and the risk of physical harm minimised. Remove any sharp objects that might injure a panicking animal, cover stable windows to hide the sight of the fireworks and dim the noise, and make sure you supply plenty of food and water.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Festive Foods: NOT Pet Friendly!

RSPCA reminds pet owners of the dangers of festive treats

With Christmas just around the corner, RSPCA NSW is reminding pet owners the perils of festive foods for animals, with common Christmas foods among some of the most dangerous for pets to consume.

“Pet owners could find themselves spending Christmas at an veterinary emergency hospital if their animal overindulges or is exposed to some festive foods,” said RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian Dr Magdoline Awad.  “Don’t share human food and drinks with your pets at Christmas, as what may not affect you, may be toxic to your pet,” Dr Awad added.
Festive foods to avoid feeding your pets include:
  • Pork/ham —can cause pancreatitis, intense pain and shock
  • Chocolate —can cause vomiting, diarrhoea  and seizures in dogs
  • Macadamia nuts — can cause severe abdominal pain, increased heart rate and inability to walk
  • Fruit cake — for dogs, raisins, currants and grapes are toxic to the kidneys and can make them lethargic, and cause vomiting and increased thirst. Fruit cakes often contain alcohol which can also be toxic
  • Alcohol — can cause intoxication, lack of coordination, poor breathing and even coma and/or death in pets
  • Onions —can cause red blood cells to burst, leading to anaemia
  • Avocado —can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, and heart congestion in dogs
  • Coffee — can be fatal to dogs, causing vomiting and seizures
  • Paracetamol — can be fatal to pets, especially cats
  • Xylitol — this is a common ingredient in sugarless gum and  is poisonous to dogs and can cause weakness, lethargy, vomiting, seizures and liver failure  Handbag contents can be a big danger for pets as many contain sugarless gum and pain medication. All recreational drugs should also be kept out of reach of pets.
Keep your pet safe this Christmas by keeping festive foods out of reach, and provide pet-friendly treats instead.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Start a conversation this Christmas

Visit our Shop Humane blog for great food tips

With Christmas fast approaching, many Australians will get together with family and friends to enjoy a Christmas feast. Being passionate about food and knowing where it comes from is an important part of appreciating the food on our plates. Be sure higher welfare meat and eggs are an option on this year’s menu.

Have to something to say this Christmas with our Christmas Conversation Starters, and learn how you and your family can have a happily humane Christmas.

Visit our Shop Humane blog or download our conversation starter kit.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WANTED: Guardian Angels

RSPCA Guardian Angels help give shelter animals a Merry Christmas

RSPCA NSW is bracing for the seemingly inevitable spike in animal numbers this holiday season, with around 13,000 new animals set to call RSPCA shelters home.

RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman says the numbers are astounding, “last year, another 5,700 cats were added to the 720 already in the RSPCA’s care and room was found for 3,110 dogs as well as the 665 already in shelters across the state”.

Each of these animals come with their own story of neglect, cruelty or abandonment but all need shelter, care, rehabilitation and love.

One of the many animals that came into the RSPCA’s care was Ollie. He came in as a stray puppy with a severe skin condition that left him hairless and covered in raw, red welts.  After five months of intensive treatment, he became a different dog: his red, angry skin replaced by a shiny blue staffy coat, and everyone was so excited when Ollie was adopted by a loving family committed to his ongoing care.

“Ollie’s transformation was amazing,” said Mr Coleman. “He responded to treatment so well, and was virtually unrecognisable.”

“Ollie’s story wouldn’t be possible, without the ongoing and generous support of the community. It costs RSPCA NSW $43.3M a year to operate, with less than 1% coming from the state government.” said Mr Coleman.

This year, around 13,000 homeless animals will spend their Christmas at RSPCA Shelters. To help continue to help the animals, please become an RSPCA Guardian Angel this Christmas: https://rspcaguardianangel.com.au

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

School holidays: All about the animals

RSPCA NSW School Holiday Program ramps up for summer 

RSPCA NSW is gearing up for another exciting school holiday program, with 20 action packed days in January.

Kids and young adults aged between eight and 17 are welcome to come and spend either half or whole days at the Sydney or Hunter Shelter this January.

There are five exciting hands-on sessions to discover:
  • Animal Care: Tips on responsible pet ownership and help care for animals at the RSPCA Shelter.
  • Animal Health: Meet RSPCA Veterinarians and learn how to keep animals healthy. The children will scrub up for surgery as they venture behind the scenes in the vet clinic.
  • Animal Enrichment: Learn the tips and tricks from RSPCA Animal Attendants on how to keep animals mentally stimulated by creating treats and toys for the shelter animals.
  • Animal Careers: Meet several experts including Animal Attendant, Inspector, Pet Trainer, Veterinarian and Vet Nurse and engage in a hands-on activity to see what each role entails.
  • Animal Rescue: Meet the RSPCA Inspectors, who dedicate their time to rescuing animals in need. Get into the ‘Inspectors Only’ area at the Shelter and have a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the amazing gadgets they use to save different types of animals.

“Every child walks away with a smile on their face, and I do too,” said RSPCA NSW Education Officer Eva Wong.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Puppy farmer banned from owning animals, fined for animal cruelty

A man has appeared in Coffs Harbour Local Court on 5 December 2014 and pleaded guilty to seven charges of animal cruelty against four horses and 37 dogs in his care.

Three separate matters were heard simultaneously, including one which saw three litters of puppies immediately seized by RSPCA Inspectors.

The 11 pups were found huddled on wet concrete floors with no food, bedding, access to water or natural light. All were suffering health problems.

The two other matters related to four horses, resulting in charges of failing to provide enough food and not providing vet treatment.

  • Fail to provide veterinary treatment for parasites and poor body condition for a male Border Collie dog (one charge)
  • Fail to provide proper and sufficient food to a Grey Mare and Palomino Mare (one charge)
  • Fail to provide veterinary treatment for parasites in four horses (one charge)
  • Fail to provide veterinary treatment to 22 dogs (one charge)
  • Fail to provide veterinary treatment for flea infestation in 37 dogs, internal parasites in six dogs and ticks found on two puppies (one charge)
  • Fail to provide veterinary treatment for internal parasites in 11 dogs and one dog’s injured tail (one charge)

Key Facts 
Matter #1
RSPCA Inspectors and NSW Police attended the man’s property on 19 February 2014, over ongoing animal welfare issues with dogs and horses at the property.
RSPCA Inspectors told the man they would be examining his animals’ health and welfare, after he failed to comply with previous written directions.
Inspectors saw numerous horses in poor body condition around the property. Three horses and two foals were examined by the District Veterinarian, who found the animals to be in very poor body condition.
Two emaciated mares and their foals were seized by RSPCA Inspectors and taken to a private holding facility for further examination and rehabilitation. Further tests showed the mares had massive parasite burden.
The veterinarian again examined the horses on 3 April 2014, and noted they had shown a marked improvement in body condition. The vet stated there was a failure to provide adequate nutrition and parasite control at the property in all examined animals.
Matter #2
On 20 February 2014, RSPCA Inspectors again visited the property along with an RSPCA Veterinarian. Together, they captured and examined 37 dogs housed at the property. The vet noted at least 23 dogs were in poor condition and that all of the dogs were suffering from a heavy flea burden.
Inspectors seized 12 dogs due to serious medical issues and took them to the RSPCA Coffs Harbour Shelter for further examination and treatments.
The veterinarian found there was a failure to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary treatment for medical problems in at least 23 of the dogs examined.

Matter #3
On 30 July 2014, RSPCA Inspectors and NSW Police again attended the same property over ongoing animal welfare issues concerning dogs.
The man was told by Inspectors there had been reports of ongoing indiscriminate breeding of puppies and failure to provide veterinary care to sick animals. He was uncooperative and refused to answer the RSPCA Inspector’s questions.
Inspectors then found two terrier crossbreed puppies huddled in a corner of a tractor shed. They were on cold, wet concrete with no food, water, bedding or natural light. One of the pups had an injured tail, with a piece of bone apparently visible. Both puppies were bloated, indicating worm burden. They also had extreme flea infestations and appeared anaemic upon examination. Both pups were immediately seized by RSPCA Inspectors.
In an old dairy shed, five Border Collie crossbreed pups were found locked in a small room with no natural light, living under a disused milk vat on cold wet concrete. These puppies had no food, water or bedding and had large infestations of fleas and ticks. The pups were bloated and wormy with dull coats. These puppies were also seized by Inspectors.
Police and RSPCA officers then located a third litter of four Border Collie crossbreed puppies at the back of the house. These four pups also appeared wormy, with bloated stomachs and dull coats, they also had flea and tick infestations. They were also seized by RSPCA Inspectors.
The 11 puppies were taken to a local veterinary clinic. The vet noted the pup with the injured tail needed antibiotics and ongoing care. All 11 puppies were found to have a flea and tick burden.
Lab results confirmed all puppies had large internal parasite burdens which contributed to their poor health.

  • Costs: $21,313.39
  • Ordered to surrender all companion animals with the exception of two desexed dogs
  • Prohibited from owning more than two desexed dogs or other animals for five years
  • 18 month good behaviour bond

Thursday, December 11, 2014

RSPCA NSW and Wally's Piggery: The Reality

Footage published by Animals Australia, Animal Liberation NSW & Animal Liberation ACT

The footage shared by the above organisations is disgraceful and disturbing and was rightly condemned as such by the RSPCA NSW at the time it was first published in 2012.

Contact details and statements not provided 

That is why the RSPCA NSW sought from Animal Liberation NSW statements and/or the names and contact details of those who took the footage so that the footage could be used as the basis for a prosecution.  Animal Liberation NSW declined to provide this information when requested. This is confirmed by a statement on aussiepigs.com/campaign as follows:
"The RSPCA asked Animal Liberation to provide names and contact details of the activists involved in obtaining the evidence. However, advice from lawyers was that whether or not this information was provided to the RSPCA, it was highly unlikely that the illegally-gathered evidence could be used in court, and that it would put the activists in great danger from Wally and other pig farmers, and of course might lead to prosecution against them rather than the farmers."
Footage unable to be used in Court

Without witnesses and statements to authenticate the footage and when it was taken, the footage and images were not admissible in Court and could not be used as the basis for further investigation and prosecution. The RSPCA NSW’s hands were tied in taking the cruelty that appears to be depicted to Court as a result.

The RSPCA NSW Prosecution 

RSPCA NSW made a decision on 17 November 2014 to withdraw its prosecution against WSL Investments Pty Ltd, Wally Perenc and Stefanie Perenc (commonly referred to as Wally’s Piggery).

There appears to be confusion that the case at Yass Local Court related to the widely circulated footage. This is not correct as addressed above.

The RSPCA NSW’s case relied on the observations of inspectors, other agencies and was necessarily underpinned by examinations of an expert veterinarian, when they attended the premises in August 2012, and not the widely distributed video footage.

The RSPCA NSW carefully considered the prosecution evidence before the proceedings commenced and based its intended case on the admissible evidence then available.  Although 53 charges were before the Court, there were 11 primary charges with the balance being back up or alternative charges.

The decision taken by the RSPCA NSW to withdraw the prosecution was made in accordance with its duties, which, relevantly are consistent with the duties contained in the Prosecution Guidelines issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Legal advice from an independent Barrister (who was briefed to appear for the RSPCA NSW) advised that, in the circumstances, it was appropriate to withdraw the charges.

Like all responsible prosecuting agencies, the RSPCA NSW approaches all investigations and prosecutions with rigour where offences have reasonable prospects of success.

RSPCA NSW implores any person who witnesses or obtains evidence of animal cruelty to report it to the relevant authority immediately.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dykes on Bikes give Christmas cheer to animals in need.

 RSPCA NSW were the lucky recipient of the Dykes on Bikes Christmas Toy Run.

RSPCA NSW would like to bestow a huge thanks to Dykes on Bikes who made a very special trip to our Sydney Shelter over the weekend. A convey of 12 bikes delivered over $1,000 worth of toys and treats for the shelter animals – Gifts which will benefit our shelter animals who may not have a home this Christmas.

The gifts provided by Dykes on Bikes will go towards improving the experience our shelter animals will have at the shelter, whilst they wait to be adopted into their new homes.

Sandra Ma, Community Programs Supervisor for the RSPCA, stated “The generous donations make a huge difference. The RSPCA reaches out to those in need in a number of ways throughout the year, but at Christmas time pet care packs are one of the things gratefully received”

Dykes on Bikes President Manda Hatter was also impressed by the level of support their toy run received  Animal welfare is close to our hearts and I was really impressed to see just how much we collected as a group. “

Christmas is a particular time of need for the RSPCA and each year, thousands of animals turn to the RSPCA for help during the festive season.  To find out how you could help an animal in need this Christmas, please click here.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dykes on Bikes go full-throttle delivering Christmas toys to RSPCA

Not quite Santa, but just as welcome!

RSPCA NSW is proud to welcome Dykes on Bikes to the Sydney Shelter this Saturday as part of their annual Christmas toy run.

Dozens of bikes are expected to rumble their way to Sydney’s biggest animal shelter, with sacks of toys and treats for the dogs and cats in need this Christmas.
The haul is destined for those doing it tough this time of year and who are part of RSPCA NSW’s Community Outreach Programs.

Community Programs Supervisor Sandra Ma said the generous donations make a huge difference. “The RSPCA reaches out to those in need  in a number of ways throughout the year, but at Christmas time pet care packs are one of the things gratefully received,” she explained. “These packs include a number of things that some just can’t afford like pet food, toys, and flea and worming treatment.”

“The treats and toys the Dykes on Bikes crew are bringing will give so many of these people and pets the support throughout the Christmas period and for the New Year to come,” Ms Ma concluded.

WHAT: Dykes on Bikes Christmas Toy Run

WHEN: 11am Saturday 6th December, 2014

WHERE: RSPCA NSW Sydney Shelter, 201 Rookwood Road, Yagoona

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Storms see strays flood RSPCA Shelters

As a number of severe storms are set to strike the Sydney region, RSPCA NSW is urging pet owners to be mindful of their pets’ wellbeing.

The RSPCA Sydney Shelter has seen a spike in concerned citizens bringing in lost and stray dogs. Many of these animals have been spooked by the recent bad weather and have escaped their backyards.

Ensuring that your dog is microchipped and that your contact details are current is vital to help guarantee the safe return of your animal. 

RSPCA NSW is advising pet owners to follow the advice below:
  • If you know a storm is coming, ensure your pets are exercised and well-fed before it starts.
  • Keep your animals indoors in a safe and comfortable environment.
  • Securely stable horses.
  • Leave the TV or radio on to mask the sound of thunder.
  • Wherever your pet may be, remove any sharp objects that might cause injury to a panicking animal.
  • If your pet is particularly prone to storm panic, stay at home with them or speak with your vet about additional ways to manage their storm anxiety.
If you find a lost animal and feel comfortable approaching and handling it, take it to your local vet.
If the animal is especially scared or seems aggressive, call the RSPCA or your local police.

For more information on how you can help your pet during storms click here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Adopt meow! Discounted kitten adoptions at the RSPCA Broken Hill Shelter

With kitten season in full swing, the RSPCA NSW Broken Hill Shelter is offering discount adoptions after an influx of felines through the shelter doors.

From today until Saturday, 6th December all cats and kittens will cost $25 to adopt.

Anyone looking for a new addition to their family is urged to visit the shelter to find their purrrr-fect companion. Included in the adoption price is a full vet check, worming, desexing, microchipping and vaccinations.

“The cats we have at the shelter are simply adorable and delightful,” said Broken Hill Nursing Supervisor Debbie Olds. “There are so many personalities on offer from the super-smooch to the more independent.”

“Cats can be the ideal addition to a home, as they are naturally independent creatures that don’t need much supervision,” said Ms Olds. “But though they can take care of themselves many still love a good cuddle— and they fit perfectly on your lap, too!”

WHAT: $25 cat and kitten adoptions
WHEN: Tuesday 2nd December 2014 to Saturday 6th December 2014
WHERE: RSPCA Broken Hill Shelter, South Road, Broken Hill

Bushfire and storm season: Plan your pet’s survival

RSPCA NSW is urging those writing or  revising their bushfire and storm survival plans to ensure their animals are included, as the state again braces for extreme weather and catastrophic fire conditions over the coming months.

“It’s crucial to plan ahead,” said RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman. “The sad reality is some people have no choice but to leave their animals behind because they’ve not included their pets as part of their evacuation plan,” Mr  Coleman added.

It’s important to have different plans for companion animals and livestock.

RSPCA NSW’s companion animal evacuation checklist:
  • Have carry boxes (for smaller pets), leads (for dogs) and halters (for horses) ready. 
  • Ensure pets wear collars and current ID tags with current contact information.
  • Always have a secondary contact number on the ID tag or microchip record — a home phone won’t be answered in an evacuation. 
  • Ensure pets are microchipped and registered with your local council.
  • Prepare an emergency pet supply kit including food and water, food and water bowls, kitty litter and litter tray for cats, medication, blankets and towels. 
  • Keep current photos of your pets in case they become lost. 
  • If pets should become lost during an emergency, contact the RSPCA for tips on how to locate them.
  • Appoint a backup person who can implement your evacuation plan in your absence.  
RSPCA NSW’s livestock preparedness checklist:
  • Prepare and maintain fuel-reduced areas onto which livestock can be moved and held. 
  • Have emergency supplies of fodder and water available.

NSW regions at high risk of bushfire NSW regions at high risk of storms NSW regions at high risk of flood
  • Wollongong
  • Sydney’s North Shore & Northern Beaches 
  • The Greater Hunter
  • Shoalhaven
  • Eurobodalla
  • Bega Valley
  • Upper Lachlan
  • Yass Valley
  • Palerang
  • Queanbeyan
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Ballina
  • Lismore
  • Byron Shire
  • Tweed Shire
  • Clarence Valley
  • The Hawkesbury
  • Maitland
  • Cabonne
  • Forbes
  • Tweed Shire
Information courtesy of GIO Insurance

Friday, November 21, 2014

Santa Paws is coming to town

Sometimes they may be a little naughty but usually they’re nice, and every pet deserves a photo with Santa this year! Animals are part of the family, and RSPCA NSW is again making them part of annual Christmas photos with Santa Paws.

All pets great and small are invited to come along and have their photo taken with Santa himself. Family and friends are also welcome to star in the holiday snap.

Regardless of what kind of pet people bring on the day, all animals must be contained: dogs must be on leads; cats, pocket pets (rabbits and guinea pigs) and reptiles must be in carriers.

The best thing of all is that proceeds come directly to our local RSPCA and continue helping animals in our community.

If you and your pet would like a photo with Santa this year, check out the dates below:





Do I need to book?
Hunter Shelter 29/11, 30/11
9am to 4pm
Hunter Shelter, Burlington Place, Rutherford From $7 Yes – 4939 1555
Dog Overboard (Hunter Shelter) 22/11, 6/12
9am to 4pm
Dog Overboard, Adamstown From $7 Yes – 4939 1555
Illawarra Shelter 29/11, 7/12, 13/12, 14/12 54 Industrial Road, Unanderra From $15 Yes - 4271 3410
Tuggerah Care Centre 29/11 and 6/12 Tuggerah Care Centre From $15 No
Rouse Hill Care Centre 29/11, 30/11, 6/12, 7/12 Rouse Hill Town Centre From $15 No

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bring your dog and enjoy Nowra’s RSPCA Puppy Dogs Picnic

It’s time to treat your dog to a day out and support the RSPCA with the RSPCA Nowra Volunteer Branch’s Puppy Dogs Picnic!

The day is about celebrating everything canine; including doggy competitions, demonstrations from the Shoalhaven Dog Training club and a few RSPCA dogs out and about to say hello. There’ll be plenty for the kids too, with face painting and opportunities to learn more about the RSPCA.

Picnic entry is by gold coin donation, with all money raised going to the Nowra RSPCA Volunteer Branch.

“The support of the community is vital for us to continue operating in the Shoalhaven area. In the last few years we’ve spent $50,000 on desexing local animals and over $10,000 on treats for the Shoalhaven Shelter, cat beds and other vital equipment,” said Nowra RSPCA Branch Spokesperson Gail Bishop.

What: RSPCA Nowra volunteer Branch Puppy Dogs Picnic
Where: Harry Sawkins Park, Nowra
When: Sunday 30th November 2014 - 10am- 2pm

Monday, November 10, 2014

RSPCA NSW rolls into Condobolin - Regional desexing, microchipping and vaccination program

In a bid to reduce the number of unwanted companion animals in the region and improve their overall health, RSPCA NSW is ready to desex, vaccinate and microchip as many as 80 animals in the Condobolin area over the next three days.

“This program is important as it offers services to pensioners and low income earners, those who wouldn’t usually be able to access veterinary care,” said RSPCA NSW Community Outreach Programs veterinarian Dr Ann-Margret Withers.

The program is funded by Lachlan Shire Council and organised by local ranger Willy Cunningham. “Since this program began four years ago, we’ve seen a decrease in the number of dogs dying from the deadly Parvo and less puppies and kittens being abandoned,” said Mr Cunningham.

“Parvovirus is 100% preventable with an appropriate course of vaccinations.” said Dr Withers. “The virus is especially active in the warmer months, and is rampant in this area over summer.  Untreated, it’s a terrible way to die, causing extreme pain and dying a slow death– puppies are more likely to be infected with the virus than adult dogs. We are lucky to have to have the ongoing support of MSD in providing us with highly effective Parvo vaccines to use and contributing to the ongoing success of our community programs” Dr Withers concluded.

The Community Animal Welfare Scheme (CAWS) has been an initiative of RSPCA NSW in regional NSW for the past 11 years to help reduce the number unwanted animals ending up in pounds. Already this year CAWS has reached Walgett, Lightning Ridge, Bathurst and Bowraville.

For any locals interested in having their animals desexed contact Willy Cunningham on 0427 952 547.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Top five tips for an amazing weekend with your dog

Looking for activities and adventures for you and your canine friend?

Your dog has been patiently waiting for the two glorious days that they get to spend time with you, so why not jump off that couch and go on a weekend adventure with your favourite four-legger.

Here are our top five weekend tips that you and your dog are sure to enjoy:

  1. Head to your local dog park or beach

    If your dog loves to socialise with others, head to your local dog park or dog beach. Most dogs are very social animals and love interacting with other dogs. They are a pack animal at heart and thrive on plenty of company whether it be a furry brother or sister or a friend at the local dog park. If it’s warm, remember to bring a dog bowl and water in case there aren't any available in the area, and don’t forget those poo bags!

    Find your local dog park or beach here: http://doggo.com.au/ 

  2. Go on a weekend holiday with your pooch

    Across the state there are plenty of hotels, motels and holiday houses that you and your dog can escape to. Think of the glorious new smells, new bushes to pee on and new paths to walk on.

    There are a few things to consider before packing your bag and dog into the car, so check out this website before you get started: http://www.holidayingwithdogs.com.au/ 
  3. Get pampered!

    It’s going to be a warm weekend and nothing feels better than soapy cool bath water and a fluffy clean coat. You can head out to your local Petbarn DIY Dog Wash for a safe, relaxed and friendly dog wash. Best of all, you don’t need an appointment AND you can grab a dog treat for the ride home for being such a good boy. Want something a little fancier? You can book an appointment with one of our Groomers at our Care Centres in Rouse Hill and Tuggerah.

    Your pooch will be looking fabulous in no time: https://www.rspcansw.org.au/our-work/care-centre-and-pet-barn 
  4. Learn a thing or two

    Not up for an adventure outside of the house? Why not spend some time with your furry friend in the backyard and learn a few new manners. Our resident dog trainer Tanya has a few handy tips to help train your dog using positive reinforcement. Together you and your dog can learn commands like come, wait, sit, drop and more.

    Check out the series and start learning: https://www.rspcansw.org.au/learn/dogs/dog-training-video-tips
  5. Find a new friend

    Don’t have a furry mate to spend the weekend with or thinking of adding another? There are plenty of dogs, cats and other animals looking for people just like you! They love walking, learning, adventuring or just chilling on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

    Visit a shelter this weekend and adopt a friend for life: http://www.adoptapet.com.au/ 

Monday, November 3, 2014

ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES: Sydney teen convicted of two counts of animal cruelty

(Picture left 15/10/14 23.5kg) (Picture right 29/10/14 10% body gain in RSPCA care)

After receiving a complaint, an RSPCA Inspector attended a home in Minto, on 15th July 2014.

After having no response from knocking on the front door, RSPCA proceeded to the rear of the property. The Inspector immediately spotted a brindle and white Mastiff crossbreed dog in very poor body condition with all hip, pin, rib and spine bones clearly visible.

The Inspector then spoke with the resident, who explained the dog was her son’s, as she already had a prohibition order issued from the courts.

RSPCA NSW seized the dog, leaving details for the son to make contact as soon as possible.

RSPCA veterinarians found the dog weighted 23.5 kilograms, with his ideal body weight 35 kilograms. There was no discernible body fat, an obvious loss of muscle mass, severe abdominal tuck and an extreme hourglass shape to his body. On the Tufts animal care and condition scale, where score 1 is ideal and 5 is emaciated — this dog was given a score of 5.

The vet also noted the dog had chronic regenerative anaemia, most likely due to the heavy flea burden.

After less than two weeks in RSPCA’s care, the dog weighed 25.6kgs, a gain of almost 10%.

The day after the animal was seized, the Minto teenanger called the RSPCA stating he was the dog’s owner and responsible for its daily care. He accepted the option to surrender the animal to the RSPCA.

During an interview with RSPCA Inspectors, the owner said he owned the dog for around eight months and had been feeding it two tins of food and kibble each day. However, he noticed the dog losing weight over a period of at least two months. He said the dog had not been to a veterinarian at any time in the eight months he had the dog.

The 19-year-old teenager appeared in Campbelltown Local Court on 28th October 2014 and pleaded guilty to two charges of animal cruelty against a male Mastiff crossbreed dog. One charge of failure to provide proper and sufficient foor, and one charge of failure to provide vet treatment - very poor body condition, fleas and anaemia.

The teenager was fined $1,500, ordered to pay RSPCA NSW $480.34 for caring for his dog and banned from owning animals for two years.

All charges are under NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Regulation

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dog left with weeping tumours, man banned from owning animals for 10 years

On 23rd April 2014, an RSPCA Inspector attended a property in southwest Sydney in response to a complaint about a dog suffering from a number of wounds on its body.

The Inspector saw a white Bull Terrier lying in the back yard with a number of open wounds observed on its abdomen. No one was home and the dog appeared unresponsive.

Police attended the property and assisted with the seizure of the dog, the dog was transported to the RSPCA Sydney Shelter by the Inspector for veterinary examination.

The RSPCA vet found the dog was very underweight. The dog was given a body condition score of four out of five, where one is ideal body condition and five is emaciated.

There was discharge from both eyes which appeared reddened, as well as discharge from both ears. There were also multiple ulcerative lumps haemorraging puss on the dog’s abdomen and groin area.

The dog was diagonsed with mild blood loss anaemia  and  she  had  evidence  of  severe  chronic  inflammation  and infection.

On the 24th of April 2014 two RSPCA Inspectors met with the dog's owner for a formal interview at his home. The man stated he owned the dog for around eight years. He said he’d known about Jezz’s tumors for over a year, and despite knowing she needed vet treatment failed to do so as he couldn't afford it.

The man told the Inspectors he tried to treat Jezz’s wounds himself using antiseptic and dressings. He also expressed some remorse for the way in which he had allowed his dog to suffer.

The vet found that failure to provide necessary and timely veterinary treatment for the dog resulted in unnecessary pain, suffering and discomfort.

As a result of the animal having such a severe and chronic progression of the disease, it was deemed cruel to keep her alive and she was subsequently humanely euthanised.

The owner appeared in Campbelltown Local Court on 28th October 2014 and pleaded guilty to two charges of animal cruelty, one charge to commit an act of aggravated cruelty and one failure to provide vet treatment for tumours, against a female Bull Terrier.

The man was put on a ten year prohibition order, an 18 months good behaviour bond, fined $4,000 and $675 in professional fees.

Snake season slithers in - What to do if a snake is on your property

Photo credit: Australia Zoo

As the weather warms up, RSPCA NSW is already receiving dozens of calls each week relating to snake sightings in residential areas.

Already RSPCA NSW has received over 150 calls since the start of spring, including three reports of beheaded animals.

“Snakes play a very important role in the Australian environment and are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. You should not attempt to harm or remove them. Offenders can be hit with an $11,000 fine and/or six months in jail, and the maximum penalty for killing a protected reptile is $22,000 and/or 2 years in jail,” said Chief Inspector David OShannessy.

Out of the 150 calls received by RSPCA NSW so far, more than 15 people have mistaken a Blue Tongue lizard for snake. Blue Tongues can hiss as a defence mechanism and are more likely to wander on to people’s porches and generally be more visible.

“A standard question we now ask for snake sightings is ‘does it have legs?’. We usually get laughed at, but sometimes the answer is ‘yes’ and we can save wildlife rescue groups a lot of time,” said RSPCA NSW Contact Centre Manager Kylie Scott.

Generally snakes are shy, reclusive animals and will avoid confrontation with humans at all costs, preferring to flee if given the opportunity.

“If it does not move on in a few hours contact WIRES for advice. If you have found an injured snake report it to either the RSPCA or WIRES,” Mr OShannessy concluded.

Best Advice – Keep your lawn short and yard tidy to reduce the likelihood of snakes.

Monday, October 27, 2014

RSPCA NSW offers reduced rate pet health care in Walgett and Lightning Ridge

RSPCA NSW, along with the Walgett Shire Council and local Walgett and Lightning Ridge veterinarian Dr Enid Coupé, is offering reduced-rate veterinary services to pensioners and lower income earners as part of RSPCA NSW’s Community Animal Welfare Scheme (CAWS).

The program is available to eligible residents in Walgett from the 27th to the 29th of October. The initiative will run in Lightening Ridge on Thursday 30th October. Over the four days, as many as 100 animals are expected to be desexed.

“We are incredibly lucky to have the ongoing support of both Walgett Regional Council for the ninth year running and passionate local vet Enid Coupé,” said Dr Ann-Margret Withers, RSPCA NSW Programs Veterinarian.

“This program enables many residents of our district to have their pets desexed, vaccinated and health checked at a very reduced price. This helps to reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens that are seen in our shire,” said Dr Enid Coupé.

CAWS also advocates education and public awareness to teach community members and school-aged children about responsible pet ownership, animal welfare, humane treatment of animals and safety concepts around animals such as bite prevention.

Walgett and Lightning Ridge residents can contact the participating clinics for more information:

  • Walgett Vet Clinic: 02 6828 1090
  • Lightning Ridge Vet Clinic: 6829 2199

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

RSPCA NSW at Sydney’s first Dog Lovers Show!

RSPCA NSW is joining with Sydney’s first Dog Lovers Show to enjoy all things canine.

The three-day event at the Royal Hall of Industries and the Hordern Pavilion is set to see thousands of dog lovers converge to gain a greater respect and understanding for canines in general, or the pooch in your life.

RSPCA NSW’s Education Team will be on hand to provide information about the RSPCA in the community and assisting owners to give their animal the best life possible.

“For those considering making the commitment to welcome a dog into their family, or  wanting to make sure they are offering the best care, the Dog Lovers Show and RSPCA stall is a great one-stop shop,” said Mark Jeffrey, RSPCA NSW Executive Manager Education and Training.

Though it is a dogs-day out for dog lovers, four-legged family members are asked to stay home for the indoor event.

WHEN:  Friday 7 – Sunday 9 November 2014
OPENING TIMES: 10am - 5pm each day
WHERE: Royal Hall of Industries & the Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park, Sydney

For more information and to pre-purchase tickets, visit http://dogloversshow.com.au/sydney/

Friday, October 17, 2014

ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES: Cessnock man convicted of animal cruelty

On 8 July, 2014 an RSPCA NSW Inspector attended a property on Cessnock in response to a complaint about two emaciated dogs.

No one was home but the dogs could be seen in the back yard. One black dog was seen tied to the clothes line and was in an emaciated body condition. Another tan coloured dog was seen free in the yard, also emaciated, very lethargic and unwilling to walk.

Both dogs were immediately seized to be taken for veterinary assessment at the Hunter Shelter in Rutherford.

The vet found the tan female dog weighed 17.4 kilograms, with a prominent skeleton and severe loss of muscle mass. She had such a severe flea infestation; her skin was covered in a thick layer of flea dirt. Blood test results showed regenerative anaemia and low blood protein, while a faecal sample showed large numbers of hookworm, roundworm and whipworm eggs.

Initial veterinary findings for the black male dog were that he weighed 18.9 kilograms, also with a prominent skeleton and severe loss of muscle mass. Microscopic examination of a faecal sample revealed large numbers of hookworm and whipworm eggs. He was ravenous when offered food.

Both dogs were treated for their gastrointestinal parasite infestations and given routine vaccinations, flea treatments and placed on a high quality diet.

The vet concluded the dogs had not had proper and sufficient food for at least four weeks, while they went without proper veterinary treatment for their heavy flea and worm burden for at least a fortnight.

Almost two months later and after several failed attempts by RSPCA NSW to contact the owner of the dogs, the owner called the RSPCA in relation to the animals seized from his property.

In a recorded interview with an Inspector on 1 September 2014 the owner stated he was the owner of the black dog, called “Boofer”, and the tan female, called “Millie”, belonged to his ex-partner.

When asked when he last wormed the dogs, the owner replied “about three months ago before you took them and I knew they needed to be wormed again after she had pups.” He surrendered the dogs to the RSCPA.

The owner appeared in Cessnock Local Court 15 October 2014 and pleaded guilty to two charges of animal cruelty against two dogs, Failure to provide veterinary treatment to two dogs and failure to provide proper and sufficient food to two dogs.

The man has had a two year prohibition from the purchase, acquisition or custody of any animals and charge $2,744.35 in veterinary costs.

All charges are under NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Regulation

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kitten season sees urgent need for foster carers in the Hunter region

As the weather heats up, the RSPCA Hunter Shelter in Rutherford is calling for foster carers to help with the hundreds of extra kittens and cats that will stream through the doors during kitten season.  The RSPCA, Nova Pooch Rescue, Nine Lives Four Paws and Cat Rescue Newcastle have joined forces to better prepare for the annual influx of kittens over the warmer months that inundate the Hunter region’s shelters.

Along with kittens, the RSPCA needs help caring for a range of animals, including puppies, mothers with litters, animals that require cage rest after surgery and those that need socialisation and rehabilitation before they go up for adoption.

“Not all animals in our care can be adopted into their forever homes straight away. Some need some extra time and TLC. RSPCA foster carers, and those of our rescue partners, open their hearts and homes to help these animals find their happy endings. It’s incredibly rewarding,” said RSPCA Hunter Shelter Supervisor Sharon Wynne.

Those interested are invited to attend an information session at the RSPCA Hunter Shelter to go through the requirements of the foster care program.

“No formal training or qualifications are needed. The RSPCA is here to support our carers every step of the way, including training and supplies,” said Ms Wynne. “Generally time, patience and TLC are all our animals need.”

For more information, please contact the RSPCA Hunter Shelter on (02) 4939 1555.

It was Reigning Cats and Dogs all weekend

To celebrate World Animal Day on October 4, the Glebe foreshore in Sydney became extra pet-friendly with a two-day festival called Reigning Cats and Dogs.  Hosted by RSPCA NSW, this event was split into two days – one for the dogs and the other for the cats.

Rescue Me was a mass rehoming day for dogs that saw animal welfare and rescue groups coming together to find deserving dogs homes.  It was a great success. The supporters, potential adopters and rescue groups that attended had nothing but positive feedback for the event. We had a total of 31 adoptions on the day with another 91 dogs looking like they will find their forever families as a result of the event.

The RSPCA Internet Cat Film Furstival on day two was also a huge winner, exceeding all our expectations. This event featured over an hour of short digital films about cats. A whopping 1,958 cat lovers attended the event – many dressed as felines. There are obviously a lot of crazy cat people out there and it’s so exciting we are now able to give our supporters what they’ve been asking for – an event for cats!

Next year we want heaps more Aussie content. So if you have a kooky, curious or plain cute cat, please send us footage today. You can go here to submit your videos to events@rspcansw.org.au. Who knows, you might feature in next year’s festival – yes it’s coming back!

Over both days, we are happy to report that we raised $100,726.65!

Check out our Short Tails for a wrap up of the event: http://rspcashorttails.com.au/reigning-cats-and-dogs/

Check out the official photos from Rescue Me and Cat Film Furstival on Flickr.



Hills – Event Sponsor, Rescue Me and Cat Film Furstival: http://www.hillspet.com.au
ClawBag – Event Partner, Cat Film Furstival: http://www.clawbag.com.au
Moonlight Cinemas – Event Partner, Cat Film Furstival: http://www.moonlight.com.au/

Thanks to all Volunteers

A huge thank you must go to all our volunteers. You gave up all or part of your weekend to help out at the festival. We are so lucky to have such passionate animal lovers who can pitch in when we need it. Whether you walked an excited puppy or placed temporary cat tattoos on someone dressed as a tiger, you helped us raise awareness and donations for the cause. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday, October 13, 2014

That's a wrap!

To help drive the message that RSPCA NSW is more than a shelter, Avery Dennison were kind enough to donate the printing of two car wraps.

These two car wraps have been used to promote RSPCA Academy and Team RSPCA.

RSPCA Academy is an extension of our education team, helping members of the community to move into the animal industry through teaching best practice. RSPCA Academy also helps to further train people already in the animal industry, with microchipping and first aid courses.

Team RSPCA is our group of amazing fundraisers, that go out of their way to help the RSPCA. By organising personal fundraising, running marathons, trekking across the globe or by simply choosing to donate their birthday funds to the animals in our care.

A big thank you goes to Shannon and Peter from Avery Dennison for donating these car wraps, and helping us promote these services.

If your organisation would like to donate to the RSPCA, please visit the Corporate Supporter section of our website.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Corporate Support Day: Lend Lease

The fabulous team at Lend Lease held their annual community day at our Sydney Shelter on Thursday, 18th of September.


The team of 30 employees were busy bees on the day, cleaning and painting our behaviour building, fixing one of the sandpits, painting dog houses, returfing grass and building two beautiful veggie gardens for our resident bunnies.

We are truly thankful for the support of Lend Lease and we look forward to next year’s project!

We are always in need of corporate volunteer groups to help out with our events and administration.

We have a range of fundraising events throughout the year including Million Paws Walk, Cupcake Day and local community fundraising activities that require volunteers.

If your business is interested in getting involved with RSPCA NSW, you can:

RSPCA Tricks for Treats

Here’s a healthy Halloween habit. Instead of stocking up on sweets and lollies, why not buy treats and toys for animals in RSPCA shelters instead?

Tricks for Treats is RSPCA NSW’s annual call for rewards and amusement for the animals in its care while they wait for their furever families. Everyone is encouraged to donate pet-friendly treats and toys in the lead up to 31 October.

“Treats are an integral part of our positive reinforcement training methods with the animals,” said Executive Manager - Animal Care Services Brendon Neilly. “All our staff and volunteers are encouraged to work with all of our dogs and even our cats every day so we go through a lot of treats and toys  in our shelters. These sessions are an investment in our animals finding their forever home and reinforce that connection between our people and our animals. ”

While treats are used as a reward system for training, toys provide comfort and stimulation for animals staying in an unfamiliar environment. 

“Our adoption animals stay with us as long as it takes for them to find a new home,” said Mr Neilly. “Some are with us for quite a while, so we try to provide as much enrichment and comfort for them as we can while they’re here.  One of our animals “Hurley” who is deaf, has even learnt sign language.”

Your treats and toys for dogs and cats can be dropped off at any RSPCA NSW shelter or care centre across New South Wales:

Central Coast
Lot 455 Reeves Road
6-10 Burlington Place
54 Industrial Road
71 William Street
201 Rookwood Rd
114 Flatrock Road
RSPCA Care Centre Rouse Hill
Rouse Hill Town Centre
Windsor Road,
Rouse Hill
RSPCA Care Centre Tuggerah
Tuggerah Homemaker Centre
Cnr Bryant Drive & Wyong Rd