Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dog suffering from cancer left to lie among maggots

A couple from St Marys appeared in Windsor Local Court recently having originally pleaded guilty (but later unsuccessfully attempting to change their plea) to one charge of animal cruelty concerning a male Rottweiler. 

In late 2011, an RSPCA Inspector attended a property in St Marys the morning after receiving a referral from the RSPCA Ambulance.

At the property the Inspector met the couple and saw a black and tan Rottweiler lying under a make-shift shelter between a caravan and a fence. The dog had a hugely enlarged front left leg.

The couple helped the Inspector move the dog into the Inspector’s car when the Inspector saw a large number of maggots present between the dogs back legs and on the ground where the dog had been lying.

At the RSPCA Veterinary Clinic, the dog was found to be anaemic, dehydrated, emaciated, had a swelling larger than 30cm on his left front leg and that both front legs were swollen with marked pitting oedema. The dog also had multiple, large, deep, ulcerated pressure sores up to 10cm diameter on the side he had been lying on, which were heavily infested with maggots. The swelling on the dogs leg was diagnosed as a significant bone cancer, and as the prognosis was extremely poor and the dog was in great pain, he was humanely euthanased.

The couple were formally interviewed when they confirmed that they had co-owned Rusty the Rottweiler for thirteen years and were both responsible for his care. 

The man confirmed that Rusty had been lying down for about 10 days and that when the dog did move he was “just crawling along the ground” “using his claws” and “dragging himself across the ground”. The woman said Rusty had been lying down for about five days and hadn’t moved at all in the last two.

The RSPCA vet report indicated that the dog would have been in pain and showing lameness and weight loss for at least six weeks, as bone cancer is recognised as an especially painful condition. There had been an urgent need for veterinary attention for at least ten days. While the prognosis for a dog with bone cancer is poor, palliative care including pain relief or humane euthanasia was needed.

The man was convicted and placed on a good behaviour bond, while the woman was placed on a bond without conviction. They were each also ordered to pay $2,000 in professional costs.

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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Phenomenal response to community pet program

Unwanted litters of kittens and puppies are on the decline in South-Western Sydney, thanks to the success of a targeted desexing program - CAWS SWS - a collaboration between RSPCA NSW, Campbelltown City Council (CCC) and Sydney University Faculty of Veterinary Science.

The Community Animal Welfare Scheme South West Sydney (CAWS SWS) has desexed more than 300 animals in the last two years in Ambarvale, Rosemeadow, Airds, Bradbury and Macquarie Fields, and has been instrumental in reducing the number of unwanted companion animals in these areas, as well as ensuring their safe return should they become lost or stray. Desexed animals also live longer and are much healthier throughout their lifetime.

“The response to the program by the community has been phenomenal,” said Dr Ann-Margret Withers, RSPCA NSW Programs Veterinarian. “A significant amount of time and effort is put into connecting with the local community to build trust and respect. People are seeing the benefits and getting to know the program, so the numbers of participants increases with every Community Day,” Dr Withers added.

CAWS SWS hosts six Community Information Days in specific areas of Campbelltown each year and subsidised desexing, microchipping and vaccination makes these services accessible to lower income families. 

Fourth year veterinary students from Sydney University help out on the day, which helps them develop a variety of skills that are essential for preparing them for veterinary practice.”

Campbelltown City Council’s Acting Manager Compliance Services, Mr Paul Curley, said that the program has proved to be an effective complement to a range of initiatives that Council has implemented in an effort to increase community awareness about responsible pet ownership and the importance of desexing.

“Unwanted dogs and cats present a significant management challenge for councils, including Campbelltown, and the local success of the CAWS program has demonstrated the value of proactive initiatives in reducing the impact of this community problem,” said Mr Curley.

“The program really is a perfect example of three partners working together to achieve change within local communities for the benefit of both people and their animals,” Dr Withers concluded.

CAWS SWS will continue in 2014, with the next registration day to be held on Thursday 6 March in Macquarie Fields. 

For more information, please call: 02 9770 7555.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bush turkey shot with home-made arrow on Sydney's north shore

RSPCA NSW is calling on residents of Northbridge to come forward regarding a sickening attack on a bush turkey with a home-made arrow.

Despite the tip of the arrow dislodging in the bird, it managed to elude RSPCA Inspectors for two weeks before being captured. Once in care it was operated on by RSPCA NSW vets and is currently with a foster carer. It with be released back into the wild once it recovers.

“The turkey was very elusive, we tried catching it by hand, a throw net, a bird trap and tranquilliser rifle,” said RSPCA NSW Inspector Flett Turner. 

“In the end we used a fox trap with mirror in it to attract the turkey and catch it. Local residents assisted greatly in it capture, and were appalled that someone could treat an animal in such a manner,” Turner added.

Bush turkey are a protected native animal and RSPCA NSW and can only be caught and relocated by a licensed pest controller with the correct permits.

Under the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals Act the offender could face a fine of up to $22,000 and/or two years jail.

Members of the public with information about this attack are encouraged to call the RSPCA on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Driving up adoption potential

RSPCA NSW’s much valued relationship with NRMA continues with the recent sponsorship of one of the vehicles in our Drives for Lives program. The state-wide transportation program was implemented in 2012 and involves vehicles picking up shelter and branch animals from around the state and transporting them to locations where they will have the best chance of being rehomed. 

The NRMA sponsored van will travel approximately 60,000-70,000 kms over the next 12 months. In January alone, Drives for Lives transported 63 cats and kittens, 51 dogs and puppies, four birds, three rabbits and one guinea pig around the state. 

Thanks NRMA for helping to give our animals a new start.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The fine art of support

Derivan is an Australian company and maker of the finest quality artist materials, including the famous Matisse range of professional artist acrylic paints and paint products. For 13 years they have been opening their doors once a year for artists to enjoy workshops and to see how they make their environmentally-friendly products.

At their most recent open day, all the money they received from entry fees required to attend some workshops, donations and proceeds from sales organised on the day were donated to the RSPCA Sydney Shelter in Yagoona. 

As a result Derivan handed over a cheque for $1,412 - pictured here is David McLachlan from Derivan with RSPCA's Sarah Ferguson. Thanks Derivan!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Christmas giving all wrapped up

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the shopping centre, 40 volunteers were stirring....

In return for a gold coin donation, Christmas gifts were beautifully wrapped by creative volunteers who spent a total of 65 hours at Broadway Shopping Centre in Glebe. In return for their efforts, a total of $3,197 was raised over nine days - a great result!

A special thanks to our wonderful volunteers from AMP, Allianz Australia, Virgin Australia, NAB, Boeringher Ingelheim and Westpac. Thanks also to Mirvac for offering us this opportunity, and for already inviting us back for Christmas 2014.