Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Keep your dog happy and healthy with the RSPCA NSW Illawarra’s Fee Free Friday

This Friday, 29th August, the RSPCA’s Illawarra Shelter in Unanderra is offering free vet checks, microchipping and vaccinations for the dogs of pensioners and health care card holders as part of Fee Free Friday!

Core vaccine, C3, protects dogs against hepatitis, distemper and the deadly parvovirus which affected over 750 dogs across New South Wales in the last 12 months, according to the Disease Watchdog.

“Parvo is highly contagious and can survive for up to a year outside, but it becomes more active in hot humid weather with vaccination the only way to keep your dog safe,” said RSPCA NSW spokeswoman Hannah Burfitt.

“Dog faeces are the most common source of the virus, but it can also be transmitted by contaminated footwear, clothing, bedding, food and water bowls, and toys,” Ms Burfitt added.

Also on offer this Friday is free microchipping, compulsory in New South Wales and pivotal in reuniting lost animals with their owners.

“However, it’s vital to keep your details up to date, so should your pet become lost, vets, animal shelters and local councils can contact you,” said RSPCA NSW Illawarra Shelter Manager Judith Wright.

Eligible owners and their dogs are welcome between 10am and 2pm at the shelter to have their pets’ teeth, weight and general health checked by a vet.

The RSPCA NSW Illawarra Shelter details are:

54 Industrial Road
Phone: 02 4271 3410

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sydney couple fined $3,000 for cruelty to seven dogs

Two people pleaded guilty to three charges of animal cruelty against three dogs and four puppies in Bankstown Local Court last week.

In May an RSPCA Inspector attended a Chester Hill home after complaints of a skinny dog with a skin condition, accompanied by three police officers from the Bankstown LAC.

After spotting a white male American Bulldog with a weeping eye and hips, ribs and spine clearly visible, they were let into the house by the resident to gain access to the backyard and better assess the dog. 

Inside the home they found a whelping female red American Staffordshire with four puppies of around three weeks of age. The female staffy was also very thin, with muscle wastage seen in her hind legs.

Another male American Staffordshire cross American Bulldog was also found tethered in the backyard, also in poor body condition. 

Inspectors told the owners the dogs required medical treatment, but they refused to surrender the animals. After conferring with the attending police officers, the RSPCA seized the dogs and they were taken to the Yagoona RSPCA Veterinary Clinic for examination. 

The vet gave all three adult dogs a body score of five, where one is ideal and five is emaciated. The male American Bulldog cross American Staffordshire and female American Staffordshire Terrier were found to have a severe flea infestation and resulting anaemia. 

The four puppies were all given body scores of three, two of the puppies were also found to be anaemic  and one borderline anaemic, due to severe flea infestations. 

The owners admitted the dogs were “real skinny” and that one had been suffering from an eye condition for two or three weeks. The woman said she tried to clean the eye daily for the last month with warm water, but the condition continued to worsen.

She said she fed the dogs a mix of dry and wet food three or four times a week. Other times they were fed table scraps and bones. The woman also admitted she was aware of the dietary needs of a lactating female dog, but did not change the dog’s food and said she was getting thin as “the pups were taking it out of her”.

The man said he was responsible for taking the animals to the vet, but hadn’t as the dog trailer was unregistered and he didn’t want to take them in his car. 

They were again offered the chance to surrender their animals but refused. 

In court they were found guilty of three charges:

  • Failure to provide vet treatment for fleas.
  • Failure to provide proper and sufficient food.
  • Failure to provide vet treatment for corneal ulcer.

They were fined $3000, and ordered to pay professional fees of $428.10 and vet and boarding fees of $16,568. The couple were each banned from owning an animal for two years, and custody of dogs was awarded to RSPCA.

All Charges Made Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August is Pet Dental Health Month

Smile with confidence during Dental Health Month

Does your dog’s breath stink? Sure, dogs are not known for their sweet-smelling breath, but we’re talking about really putrid. That could be a sign of dental disease.

You may look at your cat and dog and think ‘they’re eating OK, so they’re teeth must be fine’, but don’t be fooled. Four out of every five dogs and cats over the age of three years have some sort of dental disease which becomes more severe with age.

And if not treated early, dental disease can lead to more serious problems such as illnesses related to the heart, liver and kidney.

Bad breath and a reluctance to eat are just a couple of the signs. Others include:

  • broken teeth
  • excessive drooling
  • reluctance to play with chew toys, 
  • pawing at or rubbing the mouth, 
  • white, red or swollen gums
  • bleeding from the mouth 
  • a sudden change in behaviour. 

However it is possible your pet has dental disease and not showing any signs so it is always best to get them checked by a vet at least once a year, just as you get your teeth checked annually by a dentist.

Vets also recommend regular tooth brushing. Tooth brushing is safer and more effective than chewing and many dogs and cats can be trained to enjoy having their teeth brushed, especially if started when they’re young. Don’t use human tooth brushes or paste – ask your vet about the right equipment.

August is Pet Dental Health Month, so it is the ideal time to make an appointment for your pet to have a dental. Bear in mind they will need to have a general anaesthetic so the vet can check their mouths thoroughly.

To help your pooches and kittens chompers be in top condition, our Veterinary Hospitals are offering free dental health checks during the month of August for cats and dogs under seven years old.

To make an appointment for your free dental health check, visit our website for your closest Veterinary Hospital:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Goat shot by arrow delivers kids

The pregnant goat shot with an arrow at Wetherill Park earlier this year, has given birth to two kids.

After making an excellent recovery under veterinary care at the RSPCA’s Sydney shelter, Dora gave birth to a boy and girl last Thursday, 7 August.

“It was a close one with Diego, who was quite sick after being born. Luckily, we were able to send him to the University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Camden for overnight care,” said RSPCA Vet Dr Guyan Weerasinghe.
Dora is comfortable with her little girl, and has recovered quite well from her surgery. 
In July RSPCA vets acted quickly to remove the arrow and minimise any further trauma for the mum to be.  “The arrow had pierced through her shoulder blade, narrowly missed her spine and was rubbing against the other shoulder blade,” said Dr  Weerasinghe.

Police continue to call for information surrounding the attack on 1 July in Wetherill Park.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Only two weeks til Cupcake Day

Fundraising for RSPCA Cupcake Day is in full swing, with over $80,000 raised nationwide, and over $28,000 in New South Wales alone. 

As the RSPCA receives less than 3% of its funding from the government, it need your cupcakes to raise much needed funds to fight animal cruelty.

“Anyone can get involved; you don’t have to be a professional baker! We encourage everyone to use cage-free eggs when baking their delicious treats for everyone who donates to enjoy,” said RSPCA's Senior Supporter Engagement Manager Sarah Rossiter 

Sunrise hose Natalie Barr is the latest high profile name to come to the party, offering up a delicious buttercake recipe (see 

Over the last few years Natalie’s gradually adopted an eight year old Samoyd, Madonna, from good friends. “They live in a unit so they bring her to our yard and she loves our noisy boy household. We take her to the boys' footy games every weekend and she's a hit, so lovely and well mannered,”  she explained.

Madonna joins 10 year old moggie, Flash, in the Barr household. 

The power of a cupcake:
$30 shelters and cares for a neglected dog
$50 heats a kennel during the cold winter months
$100 desexes a kitten awaiting adoption
$240 provides vaccinations and microchips for animals in remote areas
$350 keeps and RSPCA Inspector on the road fighting animal cruelty.

Get involved by registering online to set up an RSPCA Cupcake Day fundraising page or donate to a registered party host.  Visit