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Rising cost of living may impact ability of people to care for their pets

We’re pleased to announce RSPCA Victoria’s five advocacy goals for 2021-22

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RSPCA welcomes mandatory reporting of animal fate data

We’re pleased to announce RSPCA Victoria’s five advocacy goals for 2021-22

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RSPCA Victoria opens new op shop in Ferntree Gully

We’re pleased to announce RSPCA Victoria’s five advocacy goals for 2021-22

Read More
Neglected dog starved to death, while another is saved for a second chance

We’re pleased to announce RSPCA Victoria’s five advocacy goals for 2021-22

Read More

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Category / Media
More
Rising cost of living may impact ability of people to care for their pets

We’re pleased to announce RSPCA Victoria’s five advocacy goals for 2021-22

Read More
RSPCA welcomes mandatory reporting of animal fate data

We’re pleased to announce RSPCA Victoria’s five advocacy goals for 2021-22

Read More
RSPCA Victoria opens new op shop in Ferntree Gully

We’re pleased to announce RSPCA Victoria’s five advocacy goals for 2021-22

Read More
Neglected dog starved to death, while another is saved for a second chance

We’re pleased to announce RSPCA Victoria’s five advocacy goals for 2021-22

Read More

Surrendering a pet provides best chance for loving new home

As the cost of living increases, RSPCA Victoria is taking the opportunity to remind people that there is no shame in surrendering a pet if they find they can no longer provide appropriate care.

RSPCA Victoria has not experienced an increase in surrenders during the pandemic or post lockdowns as people return to office-based work, however, the animal welfare organisation is aware that a rising cost of living may impede the ability of some pet owners to properly care for their pets and may result in more animal surrenders.

RSPCA Victoria’s Head of Operations, Tanya Drakopoulos, says that while the decision to surrender a pet can be extremely difficult, it means providing a loved pet with a second chance in a new home.

“No one decides to bring an animal into their lives anticipating they will need to surrender them. however, people’s circumstances can change without warning and often for reasons beyond their control.  RSPCA can assist by finding new homes for animals where they can continue to thrive and live happy, healthy lives.

“We understand that life can be unpredictable and while it can be difficult, sometimes the decision to surrender a pet is the best outcome for both owners and pets,” Ms Drakopoulos said.

RSPCA Victoria practices a judgment-free surrender process and will never turn away an animal that ends up at the doors of one of its five shelters across the state.

If pet owners are struggling, they are encouraged to ask family and friends for help or to contact RSPCA Victoria by calling 03 9224 2222.

Case Study – Ralph

Ralph the German Shorthaired Pointer was adopted from RSPCA’s Peninsula facility in November 2021 after being surrendered by his owners when they realised they could no longer provide the love and care Ralph deserved. Ralph fell on his feet when Kayla and Luke adopted him, providing him with all the care, attention and exercise he needs to live a happy, well-balanced life.

After assistance from a dog trainer who helped Ralph’s new family better understand his need for regular exercise and enrichment, Ralph has well and truly settled into his new life. Enjoying all he is offered, Ralph has a Kelpie best friend to socialise with and has regular long runs through the local footy oval to fulfil his need for exercise. Nights on the sofa, chew toys and plenty of love and attention from his owners are keeping this dog a very happy boy. Ralph’s story is an important example of how sometimes the hardest decisions provide the best outcomes for our loved pets.

Case Study – Mindy and Kenobi

In June 2022, RSPCA Victoria accepted surrender of an underweight mare and gelding from an owner who recognised that she could no longer provide the ongoing care they require.   The responsible owner contacted RSPCA Victoria to seek assistance and to enquire about surrendering Mindy and Kenobi. RSPCA Victoria Inspector Jeremy Dean visited the owner at her property to discuss support and the best welfare options for the horses.  While it was an extremely difficult decision, the owner decided to surrender her much loved horses and Inspector Dean transported them to an RSPCA facility where they have received veterinary care, farrier and dental treatment and are being provided with appropriate nutrition to ready them for adoption.

RSPCA Victoria believes that prevention is best and where possible the Inspectors work to support people to achieve good animal welfare. In the case of Mindy and Kenobi, Inspector Dean worked with the owner to ensure her horses would have the opportunity to go into a new home where they will be provided with all they need to live a good life.

RSPCA Victoria welcomes today’s announcement from the Victorian Government regarding mandatory reporting and collection of key data to improve transparency and promote responsible rehoming of animals in shelters and pounds.

Today’s announcement includes changes to the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds, including mandatory reporting of a variety of data including whether an animal is rehomed, enters foster care, is reclaimed or euthanised.

CEO Dr Liz Walker said that for more than twenty years RSPCA Victoria has voluntarily reported its animal fate data in its annual report, which is publicly available on its website and included in RSPCA Australia’s national report.

“We welcome the Victorian Government’s announcement today that reporting of important animal fate data by all shelters and pounds is to be mandatory,” said Dr Walker.

“This important change is something RSPCA Victoria advocated for – it will strengthen the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds and is in line with community sentiment.

“Making the reporting of animal fate data mandatory will help ensure all animal care groups across Victoria are transparent and adhere to the same standards.

“As a socially conscious shelter, RSPCA Victoria believes transparency, including reporting of animal fate data, collaboration and continuous improvement of standards are vital to ensure all animals are treated humanely and are provided with their best opportunity to live a good life.

“We know companion animals matter to Victorians – they make our lives better and we owe it to them to provide the best care and outcomes possible. This includes the tens of thousands of animals who are cared for by shelters, pounds and rescue groups across the state every year,” said Dr Walker.

“We were really pleased to hear the recent news that all 17 recommendations from the Government’s Taskforce on Rehoming Pets will be implemented, including improvements to the regulatory framework for rehoming pets, that will work to improve the welfare of dogs and cats requiring rehoming,” said Dr Walker.

“It’s great to see the Government prioritising animal welfare and making proactive changes to improve the lives of animals.”

RSPCA Victoria is opening a new op shop in Ferntree Gully, relocating the previous Boronia op shop store which closed late last month.

RSPCA Victoria Op Shop Network Supervisor Liz Irvine said the relocation is the start of an exciting new chapter for the store and local community.

“The new Ferntree Gully store is larger, has ample parking and improved amenities. We hope that this change will allow us to offer an even better experience to the local community, while assisting us to raise funds for our work caring for vulnerable animals.”

Ms Irvine thanked the local Boronia community for their support of RSPCA’s Boronia op shop, particularly the amazing volunteers who generously continue to give up their time to assist with running the op shop.

“We are thrilled that many of our wonderful Boronia volunteers will be making the transition to Ferntree Gully and are really looking forward to welcoming customers into the new location. We really appreciate their ongoing commitment and thank them especially for their support during this time of transition.”

Ms Irvine said that as a not-for-profit organisation, RSPCA Victoria relies on the generous support of the Victorian community to fund its work preventing cruelty to animals.

“We look forward to welcoming the local community into our brand-new RSPCA Victoria op shop in Ferntree Gully. By visiting our new Ferntree Gully op shop and picking up a bargain, you will support RSPCA’s work caring for animals in need.

“You can also show your support by donating high-quality goods. We’re excited to fill this new store with items generously donated by the community.”

RSPCA Victoria’s new op shop is located at 32 Forest Road, Ferntree Gully. It will be open to the public from Tuesday 14th June.

To find out more about RSPCA Victoria’s op shops, visit rspcavic.org/rspca-op-shops/

RSPCA successfully prosecutes abject neglect

RSPCA Victoria successfully prosecuted another case of severe animal neglect in Geelong Magistrates’ Court last week resulting in a conviction, fines and a disqualification order.

RSPCA Victoria continues to hold animal welfare offenders to account in the courts, as seen in the case of Janelle Blackley who plead guilty to all charges, was convicted, penalised more than $1300 in fines and costs and also given a disqualification order which prohibits her from owning any dog for a period of ten years.

The case, heard before Magistrate Bentley, involved two Jack Russell Terrier mixed breed dogs named Precious and Kimba. Upon attendance at the property, RSPCA Victoria Senior Inspector Duncan observed both dogs together in the backyard, one dog curled up and deceased, with a second by its side, alive but in poor body condition.

“It’s always distressing to see that an animal has suffered, and, in this instance, the suffering of both dogs was preventable,” said Senior Inspector Duncan.

The accused was charged with two counts of failing to provide both animals with sufficient food and water and failing to provide veterinary treatment. In addition, there was a further charge of aggravated cruelty in relation to the death of Precious.

After examining Kimba, RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate Veterinarian Dr Rebecca Belousoff found that Kimba was suffering from a heavy flea burden and severe emaciation. While receiving proper nutrition in the care of an RSPCA foster carer, Kimba increased her body weight by 25% in just over two months. Dr Belousoff was of the view that the dog’s emaciation was due to malnutrition.

A necropsy performed by a University of Melbourne pathologist found that Precious was emaciated, with a diffuse lack of fat and poor muscle coverage. Grass found in her stomach indicated that Precious was hungry and willing to eat, therefore the emaciation was due to starvation, which was the cause of the death.

Despite the facts from Kimba’s examination and the necropsy performed on Precious, the accused told inspectors that she had provided food and water for the dogs.
Senior Inspector Duncan said that owning animals comes with legal obligations.

People who own animals are legally obliged to provide food, water, shelter and veterinary care, all of which give animals the best chance to live healthy, happy lives. There is never any excuse to allow an animal to suffer.

“If you can’t provide proper care for your animal don’t neglect them – there is no shame in reaching out for help.”

Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTAA), any person in charge of an animal must provide food, water and shelter, as well as appropriate husbandry and veterinary attention as needed.

Magistrate Bentley found all charges brought by RSPCA Victoria were proven and convicted Janelle Blackley on all charges. Ms Blackley was fined $800 and also ordered to pay $511 to RSPCA Victoria for veterinary fees.

Anyone with concerns for the welfare of animals is encouraged to contact RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate via www.rspcavic.org/report or by calling 9224 2222.

Kimba and Precious at home

Kimba upon arrival at RSPCA