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Australia’s first comprehensive Pet Behaviour Centre launches

RSPCA Victoria has launched a new one-stop pet behaviour centre to help people m

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RSPCA Victoria submission | Duck hunting season 2023

In this submission we will outline the reasons we believe the 2023 season should

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Execution of warrant results in large scale operation obtaining surrender of 81 cats

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Course to support excellence in horse ownership

RSPCA Victoria is inviting new and future horse owners to attend a new course in

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Australia’s first comprehensive Pet Behaviour Centre launches

RSPCA Victoria has launched a new one-stop pet behaviour centre to help people m

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RSPCA Victoria submission | Duck hunting season 2023

In this submission we will outline the reasons we believe the 2023 season should

Read More
Execution of warrant results in large scale operation obtaining surrender of 81 cats

RSPCA’s Major Investigations Team has just concluded a large-scale operation a

Read More
Course to support excellence in horse ownership

RSPCA Victoria is inviting new and future horse owners to attend a new course in

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Services to help people and pets cope with behavioural concerns

RSPCA Victoria has launched a new one-stop pet behaviour centre to help people manage problem behaviours in dogs and cats. The Good Pet Behaviour Centre is the first of its kind in Australia, offering a comprehensive suite of behaviour training options delivered by a world-class team.

RSPCA Victoria launched the service after noticing a growing number of pet owners reaching out for help and animals arriving at its shelters with behaviour concerns after the pandemic.

Services offered include:

A free dog behaviour helpline where members of the public can have a consultation with a certified dog trainer to discuss pet behaviour issues and get some practical advice to address them – this can be done by video call and is accessible to all Victorians across the state;

A Good Pet Behaviour service where pet owners can have dogs and cats of all ages thoroughly assessed and work with the expert team to implement a custom behaviour management plan – this is open to individual pet owners, rescue groups and animal organisations;

An onsite puppy school at RSPCA Burwood East to get puppies and their families off to a good start.

The Good Pet Behaviour service is headed by Dr Gabrielle Carter, a highly credentialed Veterinary Specialist in Animal Behaviour with eighteen years of experience in the field. Dr Carter is one of only four veterinarians in Australia and fewer than 100 in the world holding these qualifications.

Dr Carter said the goal is to help people and their pets to live their best life together and get on top of behaviours that are causing stress.

“We’re here to help owners address concerns about their pet’s behaviour before they escalate because we want people and their pets to stay together.

“My job as a veterinary behaviourist is to build and maintain the relationship between owner and pet to improve quality of life for pets and their families. While the work involves treating and managing behaviour and mental health problems in pets, my focus is often on finding the best ways for pets and people to live together, celebrating what each brings to the relationship.”

The team at Good Pet Behaviour focuses on complex animal behaviour issues that require an in-depth analysis and uses a fear-free, positive reinforcement approach to training and behaviour modification.

“Good Pet Behaviour offers a comprehensive service including physical and mental health assessments, behaviour modification strategies and customised treatment plans that suit your pet and your family’s needs,” said Dr Carter.

In addition to the specialist services offered by Dr Carter’s team, RSPCA Victoria has partnered with animal trainers K9Connect to run fun and educational puppy school classes, with Power-up Pup sessions aimed at dogs aged 8-18 weeks and Starters Obedience sessions for dogs over 12 months old.

The free Dog Behaviour Helpline is designed to address the drivers of a dog’s behavioural issues, provide advice on positive reinforcement techniques, and includes referrals to Good Pet Behaviour if required. The helpline offers a free video-call consultation to discuss the animal’s behaviour. The service has already proved popular, and appointments are required.

Good Pet Behaviour appointments can be made online here

Dog Behaviour Helpline assessments can be booked online here

Puppy School Sessions can be booked online here or call (03) 9886 7768

The RSPCA is opposed to the hunting of any animal for sport as it causes unnecessary injury, pain, suffering, distress or death to the animals involved.

RSPCA Victoria appreciates the opportunity to provide a submission to the Game Management Authority (GMA) regarding our suggestions for modifications to the 2023 duck hunting season. In this submission we will outline the reasons we believe the 2023 season should be cancelled and why duck hunting should cease permanently.

RSPCA Victoria Duck Hunting Submission 2023

RSPCA’s Major Investigations Team has just concluded a large-scale operation at a property in the Ararat region and obtained surrender of 81 cats that are now safely in our care. The operation took two days and involved four RSPCA Inspectors, an Inspectorate veterinarian, an animal behaviourist and members of Victoria Police.

The cats were obtained after RSPCA – with the assistance of Victoria Police – executed a Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTAA) warrant at the property due to an alleged breach of a ten-year banning order. The investigation into the alleged breach of the conditional banning order was launched in response to a cruelty report.

The operation took place on Wednesday and Thursday, with the team assessing 116 cats, 82 horses and three sheep over the two days. Welfare issues relating to all animals on the property were identified and are now being addressed by our team. Subsequent investigations are ongoing.

RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate Team Leader – Major Investigations, Lisa Calleja, said RSPCA is committed to helping people and animals.

“We are committed to helping people better care for their pets but will hold people to account where legal responsibilities are not upheld, and where there are significant concerns, animals will be seized and taken into our care to ensure their welfare.”

Inspector Calleja encouraged people struggling to care for animals to ask for help.

“It is imperative that owners and people in charge of animals are aware of their legal and moral obligation to properly care for their animals, which includes providing appropriate food, water, shelter, regular and emergency veterinary care, and grooming.  Ensuring clean, safe housing that is relevant to specific species is also required.

“We are aware that with the impact of the rising cost of living, some people will struggle to care for their pets, so we urge you to speak to a vet or local animal shelter about options before it’s too late. In some cases, it may be necessary to consider surrendering your pet to an animal shelter to ensure it can receive proper care and be rehomed.”

Previously prosecuted by RSPCA Victoria, the person in charge of the cats is currently under a Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTAA) banning order in place until October 2029, which limits the number of cats for which they can be the person in charge.

The 12AF control order states that a person who is subject to a control order must comply with the order. Penalties relating to the breach of a banning order include 500 penalty units equating to $92,460 or imprisonment for two years.

All reports made to RSPCA Victoria’s Major Investigations Team must be lodged via https://rspcavic.org/tip-off-form/ or by calling 9224 2222.

RSPCA Victoria is inviting new and future horse owners to attend a new course in February to promote excellent horse care and responsible ownership. Many Victorians left the city and their suburban lifestyles behind during the pandemic and took up hobby farming as part of their new lives. The new course will teach the essential skills every horse owner needs to provide appropriate care for horses.

“We are delighted so many Victorians are interested in taking care of larger animals and, in this case, being responsible horse owners,” said Education & Training Manager at RSPCA Victoria Belinda Marchbank. “They can bring such a unique joy into our lives, but new horse owners may not realise exactly what their equine companion needs to live a healthy and happy life.”

Similar to RSPCA Victoria’s We Bought a Farmlet short course on farm animal care, Equine Excellence is designed for current and prospective horse owners alike. Equine Excellence is filled with practical skills and knowledge for every horse owner  and aims to promote best-practice responsible horse care in Victoria. Participants will receive comprehensive information regarding horse and pony ownership to optimise their animal’s health and welfare from the moment of purchase.

RSPCA Victoria is providing a panel of three experienced experts who will outline practical ways of providing for a horse and pony’s needs and how to keep happy and healthy animals. Attendees will discuss the specific needs of horses and ponies while engaging in hands-on activities designed to illustrate and teach appropriate equine animal care. Classes are kept small to encourage questions and enhance participants’ learning experience during the course.

Attendees will learn:
– How to promote important natural behaviours in the horses
– How to work safely around horses
– How to use the equipment needed to care for horses properly
– Preventative health and management measures
– Factors to consider when purchasing or adopting a horse or pony
– How to identify signs of good health and welfare
– What to do if your horse’s ‘normal’ begins to change
– What to include in a basic first aid kit for horses and how to use these items in an emergency

Equine Excellence takes place onsite at RSPCA Burwood on Saturday, 18th February. Participants must be 14 years or older and will receive a certificate upon their completion of the course. Places for the course can be booked by calling 03 9224 2286 or online here.