June 11, 2010

A little help goes a long way

For some pet owners in the Canberra community, a little help goes a long way.

Through its Pet Support Program, RSPCA ACT is helping many people, who in normal circumstances would have to surrender their pets.

Whether pet owners are going through a difficult time or are physically unable to provide general care for their pet, RSPCA ACT can provide them with physical assistance such as walking their dogs or temporarily placing their pet with a foster carer.

However, to run such a valuable program, volunteer help is crucial. Being a non-profit organisation, RSPCA ACT relies on more than 500 volunteers to assist with the important job of caring for animals so they can reach a better quality of life. Always in search of more volunteers, RSPCA ACT has a number of opportunities for people wishing to get involved.

For more information about volunteering at RSPCA ACT, please email

June 8, 2010

Adopting an older pet

When Lyla, an adorable six-year-old cat who had been at RSPCA ACT since December, finally went to a new forever home last weekend, all our staff were very happy. As our staff strongly believe in RSPCA ACT’s mission to re-home every healthy animal that comes through our doors, it is always emotional when pets leave with their new families after a long shelter life.

Usually age is the reason why one animal is here longer than another one. In fact, our staff frequently wonder why some exceptional pets are still with us after so many months.
While most people want to adopt kittens or puppies, adopting an older pet also has its fair share of advantages. More often than not, older pets will already be house-trained, saving new owners time and frustration. Owners are also more likely to end up with a pet that truly suits their lifestyle, because it is easier to assess an older animal’s behaviour as their character is fully developed.

Take, for example, O’Malley and Kerwin, two mature cats who are currently at our shelter. Five-year-old O’Malley was surrendered by his owners because they were moving house and could not take him. Soon after, O’Malley was diagnosed with ear cancer and as a result, had his ears amputated. Still beautiful and happy, O’Malley has been here for a few months, but would no doubt suit a couple or a family with teenagers looking for a friendly cat who loves attention.

Kerwin, another five-year-old, is an affectionate Persian male who would be happy in a family where he could be the king of the house. A good-looking cat, Kerwin was recently adopted, but was surrendered again because of his attitude toward another cat already living in the same house.  Due to his breed, Kerwin requires a lot of grooming, but would be an ideal companion for a cat-lover with a little spare time.

Next time, when considering adopting a pet, why not look at older pets like O’Malley and Kerwin?