July 21, 2010

10 reasons why you should become a Political Animal

In the lead up to the federal election, RSPCA Australia has created a website called Political Animal. The website gives abundant information on important campaigns that RSPCA is running in areas we would like to see positive outcomes. Issues like food labelling, humane slaughter, live exports and puppy factories have been discussed with various political parties and we are now encouraging you to take the lead by becoming an active supporter.
Here are 10 reasons why we think you should become a Political Animal today:
1.    Be the voice for the voiceless
2.    Help RSPCA with urgent animal welfare  issues
3.    Be informed on issues that you care about
4.    Influence political decisions
5.    Have your say on what you think is important
6.    Become politically active
7.    Show your support for RSPCA
8.    Help educate the community on animal welfare
9.    Find out how to address your prospective representatives
10.  It’s free
Of course, who you vote for on August 21 is important as you are voting for a Federal MP that will represent you on various issues that are likely to influence future laws.
Take the lead!

What animal welfare issues are you concerned about and why?

July 20, 2010

Punish Deed, Not Breed

CEO of RSPCA ACT Michael Linke wished Harry, the Maltese cross attacked by two dogs over the weekend, a speedy recovery.

“My thoughts first go to Harry and of course to the family who have suffered this horrendous attack.  I am always saddened when I hear about a dog attacking another dog or a human. Dog attacks simply should not happen and would not happen if it wasn’t for a handful of irresponsible dog owners. That’s the ban we really need – on owners not dogs.  

“Why were these dogs out of their backyard? Where was the owner?  Why weren’t they on leads?”

Governments and Councils need to have in place appropriate legislation to protect the community against potentially dangerous dogs and in the ACT we have very good laws.  We don’t believe banning a specific breed is the answer.  We need laws to protect responsible owners and weed out irresponsible owners and ensure no dog that could pose a danger is ever homed in the ACT.  RSPCA has well framed and defined policies on this issue.  Any dog is capable of any deed and as such all dogs should be screened for aggression, not any one specific breed.

“We screen every dog we home at RSPCA for aggression, and if we believe the dog poses a threat we will not home the dog.” Michael concluded.

July 16, 2010

Wildlife recovery rates jump by over 35%

CEO of RSPCA ACT Michael Linke today released figures for the work undertaken by RSPCA in the 2009/10 financial year in relation to Native Wildlife.
“We again worked with more animals this year than we did last year, working with 3,286 native animals, a slight increase over last year, where we worked with 3,220.  The really positive thing for RSPCA was that our release and recovery rate jumped by over 35%, which shows our commitment to high quality care.
“We have made numerous changes to the manner in which we provide care for native animals.  We have invested in further skilling of our staff, invested in infrastructure and totally revamped our care models.  This has meant that we released 289 more animals this year than last year, an increase of 35%.
“I would like to congratulate our staff and volunteers who have worked tremendously hard and our results are a testament to this hard work.
“I would also like to thank the community for its ongoing support of RSPCA.  The coming 12 months will see us continue to face many challenges.  The biggest challenge facing us continues to be the dramatic number of native animals coming to us as a result of unnecessary human interference.
“We now need to work with the community with a view to reducing this intake as most animals come to us as a result of unnecessary human interference.  In total more than half of the native animals are presented to us after being hit by a vehicle or being attacked by a family pet (dog or cat).
“RSPCA is more than a cats and dogs organisation.  We have a dedicated team of wildlife staff supported by our veterinary clinic and over 50 trained carers living in Canberra providing around the clock care.
“RSPCA ACT is the sole licensed carer in the ACT and we would urge all Canberrans who come across an injured native animal to bring it to us.  It is an offence to take the animal across the border or to keep the animal in your own care.

July 13, 2010

Health tip: No Bones About It

This may surprise you - but did you know that bones can be unsafe for your dog?

The list of reasons why you should not feed bones to your dog is long and many professionals argue that there are not many benefits to it. According to RSPCA ACT Senior Vet Shauna O'Meara, “not every dog will have a problem, but if they do it will be an expensive one.” Amongst the most common problems caused by bones are broken teeth, mouth injuries, choking, constipation and bacterial infections.

Many dog owners feed bones to their dogs either because they want to keep them occupied or because they think it will clean their teeth. While alternatives such as manual teeth cleaning or the use of bone-like products have been proven to be more effective and safer, some owners still choose to feed their dog bones.

If you decide to do so, there are a few things you can do which may help to prevent a visit to the vet. “Never feed cooked bones,” Shauna said, adding that it is important to throw away bones that have been in the yard for more than 24 hours to minimise the chances of bacterial infections.

For your chance to win a Hyundai Getz or a 50" plasma TV or a $1000 travel voucher or a $100 Myer Gift Card, simply buy a of bag of Hill's Prescription Diet or Science Diet Oral care from RSPCA ACT.

July 5, 2010

RSPCA ACT issues FINANCIAL YEAR companion animal statistics

CEO of RSPCA ACT Michael Linke today released figures for the work undertaken by RSPCA in the 2009/10 financial year concerning companion animals.
“We again worked with more companion animals this year than we did last year, working with just over 5,000 animals for the first time in our 55 year history. We handled 5,045 companion animals in total last year, and in the most recent 12 months we worked with 4,748, an increase of 6%.”

“I would like to congratulate our staff and volunteers who have worked tremendously hard and our results are a testament to this hard work. We home animals with greater success than any other RSPCA and our shelter is a wonderful place to visit when you are thinking of adopting an animal. Despite the economic down turn and an increase in demand across all services, we just continue to improve. I am incredibly proud of our team.”
Of the 5,045 companion animals, 1,583 were dogs (1,563 last year, +1%), and 2,707 cats (2,612, last year, +4%). We worked with 755 (730 last year, +3%) other companion animals. Other animals include rabbits, rodents, guinea pigs, birds and fowl.

Our already strong commitment to homing animals remains constant and we continue to be the leading RSPCA across Australia in terms of finding homes for abandoned pets.

We boast the highest homing rate for dogs across Australian RSPCAs, 94%. Keeping this rate high is very important to us, but we also realise that not every dog that comes to RSPCA will be able to find a home. Some dogs come to us in very poor condition or with very poor social skills. Our staff and volunteers do everything they can to ensure a dog becomes homable and the fact that we find homes for 94% (92% in 2008/9) of unwanted dogs proves our commitment to this cause.

Every dog is given every change, there are no arbitrary time limits, no unrealistic expectations, just caring people doing what they do best, correcting other people mistakes and taking pride in the work they do, every day of the year. We enjoy an excellent working relationship with the local pound, where dogs are regularly exchanged to give them the best chance of finding a home.

Our work with cats is also a very successful program and we boast a homing rate of over 64% for domestic cats, almost 30% better than the average homing rate across Australia. During this year’s kitten season we saw a tremendous volume of kittens, some 1,000 kittens (compared to 800 last year). Sadly many of these kittens succumbed to a particularly severe season of cat flu and we lost more kittens than expected. Despite this we homed 784 kittens, 3% more than last year.

In total during the financial year we found new homes for 2,138 animals and reunited 978 lost animals with their owners.