It’s the beginning of Spring and once again our Wildlife Hospital is bracing for the onslaught of baby animals and birds that flood in at this time of year. Unfortunately hundreds of baby birds in particular are unnecessarily removed from their habitat and brought to wildlife carers and RSPCA Care Campuses across the state. Most of these are well meaning members of the public who are trying to rescue fledglings when this is usually not necessary. Unless the bird is sick or injured it’s best to leave it alone. The mother is usually close by and is keeping an eye on things.
Still on the Wildlife Hospital, a two year old Bandicoot mother with two joeys (above) was brought in the other day after suffering bad smoke related trauma following a burn off on Mt Cootha. Staff have nicknamed her Bonny (after wildlife vet Dr Bonny) and so far she and her babies are doing well. She’s still got a drip but that will hopefully be removed shortly.
Sadly not so lucky was a female koala. She was brought into us after being attacked by dogs in the Gold Coast hinterland. Her injuries were too severe and she didn’t make it. Please dog owners, remember to keep your dogs under control or contained, particularly at night. We see these incidents all too regularly. In fact two weeks ago we had four koalas brought in from Stradbroke Island. Three of them had been attacked by dogs.
We’ve had hundreds of enquiries about the progress of the miniature fox terrier that was found in a bin in Sherwood. I can tell you that he underwent tests at the Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre (big thanks to staff for the care and expertise) and he has some “issues” that may require further tests. However his mobility has improved and he’s now walking again. We’ve also received some very helpful information from the public regarding what may have happened. Sorry if that’s all I can tell you at the moment but there will be times that I have to remain slightly tight lipped when it comes to ongoing investigations.
I was having a quick smoke in the smoking area yesterday, (I really AM about to give up!), when Animal Attendant Yorik came by with a Great Dane X called Simba. She was surrendered to us with her seven pups and is already starting to put on weight- although she remains very skinny. She’s also incredibly timid. Very, very fearful of everybody and anything. We’re starting to see signs of improvement but it’s going to be a long slog. If only some of the social media critics understood just how much work, care and compassion goes into transforming dogs like Simba and eventually rehoming them, they might have a better knowledge base from which to spout their vitriol. Sadly not every adult dog that comes into our care will be able to be rehomed. It’s not the animal’s fault of course. But some have been so badly damaged mentally that placing them back in the community would not be fair to the public or the animal. Can you imagine if an RSPCA dog was rehomed and then bit a child? The resulting publicity would taint any RSPCA dog and thousands of animals would miss out on finding homes.
Last year, my friend Jane Fynes Clinton from the Courier Mail told the story of Moses in Rockhampton. He was found starved and beaten in a churchyard. Despite ongoing foster care he remained terrified of the outside world. It was finally decided that the kindest thing to do was to put him to sleep. It was heartbreaking for Wendy,( his carer), and for Inspector Laurie who’d rescued him. However the good news is that our rehoming rates are improving all the time and RSPCA Qld now rehomes more animals that any organisation in Australia. So don’t forget, if you’re looking for a pet, come and see us first. You can check out the animals on adoptapet.com.au Remember to look at the animals that are currently in foster care as well.
I just had a call from the lovely Jacqui who trains our Customer Service staff and volunteers. She says the call centre is getting bombarded by calls from people who want us to remove snakes from their yards. Sorry everyone! We neither have the resources nor the legal authorization to do this. In most cases the snakes are just passing through. Some may take up residence but that’s usually only if they find a constant food source. (Chicken and duck owners may have more problems than most.) You can find snake catchers on the internet, but I’d urge you to be bit patient and you may find the snake moves on of its own accord. Our wildlife hospital does treat injured reptiles and we have had an influx over the last week. Obviously the breeding season has started early.
I seem to be doing more Probus and Rotary Club appearances as a guest speaker these days. Most are now asking me to also chat about the old TV days as well as explaining our work here at the RSPCA. I ended up by putting together a short tape of some of my more humourous moments before the camera. A lady came up to me last week and announced, “You’re stupid!” I was somewhat taken aback. I know the old grey matter isn’t exactly bursting out of my skull, but I thought there was some intelligence lurking within. “Why?” I said. “Because you’re lucky to be alive.” She said. I think she was referring to some of the incidents caught on camera. At least I hope she was.
Until next week, enjoy the first days of Spring and don’t forget to make the RSPCA your first port of call if you’re looking for a pet.