Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Reptile Room and Adopting Big Dogs from the RSPCA

Halloween’s coming up next week, and talk of monsters made us realise that Medusa would have a ball at our Brisbane Animal Care Campus. The adoptions area now has a dedicated space for creatures with scales and slimy tails like Merv, thanks to a partnership between RSPCA Qld and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP).

Snakes alive!
snake 1

The Reptile Room is a hive of activity, with eight carpet pythons, a children’s pythons, and two saw-shelled turtles currently enjoying the terrariums. The space has also proven to be a haven for reptile-lovers and animal welfare supporters, with many people choosing to give a scaly friend a second chance at life. If you have enough room in your home and heart for a more unusual pet, please drop by the Campus to meet our reptilian residents. If you’d like to adopt, you’ll need to obtain a reptile permit from the EHP in advance, and bring it to the Campus. You can apply for the permit by clicking here. A property check may also be required.

Here are the vital stats of reptiles that are currently available for adoption from our Brisbane Animal Care Campus:
•    Blanche, male carpet python
•    Boris, male carpet python, AID: 724141
•    Sam, male carpet python. Age 4.5 years, AID: 708100
•    Walter, male carpet python, AID: 733965
•    Merv, male carpet python, AID: 733963 (pictured above)
•    Yani, female carpet python, AID: 733821
•    Doris, female carpet python, AID: 724142
•    Alex, female carpet python. Age 4.5 years, AID: 708102
•    Smoug, male children’s python, AID: 730842
•    Scuba Steve, male saw-shelled turtle, AID: 735315 (pictured below)
•    Fetlock, female saw-shelled turtle, AID: 735309.

turtle 1

If you’d like to get to know these animals more, search for ‘Reptiles’ at  Phone 3426 9999 if you have any queries about the animals, or about adopting them.

Big dogs seeking owners with big hearts

Some dogs are adopted quite quickly from the RSPCA Qld, while other dogs take longer to meet their forever owners. Big dogs often require high fences, some dogs may need to be the only dog in their new home, and others must be rehomed with families with older children. Because of these limitations, dogs like Hooch, Bruce and Marmaduke, can spend months waiting to find their new homes. While RSPCA staff and volunteers, foster carers, and plenty of fun toys reduce stress from the shelter environment, we know that these dogs would prefer a home environment and, of course, loving owners who understand their needs.

dog 1dog 2dog 3

If you do find that you have a big enough heart, a big enough home (that, in some cases, must be surrounded by fences at least 6 feet high), and time for training, then a bigger dog may be the ideal fit for you. And, if you are looking to adopt a dog or know someone who is, please take some time to meet the dogs pictured above, as well as the other RSPCA Qld animals available for adoption. You can do this online at, or by dropping into your local centre. Here’s a bit about Hooch, Bruce, and Marmaduke:

Animals adopted from RSPCA Qld enjoy a well-deserved second chance at life, but not many get the chance to travel overseas. We were delighted to learn from Bumba’s owner that she has become a globe-trotting pooch and top travelling companion. The proud owner of the three-year-old Lhasa Apso cross Shih Tzu sent us some happy snaps of Bumba’s trip to Europe this year:

bumba 1

bumba 2

We trust that Bumba would have been a great ambassador for the RSPCA Qld while overseas. Bumba was adopted in August 2012.


Thanks for keeping up to date on our Adoptions Desk work, and please check back for more updates! In the meantime, stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and We’d love to hear success stories from more RSPCA families, so please email any stories and images to for possible publication.

The Adoptions Team

Saving Polly


This is Polly, a very sick little puppy who was admitted into our hospital yesterday morning. Polly was lethargic, dehydrated and had terrible case of diarrhoea. We tested her for giardia and parvo virus, both of which generated negative results. But when we looked at a faecal sample under the microscope we could see eggs from a nasty intestinal worm; the hookworm. Polly had a significant hookworm burden and, as a result, was anaemic.

Lobke, one of our wonderful Vets, was busy treating Polly when I arrived at work. She had started Polly on IV fluids, had given her antibiotics, medicine to combat nausea/vomiting and an intestinal wormer (to rid her of those horrible hookworms!). But Polly was dangerously anaemic, and Lobke decided that if Polly was to have any chance of survival, then she really needed a blood transfusion.

We needed a blood donor and Nanda, our Shelter Manager, knew of a perfect candidate waiting in our adoption pens and she went for him straight away. Bobby walked into the vet hospital, as calm and as laid back as any dog I had ever met. He is enormous, but a gentle giant with big, brown eyes… a beautiful dog with a wonderful nature.

Lobke checked Bobby over to make sure that he was fit and healthy. Passing with flying colours, Lobke started Bobby on IV fluids then gave him a light anaesthesia. When Bobby was asleep, Lobke collected enough blood to help Polly. Afterwards, Bobby was moved to a warm recovery pen to wake up from his anaesthesia. In no time Bobby was sitting up and later in the afternoon we moved him into a larger hospital pen so that he could stretch his legs.

Look at that waggly tail!!!

Wasting no time, Lobke started Polly’s blood infusion, monitoring her closely for any adverse reactions. Polly’s blood transfusion continued over the course of the afternoon and was finished by early evening. The night Nurse’ continued to monitor Polly overnight and she seemed to be getting better and better…

Today I had to pop into work quickly and, of course, I made a bee line straight to Polly’s pen. I peeped behind the towel and a lively little Polly barked out a “yip-yap” at me. What a difference from yesterday morning! I love that mischievous twinkle that puppies have in their eyes, and Polly definitely had a sparkle!

So as I sit here in the evening with my little Persian cat curled up on my lap, I think of Polly. You might assume that she is asleep in her hospital pen, but you would be mistaken. Dr Anne, our Chief Veterinarian, took Polly home for the weekend! Polly is still on IV fluids and is still a long way from a full recovery, but Dr Anne is giving her the best medicine of all; a home environment… and a warm lap!

Just a few days later, Dr Anne emailed me some photos of Polly playing with her dogs. You won’t believe the difference!


Isn’t she beautiful!?

Rohan Hughes, Vet Nurse

Saving Paradise and Saving Animals

A big thank you to everyone who turned up to the Swan Lake information day on Sunday. Around three to four hundred people came and went throughout the day and Channel7, Channel 9 and the Courier Mail were also there. Sadly only the Seven story went to air which was disappointing but not the Nine journo’s fault. (ABC and Channel 10 have already done stories, as has the Courier Mail.) 4BC helped us out yet again and did a long interview with Mike West from Birds Queensland.


For those of you unfamiliar with the situation, the current state of play is as follows.The lake at the Port of Brisbane, named Swan Lake due to the large numbers of Black Swans, is set to be filled in by the new owners Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd and replaced with a parking lot for new car arrivals awaiting to go to dealers.

More than 160 species of birds have been recorded in the lake and its surroundings, and 50-70 species can be found there on most days. This picturesque scene was created by the previous publicly owned authority as an environmental lake as part of the drainage strategy for the benefit of nature and the wider community. An award winning restaurant, café, theatrette and visitor centre was built on its shore and this is also earmarked to be demolished. It is currently vacant and the gazebos in the area have already been removed.
RSPCA Qld has joined environmental groups in an alliance representing tens of thousands of supporters and we are determined to stop what basically amounts to environmental vandalism.

It’s simply not necessary for this to happen. The Port claims that it has “no choice” but to fill in the lake, but the Alliance believes there are numerous alternatives and this lake and its surrounds are only 1.5% of the area available to the Port.

1,000 birds are normally seen in and around the lake at any one time and these include bush birds such as Fairy-wrens and Honeyeaters that frequent the landscaped gardens that are also to be torn down.

What concerns us and I’m sure will concern the Brisbane public is that this whole area was set aside to offset the original damage done to environment. You can’t turn around a few years later and say “Sorry we’re taking it back!” It just makes a mockery of any environmental agreements agreed to by any company, including mining companies. The Alliance believes that this area can be a wonderful tourist attraction. The infrastructure is already there. An established bird paradise should not be replaced by concrete to park cars. It doesn’t make sense to us and it won’t make sense to any Queenslander. This simply must not happen!

We’re also concerned about possible animal welfare issues. The birds will be forced from their home into areas that are already under pressure from an influx of inland water birds suffering from the drought. They may well starve to death.

The public reaction to the appeal result from the Alpaca killings was enormous. As you know we expressed our disappointment that Wayne Hartwig, the convicted killer of two Alpacas in Caboolture last year did not have to serve any time in prison despite an appeal by the Attorney General on the leniency of the original sentence. The incident caused massive community outrage, not just in the Caboolture area but all over Australia. One Alpaca died and the other had to be euthanased because of the extent of its injuries.
Last week the court upheld the appeal and increased Hartwig’s sentence to six months but he was released on immediate parole. He was also ordered to undertake psychiatric treatment. Although we were obviously pleased that he was ordered to receive psychiatric assessment we felt he should have spent some time in prison. This was animal cruelty at its very worst and it makes you wonder what you have to do to an animal to receive a jail sentence.

At the time of the offence the maximum penalty for animal cruelty was 2 years imprisonment or a fine of $110,000. The Attorney General has since increased the maximum penalty to 3 years and $220,000. After the appeal result he said he will look at changing the legislation so that future serious animal cruelty offenders will have to spend some time in prison. This is excellent news.


Per usual most of our Care Centres are pretty chock a block at the moment and our Wildlife Hospital has also been flat out. It’s that time of year you see and young native animals and birds are taking their first hesitant steps into the big wide world. Sadly that also puts them at risk of dog and cat attacks. So please ensure that your family pets are kept inside at night, because it’s at night time that the majority of these attacks occur. The sheer numbers of attacks is mind blowing. In the past two weeks we’ve had over 300 animals, birds and reptiles brought into the hospital after being attacked by dogs and cats. So please do your bit and ensure that the family pets cannot roam. Wildlife Vet Tania and vet nurses Maddy, Elise, Jess, Paige and Annette really don’t need any more patients!


And speaking of family pets we’ve got some long term residents at Wacol that are in need of good homes. Pepper is a lovely girl who was surrendered to us because she got too big. Well hello! Didn’t you take this into account when you bought her! Stupidity like this really gets me mad! Anyway she’s a one and a half year old Bull Arab cross and she’s been in care for 97 days. Some of that time was because of mild medial issues but she’s now raring to go.

Another long term resident is Clay, a one year old Australian cattledog. He’s been with us for 67 and has a lovely nature. He was surrendered because there was a change in the household dynamics- whatever the hell that means!

Finally we have an older girl called Vada looking for a home. She’s an eight year old Labrador greyhound cross and was surrendered because her owner was moving overseas. She’s a dear gentle soul and would love a new home in which to spend her remaining years. Nanda, our Wacol Animal Care Manager, is a Vada fan and is really keen for her to find the right home.

Michael Beatty