Polly Unwittingly Saves a Life or Three

So little Polly came into care and ended up in foster at my house. As mentioned before we have the critical care area- the bathroom- but once puppies start to recover we have the day recover area- a little veranda to the side of the house where puppies can look at the big dogs but not get bothered by them; get fresh air and are safe from the resident cat who has very strong opinions about any animal that ventures into her territory. So Polly once she began her recuperation spent some time out there.

After she was well enough to go to a new foster home I was going out to the veranda to clean it up when I heard rustling in the living room. It took me a while to work it out but it appeared I had 3 birds behind the gas fire place! I am guessing the nest had maintenance issues and had fallen down the chimney taking mum; dad and a baby with them. I had no idea I had birds nesting and so I had no idea what type of bird that needed rescuing  or any real idea how to do it!

photo

The fireplace looked pretty much intact to me. On closer inspection I found 2 gaps at the top of the heater but unfortunately I don’t think even Harry Houdini could have bent his arm to try and grab the bird. In desperation I lowered a towel in the hope the birds would use it as a ladder to get themselves out, imagine my surprise when it actually worked!!

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I finally could see what I was rescuing- a blue faced honey eater. The bird flew around the living room making lots of squawking noise which I hoped was bird for “ climb up the towel you can escape”.  It must have been because 2 managed to get out leaving 1 behind. This bird was smaller than the others and so I was guessing it was a fledging but it was not prepared to climb the towel.

I rang the RSPCA animal ambulance for some helpful hints and ambo Jo told me to get some wire, bend it and put a pillowcase around it in the form of a make shift net and see if I could bend the wire instead of dislocating my shoulder to get behind the fire place. Eventually this also worked and bird number 3 exited out the French doors.

But what was Polly’s role in all this? Well if I hadn’t taken her home she would not have been on the side veranda; If she hadn’t been on the side veranda it wouldn’t have needed cleaning ; if the veranda hadn’t needed cleaning I would not have walked into the lounge room..and my little feathered  friends may have been there for ages.

I certainly have a whole new respect for our rescue officers who do this all the time- I also have an appointment with someone to make the chimney secure to prevent this happening again!

Anne Chester

Reaching capacity and rehoming more pets and animals

I’ve now been with the RSPCA for nearly ten years and this is the first time all our Queensland animal care centres have been full. And when I say full I mean FULL. This is particularly worrying as Christmas is fast approaching and we unfortunately get a lot of animals surrendered at the start of the Christmas holidays.

The situation is doubly frustrating because we’ve actually re-homed over two thousand more animals state wide than we had at this time last year and four thousand more than two years ago. RSPCA Qld now re-homes more animals than any other animal welfare organisation in Australia. The reason for this is that we’re now spending more time and money on working with dogs that have borderline behavioural and veterinary issues. Consequently they often spend longer with us before being available for adoption. More than ever now we’re also working closely with the different rescue groups. The extra effort is worth it for the animals but the downside is that we have animals waiting to come in to the care centres. We never want to get to the stage where we have to turn away an animal so we really need to find new homes urgently.

One of the most common reasons people give for surrendering an animal is the fact that their new landlord or body corporate has a “no pets” policy. (Approximately 25% of all adult dogs and cats.). Obviously we need more pet friendly accommodation and let’s be logical-if someone is taking good care of their pet there’s a good chance they’ll take good care of your property. Also a recent survey showed that pet friendly accommodation had a higher resale value than non “pet friendly” accommodation. In simple terms then we’re urging anyone thinking of getting a pet to make the RSPCA their first port of call. We’re hoping to rehome 1300 animals during November which would be a 26% increase on last year. You can check out available animals on www.adoptapet.com.au or visit www.rspcaqld.org.au and follow the adoptions links.Of course all RSPCA dogs and cats are de-sexed and micro-chipped.

Pepper the pig

With this in mind here are three examples of the hundreds of animals up for adoption. First of all meet Pepper the Pig (AID 721718) . She’s four months old and came to us in July when she was found lying on the road in very poor condition and very weak. Our ambulance picked her up and after some TLC she’s looking for a home.

Crystal picci

Next up there’s Crystal a three year old Bull Arab cross. ( AID 733905) She was part of a cruelty case when she came in and was a bit timid. However she’s fine now and would love a new home.

michael the cat

Lastly there’s Michael the Domestic Short Hair cat.(AID 735 072). He’s one year old and came to us at the end of August as his owner had too many cats and was not allowed to keep any more.  But don’t forget there heaps more that need homes. Nearly 700 to be exact.

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Our Wildlife Hospital has been busier than ever. The combination of Spring and dog and cat attacks has seen native animals taking a hiding. As per normal Wildlife nurse Maddie has been busy helping to bring new life into the world. Known affectionately as our ‘egg lady’, Maddie currently has several Ibis eggs in her incubator at home. They were found by a spotter catcher doing clearing at Chermside on Brisbane’s north side. They came in with four older Ibis babies. The older ones were vet checked, then sent to Pelican and Seabird Rescue for care. The eggs and the neonate will remain with Maddie, who is still incubating the eggs and will raise the chicks. When they’re old enough, they will go to another carer who will get them ready to be released back to the wild. Maddie is having a very successful year with eggs!

Family

This year I was honoured to be nominated for BMag’s Person of the Year award. As I pointed out to the magazine there were scores more deserving people within the RSPCA than me. I’m just the twit that gets on the radio. Anyway the award presentations were this week. I didn’t win of course but my wife Cecile and son Liam and I were thrilled to meet Li Cunxin, who wrote the wonderful book Mao’s Last Dancer and is currently Director of the Queensland Ballet. I also caught up long time friend Chris Adams from 4BC and my old mate Stefan. I’ve still got the set of golf clubs he gave me back in the mid eighties! It was a fun night.

Michael Beatty
@BT1949

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!
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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 http://adoptapet.com.au.  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 http://adoptapet.com.au, 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

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 www.rspcaqld.org.au. We’d love to hear success stories from more RSPCA families, so please email any stories and images to digital@rspcaqld.org.au for possible publication.

Cheers,
The Adoptions Team

Saving Polly

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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.

bobby
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!

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

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polly-3
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.

swan-lake-flyer

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.

koala

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!

pepper

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
@BT1949

From the Animal Adoption’s Desk

Shifts at the adoption desk are full of surprises, challenges, and inspiring stories, which we either witness firsthand, or hear of from fellow volunteers, new RSPCA families, and other supporters. We decided to start a blog to share some of these tales, in the hope that, by reading and taking action, you can help us turn the stories of as many animals as possible into dreams come true. Happy reading!

Scruffy’s Big Adopt Out

Post 30.09.12 - Scruffy_AID 731350_ Adopted 30.09.13_1

This playful Bull Arab cross was one of the animals who we hoped would meet his dream family at our Big Adopt Out event last Saturday, September 21. The massive adoption event was like speed dating for shelter animals and prospective owners, and it was love at first sight when one family saw Scruffy’s friendly face. However, Scruffy returned to our Wacol campus after the big day. His brief return to shelter life was interrupted when the same family came to meet him a week later, this time with all family members present. Scruffy and the family were again delighted with each other and, after the appropriate paperwork and checks were completed, Scruffy left for his forever home. We’re sure that the lovable 18-month-old will relish the company of two loving parents and older boys, and we know that they’ll enjoy a lifetime of his company as much as we did two months.

Find your perfect pet these school holidays

Last week kicked off school holidays, and we were pleased that many families spent some of their time off visiting our campuses. We’re looking forward to meeting more visitors in the second week of school holidays, and are more than happy to assist families in meeting and greeting prospective pets. As well as cats and dogs, we also have pocket pets, reptiles, and farm animals available for adoption.

In fact, our Wacol campus barnyard is currently home to a herd of goats in need of loving homes. Like all goats, the 10 we are caring for are full of personality, and they’re all very agile, inquisitive, and playful. The herd’s numbers have grown since mid-August, and the mismatched bunch of Alpine, Australian Miniature, Saneen and Boer mixes have formed many friendships over apples and chaff. See some of favourite barnyard images below, or drop in to meet them in person:

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Post 30.09.13 - Gabe_ AID 733888.

Goats are obviously herd animals, so they are best kept in groups –preferably in a pair of goats, but they have been known to bond with many other animals, including livestock and dogs. If you have room in your heart (and well-fenced yard) for an energetic animal friend, here are the details of some of the goats currently available for adoption:

• Betty – small female Alpine cross, AID: 739888
• Heniz – juvenile male Australian Miniature cross, AID: 738802
• Gilly – adult Saneen cross, arrived with Gabe AID: 733889 (above top)
• Gabe – adult Australian Miniature cross, arrived with Gilly AID: 733888 (above bottom)
• Dill – male Boer cross AID: 736325.

Phone 1300 364 443 if you’re interested in adopting a goat or other animal from RSPCA Qld. Remember that council permissions may be required to keep goats, and that there may be restrictions dependent on property size and zoning.

Paws for thought

Paws for thought We recently received two success stories with a common thread – these playful boys both have a penchant for ‘helping’ their owners work from home. Check out their pawsitively distracting poses:

Post 30.09.13 - Kobe_AID 706123_ Story 08.08.13_Adopted 26.06.13

Kobe (above) is relaxing in his new home after spending the first months of his life at our Wacol campus. The tabby was surrendered the day after his birth in late March. Fosters exposed him to family life, and he’s received a rave review from his new owner, Tracey: “He is really good natured and entertains us with his playful behaviour… I’m very pleased with how well he has been kitty-litter trained, thanks heaps!” AID: 706123

Post 30.09.13 - Ralph_AID 726968_Story 08.08.13

As you can see, Ralph (above) has the same approach to working from home. The five-month-old tabby has helped his owner with many editing shifts over the past two months. His owner Denise said that Ralph is the perfect ‘colleague’, and admitted that he was napping on her desk as she wrote the following email: “Ralph has settled in very well to our small family… I work from home when I’m not travelling for work and he’s become quite the companion….” AID: 726968

Ex-long-termer makes brave donation

December 12, 2012, was a very lucky day for Bull Arab cross Brock and his foster family. After six months at the RSPCA, Brock found his perfect place in the world when he was in foster with a couple and their Boxer, Sophie. Foster-carer and vet nurse Kaitlyn reported that Brock cried a bit, but that his new-found friendship with Sophie really “brought him out of his shell.” Kaitlyn and her partner decided to add to their family by adopting Brock. He and Sophie now play all the time, and love going to the beach and the dog park.

Post 30.09.13 - Brock_AID652088_Adopted 12.12.12_1

Nine months on from Brock’s adoption, Kaitlyn found a way to ‘pay it forward’ this September. When a patient at the veterinary clinic where Kaitlyn works required an urgent blood transfusion, Kaitlyn said she knew the perfect dog for the job: “Brock was very brave, and sat perfectly still for the vet… He saved a life, just like the RSPCA saved his. Thank you to the RSPCA who gave Brock a second chance, so that he was able to give that chance to a fellow canine…” AID: 652088

Post 30.09.13 - Brock_AID652088_Adopted 12.12.12

Thanks!

Thanks for reading our first Adoptions Desk blog, and please check back next week for another update. In the meantime, stay in touch via Facebook and Twitter, and feel free to visit www.rspcaqld.org.au. We’d also love to hear success stories from more RSPCA families – please email any stories and images to digital@rspcaqld.org.au for possible publication.

Cheers, The Adoptions Team

Our first Big Adopt Out and the story of Swan Lake

BAO9

What a day! Our first Big Adopt Out at the RNA on Saturday could not have gone better. Well Ok, maybe there is a bit of tweaking to do but all in all for our first run it was amazingly successful. It was really heartening to see all the rescue and welfare groups come together for what is, after all, a common cause and what we’re all about. Friends of the Hound were rapt because at the end of the day they had 25 people who said they definitely wanted to adopt a greyhound and Red Collar Rescue had to send for more dogs because they’d run out. By the end of the day 104 dogs had been rehomed and another 66 were on hold.

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While driving in, I got a call that nearly made me drive off the road.

“There’s been a fight!”

“Oh No!” Visions of massive canine carnage sprung to mind.

“Not a dog fight! A human fight!”

Blimey! It was only just after 9am and it wasn’t as if the RNA was in the middle of the Valley. Anyway we’re not exactly sure what caused it but the Police dealt with it. I’m assured it wasn’t that they both wanted to adopt the same dog!

This week saw the hearing of the appeal of the sentence handed down to Wayne Hartwig over the brutal bashing of two Alpacas at Caboolture High School last October. One of the Alpacas died and the other had to be euthanased because of the extent of its injuries. The case made headlines throughout Australia and there was massive community outrage. Hartwig was originally sentenced to six months but was released on immediate parole. Thankfully the Attorney General appealed the sentence as being “manifestly inadequate.”

Our Chief Inspector in charge of Prosecutions Annabel Buchanan and I both attended the hearing in the Supreme Court and realised the appeal was actually being based on a point of law. Anyway the judges have reserved their decision which should come within a month.

And now to the matter of “Swan Lake”. This is another decision that is already sparking major community concern.

swan

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 has been built on its shore and this is also earmarked to be demolished after operating for only a decade.

Environmental and animal welfare groups, (RSPCA Qld included), have formed a strong alliance representing tens of thousands of supporters and we’re determined to stop what we call cruel environmental vandalism.

It’s simply not necessary for this to happen. 1,000 birds are normally seen in and around the lake at any one time. These include bush birds such as Fairy-wrens and Honeyeaters that frequent the landscaped gardens that are also under threat.

swan-lake-brisbane

Reports commissioned by the Port showed that the iconic Black Swans were seen in every survey, sometimes 200 were sighted. Where are they all going to go? Port also reported no breeding birds were found. However only two visits were made, both outside the breeding season!”

What concerns me 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. Surely we need to be looking into the future. The area can become 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 and it won’t make sense to any Queenslander.

The RSPCA is also concerned about the possible animal welfare issues because these birds will be forced from their home into areas that are already under pressure from an influx of inland waterbirds suffering from the drought. They may well starve to death. It’s also a shame to lose a potentially world class educational facility.”

The Port claims that it has “no choice” but to fill in the lake, but the Swan Lake Alliance says there are numerous alternatives and this lake and its surrounds are only 1.5% of the area available to Port.

Finally this week some good news from the Wildlife Hospital. (Thanks to Yvette for allowing me to poach from your Pack news.) The staff and vollies received two patients whose stories reminded them that there are still people in the community who really do care about wildlife and are happy to do what they can to help our native friends.

Tuppence the barn owl

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Tuppence is an adorable 40-day-old barn owl. She (we’re making an assumption, as we can’t be sure of her gender) was found in a paddock at the bottom of her nest tree. An ambulance was sent to reunite her with her parents, but the nest was way too high. Because dogs were in the area, she was brought back to us for care. After a night in our Wildlife Hospital, a visit to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and then more time in our hospital, her finders were contacted and were happy to help reunite her with her family.

The finders built a ladder for her to hop back into her nest. It was a success and she has since learnt to fly and flown off into the world. She will stay in the area for a little while to mooch off of mum and dad, but she will become independent and head off to find her own mate and start her own family.

Commando the possum

possum

Commando has been through a very traumatic time. She had a mild infection which caused her to stay on the ground. Then she was kicked by some teenagers. A young member of the public saw the incident and rushed to her aid.

He kept her overnight and fed her, gave her water and kept her warm before bringing her in to us. Luckily she didn’t sustain any serious injuries and was put on pain meds and antibiotics. Thanks to the kindness of a stranger, Commando will be released once she has recovered.

As I always say when I’m talking at clubs and functions-working for the RSPCA is a bit like a roller coaster ride. A mixture of the good, the bad and the very ugly. BUT! The Good always outweighs the bad and the ugly!

Michael Beatty
@bt1949

An uphill battle to save Moonbeam

Always very hard when you lose a patient and that happened to me this week. One of our inspectors brought in a little goat that had been surrendered over- the owner had not sort treatment for the goat and he had been lying in a paddock for 2 days.

The little goat ( named Moonbeam by staff )was very weak and unable to stand and had obviously lying in his own faeces and urine for the past couple of days- he was as white as a ghost – which indicated anaemia. This was confirmed with blood tests and further tests revealed that the anaemia was due to worms…so frustrating as anyone who owns goats should know that this a problem and it is so easily preventable. Although we knew it was going to be an uphill battle Moonbeam was place on a drip and started on various medications in an attempt to try and correct  all his problems. We even collected blood from one of our other goats (below) and gave him a blood transfusion as he was so anaemic.

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(The brave blood donor to save a friend)

I took him home and set him up in our hospital ( the spare bathroom) – my husband is also a veterinarian and so we often have patients in there – much to the disgust of the resident cat and fortunately visitors were not arriving until the following night . More medications  followed but unfortunately it was too late for Moonbeam and he passed away in the early hours of Wednesday am.

I take some comfort that he was at least warm and comfortable and had a full stomach and was no longer in pain. The owner has other goats and so the inspectors will be making sure that steps are put in place to make sure this doesn’t happen to them.

Anne Chester

Turtles saved from muddy construction site

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I attended the site with Senior Rescue Officer Jo Jordaan and local wildlife carer Annette Bird. We soon found some turtles, trapped in a muddy quagmire at the bottom of an embankment. In some places the mud was knee high which made the rescue a lot more complicated. The workers were very helpful and agreed to stop work on the site while we rescued seven turtles which we then took to our Wildlife Hospital at Wacol. These were very lucky turtles!

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Their veterinary checks were positive and all seven were able to be released the next day. Sadly three other turtles that were brought in by a member of the public did not fare so well. They’re still in the hospital and are suffering from a variety of injuries. We’re all hoping they make it and can be released in days to come.

RSPCA Inspector Allison Smith.