Tag Archives: animal welfare

Lovable Lexie and Being an RSPCA Volunteer

Working in the RSPCA vet surgery as a volunteer is interesting. Each day your heart is broken and two seconds later resuscitated. When I arrived for my shift on Tuesday, the expected happened when I met ‘Lexie’, (picture below) a dog that was recovering from surgery for her fractured leg and who loved cuddles!

Lovable Lexie

Lexie was unable to move, so I lovingly hand fed her the mushy slop, forgetting that the smell will be forever under my nails and held up her water bowl as she lapped at the liquid.  When I thought that I’d petted her enough, as she had fallen asleep, I would move to shut her door, and lo and behold she would wake up and automatically start whimpering.

Even though I had duties awaiting me in the reception area, I knew that my fellow workers would understand that showering love onto a recovering animal is important. Most of my shifts as a volunteer is doting tender loving care onto these animals that may have experienced some not so loving situations.

The hardest thing each shift is walking out empty handed. But an uplifting one is the amazing people I work alongside with and seeing the passion they have for these animals they have never met before, it gives me the warm and fuzzies to know I’m right beside them, doing something for our four legged friends…I hope none of them read this!

Claire Thrift
Proud RSPCA Vollie

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.



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!


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

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