Tag Archives: animals

Saving Wildlife Animals and Rehoming More Pets

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Our Wildlife Hospital has been really feeling the pressure. The number of native animals, birds and reptiles arriving in the last two months has doubled compared to last year. (September 2012-just over 600 compared to September well over 1200 and October 2012 just over 700 compared to October 2013 over 1500.)  It’s a worrying trend. The main reasons appear to be dog and cat attacks, fishing equipment injuries (swallowing hooks and getting entangled in discarded line), hit by cars and habitat destruction. This time of year is always more challenging because it’s when the newly born and starting to move around and find their feet and in the case of birds of course, their wings.

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The staff and volunteers at the hospital do an amazing job but sadly sometimes it can be very disheartening. If only recreational and professional fisherman would clean up their used hooks and pieces of line literally thousands of birds would be saved every year. The same goes for the family pets. Keep them inside at night-don’t let them roam.

Our Inspectorate too has been flat out. Inspector Melissa received a complaint about a dog that was very ill and suffering from a suspected tick. However when Melissa arrived at the property within 45 minutes of receiving the complaint, she found the dog at the front of the property, dead.  The dog’s owner, who had been out doing the grocery shopping, confirmed that the dog had been sick for a couple of days and that treatment had not been provided because he could not afford it and he did not believe in euthanasia. The defendant pleaded guilty in Beaudesert Magistrates Court to failure to provide veterinary treatment and made submissions to the court that he was 53 years of age and that he was the carer for his disabled wife and intellectually disabled daughter. The Magistrate took into account his early guilty plea, his cooperation, his remorse, and his financial and personal circumstances and fined him $2500. He then advised the court that he had no more animals.

Unfortunately, a week after the previous matter was heard in court, Inspector Melissa received a further complaint in relation to his property, relating to 3 cats being kept in a bathroom. When Melissa arrived with fellow Inspectors Penny and Jason they found 71 Guinea Pigs, numerous fish, budgies, pigeons, cockatiels, and a duck, as well as 5 cats, all living in terrible conditions. Many of the animals were suffering from untreated ailments. All the animals were seized but the owner subsequently signed ownership of all of the animals over to the RSPCA. This was a good result for the animals concerned as they did not have to await the outcome of court proceedings. A decision was made not to proceed with a prosecution in this matter, however we did make a separate application to the court for a 5 year prohibition order and disposal order and these orders were granted by the court.

Once again a huge thankyou to the team from Bleats, (in this case Marcin Lazinski), for proving pro bono assistance.

There was another sad but interesting case last week regarding the owner of over fifty birds.

Inspector Clare recently prosecuted a man after he was reported setting approximately 50 captive-bred Zebra and Society finches free from his aviary, only to see them all immediately killed by wild birds. He believed he was making a well-meaning decision, even though he knew there would be a percentage of loss, in particular the babies of the adult finches. If he didn’t want them any more why didn’t he try to rehome them? They were bred in captivity and had no chance of surviving in the wild.   The Magistrate said a fine of $5000 were not unreasonable. However due to the defendant’s financial and personal circumstances, he fined the defendant $1500 and prohibited him from owning any birds for 3 years. Hopefully he will never again be tempted to have birds. Once again thanks must go to Bleats, in this case Anthony Anderson, for representing us. I once again think back to when Tracy Lynne Geysen started Bleats to help us prosecute animal cruelty and neglect. All of the Barristers and Solicitors who joined have been wonderful and very generous with their expertise and their time.

Roxy

It’s time to draw your attention to some of our long term residents again. Roxy is a beautiful 2 year old brindle American Staffordshire Terrier. She has a gentle nature and used to be an indoors and outdoors dog. Unfortunately her owner’s landlord didn’t appreciate this and her owner couldn’t find pet friendly accommodation. We get so much of this! It’s really very frustrating because we have enough problems looking after the animals that aren’t wanted, let alone the ones that are loved but their owners can’t find accommodation! Roxy has been with us for 174 days and we’d love to find her a home.

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Layla is a two and a half year old domestic short hair (or Doshie as we used to call them) and has been looking for a permanent home for 263 days! Unfortunately she has cat flu which of course isn’t contagious to humans but it does mean she can’t mix with other cats. Her owner was forced to surrender her because her partner was allergic to cats. Very sad.

Bruce

Finally, (but don’t forget we have scores more animals looking for homes), we have Bruce who is a softie! He’s a four year old Mastiff and has been with us for a record 519 days! He’s been in foster care for the last year and his carer says he’s a sweet dog who sleeps on a mat in the living room when the carers are in and outside in a special crate when they go to bed. He stays in the yard quite happily when they’re at work.

Thanks to you! We did it. At the beginning of the month we set a rehoming target of 1300. Our Care Centres were chock a block and with the Christmas holidays looking things weren’t looking good. Well from November 1st through to November 30th we rehomed 1402 cats, dogs, kittens and puppies. For the same period last year we adopted 1032. Yeah! So please if you’re looking for a pet make the RSPCA your first port of call. All animals can be viewed online at www.adoptapet.com.au

Michael Beatty
@BT1949

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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

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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