Tag Archives: rspca

Saving Wildlife Animals and Rehoming More Pets


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.



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.


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.


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.


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

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

Hank the Really Lovely Cat

This is a sad story. I don’t really like telling sad stories, but Hank was an amazing cat and I want people to remember him. Hank was transferred to our Vet Hospital from another shelter with significant injuries to both front paws. It looked as though his paws had been trapped somewhere as the tips of both feet where severely wounded. Some of his toes were missing and you could see some pieces of bone protruding from the wound. But it was really hard to know exactly what had happened to him and perhaps we would never know.

Injured cat paws 3b

Dr Olivia examined Hank and gently cleaned his wounds. Hank loved the attention and sat contentedly allowing Dr Olivia do whatever she needed to do. Olivia carefully bandaged both of Hank’s front paws and gave him an antibiotic injection and some pain relief. The Nurse set Hank up in a comfortable, warm hospital pen with a bowl of delicious food. He was calm and relaxed, enjoying frequent pats from the Nurses and Volunteers. I kept checking of him too!

Injured cat paws 2

Olivia suspected that Hank would need part of his left paw amputated so the following day Hank’s front paws were x-rayed. The x-rays clearly identified the cause of Hank’s injuries; bullets.

The x-rays also identified the extent of Hank’s injuries. Hank had multiple fractures in both limbs. In some areas the bones were smashed and could not be repaired. If Hank’s injuries were limited to one limb we would have been able to amputate the leg and Hank would have recovered to live a happy life. But the damage to both limbs was beyond repair and Hank’s quality of life was our primary concern. It was with a very heavy heart that the decision was made to euthanise Hank on humane grounds.

Injured cat paws 4b

As I was preparing this blog entry, I re-read all of Hank’s hospital notes and I think the notes written by Olivia when she first assessed Hank say it all… she started her entry with “Lovely cat” and ended the same entry with “This is a really lovely cat”. He was indeed. Hank was a really lovely cat and it is such a shame.

Rohan Hughes
RSPCA Vet Nurse

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

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 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 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.

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

It’s getting hot in the world of animal welfare

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you it’s getting hotter! A cold beer tastes even better now and it’s time scrap the roast veges in favour of a cool salad. But spare a thought for your pets. Every year our Inspectors and ambulances have to deal with numerous cases of heat stress. Three dogs died from heat stress last year, two in backyards and one in a car. The sad thing is it’s so easily preventable. At this time of year you should not leave your dog in the car-even if the windows are slightly down.

A couple of years ago we did an experiment with a light coloured sedan. The temperature outside was 30 degrees and within 12 minutes the temperature inside the car was 57 degrees! A dog can die in under six minutes in that kind of heat. If you’re leaving your dog in the yard make certain there is water that can’t be accidently knocked over and that there is adequate shade. One of the dogs that died last year was left on a chain that got entangled on a clothes line and he couldn’t get to shade or water. So please use simple common sense and cover all the bases.


The Wildlife Hospital is coming into its busiest period of the year. We always see a large number of baby birds and mammals at this time which is to be expected.. But we also see a spike in animals injured by fishing equipment. A beautiful Australasian Gannet that had swallowed a massive fish hook came in the other day. Dr Tania and Dr Bonnie operated and the hook was successfully removed. A great result but this is not the norm. Hundreds of birds in particular are strangled by fishing line that’s been left on the beach or beside creeks and they often face a lingering, painful death. Unable to fly they simply starve to death. So please if you’re going fishing, take your waste with you!

We’ve also had a more than usual number of echidnas in. “Shanghai” had been hit by a car and had to have his leg pinned. He recovered, went to a carer for rehab and was released on the weekend. Great news! Two others are now being treated. “Charlee” who was hit by a car and “John Doe” who was the victim of a dog attack. Hopefully both will recover but Charlee has the added burden of severe constipation! Not sure if echidnas eat prunes as well as insects but it might be worth a shot!


A Barn Owl that appears to have been hit by a car on George St is also in residence for check ups. I never thought you’d see Barn Owls in the heart of the city but our wildlife department says they are very adaptable. There are birds of a different feather down the road at Parliament House. They are not so adaptable!


Three of my favourite dogs are now up for adoption. 5 year old Lucy is a beautiful Staffy that was eventually surrendered after she developed high level anxiety and aggression to the other dog in the house after her owner had gone blind. All the professional advice she received suggested euthanasia. Luckily she decided to bring her to us instead. She was sent to foster care at the Arthur Gorrie Remand Centre down the road and has come back a new dog! Most of her anxiety has dissipated and she obeys all the basic commands. Iya is another prison foster success story. She was surrendered because she was climbing six foot fences and her owners decided they couldn’t cope. After some one on one training with our behavioural team she too went out on the prison foster program and has come back much improved. Kevin, one of behavioural team and myself took her to a retirement home the other day and she has also been to schools. She deserves a great forever home. She also went up to Channel 7 to get her photo taken with friend Morrisey and the great Laura Geitz, Australia’s Netball captain and a great supporter of the RSPCA.

I walked into Chief Inspector Annabel’s office today and found her wading through a pile of legal documents. Not surprising the piles of paperwork were so big-this case involving 21 cats has been dragging on for over three years! That’s what is so wrong with the legislation as it stands now. Animals are treated exactly the same as goods and chattels. In other words if we seize an animal because of cruelty or neglect, the animal can’t be rehomed by us until the legal proceedings are concluded. Of course the person being prosecuted can drag out the proceedings as long as they like. Meanwhile we pay all the expenses and aren’t allowed to find the animal a new home. In other words the animal is treated like a car or a TV set or a sofa! It stinks! These 21 cats have been in our care for nearly three years. Some are in our offices at Wacol and others are in private foster care. They desperately need to be allowed to go to new homes. Go knows how much longer this will drag on but our sincere thanks go to Walter Sofronoff QC, the Solicitor General, who is prosecuting for us pro bono and also to Caite Brewer of Counsel who is assisting. Without their help and other barristers and solicitors from BLEATS, justice for animals would be almost non- existent.

Anyway it’s getting late and it’s still hot so I may be forced to go in search of a beer. See you next week.

Michael Beatty

Spring is on it’s way!

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.rspca-bandicoot

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.

RSPCA Moses Dog

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.

Michael Beatty