Tag Archives: wildlife

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

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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 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

Our first Big Adopt Out and the story of Swan Lake

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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

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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

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.

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.

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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!

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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!

rspca-staffy-lucy

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
@bt1949