December 2, 2010

The amazing raise

Indy, Reef, Jive and Stella came to RSPCA when they were only four weeks old - a very young age to be away from their mother. Still too young to eat solid food and still learning how to behave like cats, these kittens needed constant attention and socialising so they could grow into healthy cats. 

As part of RSPCA ACT foster program, Caroline took them under her wing to give them the care they needed until they were old enough to be adopted. "What an amazing month it was," she said.

"There is something very special about caring for four little animals. You really feel that you are giving them the best chance to survive. It goes without saying that feeding, cleaning and entertaining four kittens was very demanding, but seeing them put on weight each day as they learned to care for themselves was truly magical."

"Of course, the separation day was emotional," she said. "But knowing that I had helped raise and socialise kittens that would now be part of someone’s family was a very rewarding experience."

Indy, Reef, Jive and Stella’s story is fairly common here at RSPCA ACT. As the kitten season hits the shelter again, RSPCA is looking for new carers. Not only does fostering help RSPCA help more kittens, it also provides live-saving care to the animals most at risk in the shelter.

Things to consider before applying to be a foster carer for kittens aged 2-8 weeks:
  • Can you commit for at least two weeks?
  • Do you have access to a quiet room (it can be the bathroom), away from other animals?
  • Can you spare at least one or two hours per day to socialise your foster kittens?

Things to consider before applying to be a foster carer for neonates:
Orphaned neonates are kittens under two weeks who need to be bottle fed and toileted every three hours and also toileted.
  • Can you feed your kittens every three hours?
  • Are you prepared to wake up in the middle of the night to feed and toilet your kittens?
  • Do you have access to a quiet room (it can be the bathroom), away from other animals?
CEO Michael Linke bottle-feeding a two-week-old kitten

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer for RSPCA ACT, please contact Victoria on 1 300 4RSPCA. 

November 17, 2010

Pets Party this Saturday

Event Aims at Raising More Funds for Increasing Number of Animals at the Shelter
Join other dog owners this Saturday and celebrate the start of the summer at the RSPCA ACT Pets Party.
The highly anticipated event returns for its 6th year and promises to deliver fun for everyone – including furry friends.

RSPCA ACT CEO, Michael Linke says: “Pets Party is a fantastic opportunity to visit the shelter while having a great time with other dog lovers.”

Some of the highlights of Pets Party include:
  • ·           Lucky door prize of two tickets for the RSPCA Ball
  • ·         Many games for dogs as well as the popular Pup Idol competition
  • ·         Several stalls including Paws Cafe, RSPCA merchandise and dog washing service.
  • ·         Music, BBQ, drinks, exclusive discounts and many more…
All proceeds made on the day will greatly help RSPCA ACT to cope with the increasing number of animals needing care during the busy holiday period. 

Each year, the RSPCA ACT cares for more than 8,500 domestic and wildlife animals.

Pets Party details:
Date: Saturday 20 November 2010, 11am-2pm
Location: RSPCA ACT, 12 Kirkpatrick Street, Weston ACT,2611
Entry: Gold coin donation

September 17, 2010

The faces of Happy Tails Day

We have just received the Happy Tails Day merchandise and what a delightful surprise it was to see some of our pets representing RSPCA’s success stories nationally.
Mirrhi, Breeze, Eddie and Wesley came through our doors for different reasons. From unwanted to abused, these pets found their way to RSPCA ACT where food, shelter and most importantly love were provided. 

Since then, they have been adopted and are now living with caring families. 

The Happy Tails Day pets are the reason we do what we do. Without the ongoing support of the community we would not be able to care for many of them, so thank you.

Below are their stories:

Mirrhi is a good example of the importance of socialising dogs when they are young. When Mirrhi first came to the RSPCA ACT shelter, she had obviously not been given the opportunity to explore the world. As a result, she lacked confidence in everyday life. Initially Mirrhi was so scared that she would not even walk outside her kennel. After intense rehabilitation, her confidence has grown and although she can still be a little shy at times, she is now a very loving, sweet natured and highly active companion.

Wesley was brought in by a woman who had purchased his littermate from a breeder.  When she arrived at Canberra airport to pick up her new kitten, she discovered two in the cage. She brought the second kitten, now named Wesley into the RSPCA.

Wesley now lives with three dogs and actually considers himself to be one of them, often wrestling with them and chasing them around the house. Wesley has also visited nursing homes where he is quite popular with the residents.

Eddie when he first arrived at RSPCA
RSPCA Inspectors were alerted to Eddie’s plight by concerned neighbours. During the investigation, inspectors discovered him in a severely neglected state. He was extremely emaciated, with no access to food or water, and was desperately trying to stay alive by eating sand.
After a long recuperation period and the conviction of Eddie’s owner for animal neglect, RSPCA was ready to help Eddie find his forever home. Eddie soon found his place on a rural property in NSW where he spends his time ‘helping’ Dad with his daily chores. His new family describes him as “the most perfect pup in the world”.

Breeze was left at the RSPCA anonymously overnight with her brother in tow. It quickly became clear that, while she tolerated her brother’s presence, she had no experience with other dogs and was reacting negatively if they came to close. Breeze’s willingness to learn and take direction, combined with the dedication of RSPCA staff, soon saw her looking at other dogs as potential playmates, and before long, her enjoyment at meeting a new friend was rivalled by no-one. Breeze now lives a life of luxury, accompanying her new owner to work, getting all the cuddles she deserves, playing with her doggy friends at every opportunity, while making more friends every day.

Happy Tails Day - 8 October 2010 - is a celebration of the animals that make our lives better and a great way to support the work of the RSPCA.

You can help by purchasing your Happy Tails Day merchandise during September and October from the RSPCA shelter in Weston, or from one of our retail partners: BigW, newsXpress, selected Hill's vet clinics, Bendigo Bank and Peter Alexander.

What is your happy tail?

August 11, 2010

Local Musos strut their stuff for the love of our 4 legged friends!

By Andrew Rickard
Battle of the Backyard Bands 2010  - Proudly supporting RSPCA ACT

Canberra Music Workshop has kindly volunteered to host the first ever Battle of the Backyard Bands, with all proceeds going to RSPCA ACT. The event offers amateur musicians in Canberra the opportunity to gain recognition and experience while fundraising for RSPCA ACT.

Each Thursday night until October 7, local bands and other musical acts will perform.

The Battle is on from 7 until 10 pm Thursday nights at the Canberra Deakin Football Club and is already well on the way to its fundraising target of $10,000.

School bands also welcome. There are several spots still available for entries and we encourage any amateur musical act to enter - all welcome. Contact Andrew on 0450 960 750.

Local businesses have supported the event to ensure excellent prizes are provided including a PA worth over $2,600 from Pro Audio and studio time to cut a 6 song demo from Rudesounds studio.

The idea is that each week a heat will be held featuring 3 acts and a winner chosen by a judging panel.  The winners (10 of them) will compete for the grand prize at a final event on Saturday 30 October.

RSPCA ACT provides a charitable service to all residents in our nation’s capital but we can’t do it alone. We need to work with everyone in the community to secure much-needed funds and keep our mission, to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection alive.

I really do hope that you will choose to support this exciting event through notifying your audience and community announcements.  If you would like any additional information on the event please contact me on 0450 960 750, email  or about the work done by RSPCA ACT please contact RSPCA ACT on 1 300 4RSPCA.

Battle of the Backyard Bands Website

Regards Andrew

July 21, 2010

10 reasons why you should become a Political Animal

In the lead up to the federal election, RSPCA Australia has created a website called Political Animal. The website gives abundant information on important campaigns that RSPCA is running in areas we would like to see positive outcomes. Issues like food labelling, humane slaughter, live exports and puppy factories have been discussed with various political parties and we are now encouraging you to take the lead by becoming an active supporter.
Here are 10 reasons why we think you should become a Political Animal today:
1.    Be the voice for the voiceless
2.    Help RSPCA with urgent animal welfare  issues
3.    Be informed on issues that you care about
4.    Influence political decisions
5.    Have your say on what you think is important
6.    Become politically active
7.    Show your support for RSPCA
8.    Help educate the community on animal welfare
9.    Find out how to address your prospective representatives
10.  It’s free
Of course, who you vote for on August 21 is important as you are voting for a Federal MP that will represent you on various issues that are likely to influence future laws.
Take the lead!

What animal welfare issues are you concerned about and why?

July 20, 2010

Punish Deed, Not Breed

CEO of RSPCA ACT Michael Linke wished Harry, the Maltese cross attacked by two dogs over the weekend, a speedy recovery.

“My thoughts first go to Harry and of course to the family who have suffered this horrendous attack.  I am always saddened when I hear about a dog attacking another dog or a human. Dog attacks simply should not happen and would not happen if it wasn’t for a handful of irresponsible dog owners. That’s the ban we really need – on owners not dogs.  

“Why were these dogs out of their backyard? Where was the owner?  Why weren’t they on leads?”

Governments and Councils need to have in place appropriate legislation to protect the community against potentially dangerous dogs and in the ACT we have very good laws.  We don’t believe banning a specific breed is the answer.  We need laws to protect responsible owners and weed out irresponsible owners and ensure no dog that could pose a danger is ever homed in the ACT.  RSPCA has well framed and defined policies on this issue.  Any dog is capable of any deed and as such all dogs should be screened for aggression, not any one specific breed.

“We screen every dog we home at RSPCA for aggression, and if we believe the dog poses a threat we will not home the dog.” Michael concluded.

July 16, 2010

Wildlife recovery rates jump by over 35%

CEO of RSPCA ACT Michael Linke today released figures for the work undertaken by RSPCA in the 2009/10 financial year in relation to Native Wildlife.
“We again worked with more animals this year than we did last year, working with 3,286 native animals, a slight increase over last year, where we worked with 3,220.  The really positive thing for RSPCA was that our release and recovery rate jumped by over 35%, which shows our commitment to high quality care.
“We have made numerous changes to the manner in which we provide care for native animals.  We have invested in further skilling of our staff, invested in infrastructure and totally revamped our care models.  This has meant that we released 289 more animals this year than last year, an increase of 35%.
“I would like to congratulate our staff and volunteers who have worked tremendously hard and our results are a testament to this hard work.
“I would also like to thank the community for its ongoing support of RSPCA.  The coming 12 months will see us continue to face many challenges.  The biggest challenge facing us continues to be the dramatic number of native animals coming to us as a result of unnecessary human interference.
“We now need to work with the community with a view to reducing this intake as most animals come to us as a result of unnecessary human interference.  In total more than half of the native animals are presented to us after being hit by a vehicle or being attacked by a family pet (dog or cat).
“RSPCA is more than a cats and dogs organisation.  We have a dedicated team of wildlife staff supported by our veterinary clinic and over 50 trained carers living in Canberra providing around the clock care.
“RSPCA ACT is the sole licensed carer in the ACT and we would urge all Canberrans who come across an injured native animal to bring it to us.  It is an offence to take the animal across the border or to keep the animal in your own care.

July 13, 2010

Health tip: No Bones About It

This may surprise you - but did you know that bones can be unsafe for your dog?

The list of reasons why you should not feed bones to your dog is long and many professionals argue that there are not many benefits to it. According to RSPCA ACT Senior Vet Shauna O'Meara, “not every dog will have a problem, but if they do it will be an expensive one.” Amongst the most common problems caused by bones are broken teeth, mouth injuries, choking, constipation and bacterial infections.

Many dog owners feed bones to their dogs either because they want to keep them occupied or because they think it will clean their teeth. While alternatives such as manual teeth cleaning or the use of bone-like products have been proven to be more effective and safer, some owners still choose to feed their dog bones.

If you decide to do so, there are a few things you can do which may help to prevent a visit to the vet. “Never feed cooked bones,” Shauna said, adding that it is important to throw away bones that have been in the yard for more than 24 hours to minimise the chances of bacterial infections.

For your chance to win a Hyundai Getz or a 50" plasma TV or a $1000 travel voucher or a $100 Myer Gift Card, simply buy a of bag of Hill's Prescription Diet or Science Diet Oral care from RSPCA ACT.

July 5, 2010

RSPCA ACT issues FINANCIAL YEAR companion animal statistics

CEO of RSPCA ACT Michael Linke today released figures for the work undertaken by RSPCA in the 2009/10 financial year concerning companion animals.
“We again worked with more companion animals this year than we did last year, working with just over 5,000 animals for the first time in our 55 year history. We handled 5,045 companion animals in total last year, and in the most recent 12 months we worked with 4,748, an increase of 6%.”

“I would like to congratulate our staff and volunteers who have worked tremendously hard and our results are a testament to this hard work. We home animals with greater success than any other RSPCA and our shelter is a wonderful place to visit when you are thinking of adopting an animal. Despite the economic down turn and an increase in demand across all services, we just continue to improve. I am incredibly proud of our team.”
Of the 5,045 companion animals, 1,583 were dogs (1,563 last year, +1%), and 2,707 cats (2,612, last year, +4%). We worked with 755 (730 last year, +3%) other companion animals. Other animals include rabbits, rodents, guinea pigs, birds and fowl.

Our already strong commitment to homing animals remains constant and we continue to be the leading RSPCA across Australia in terms of finding homes for abandoned pets.

We boast the highest homing rate for dogs across Australian RSPCAs, 94%. Keeping this rate high is very important to us, but we also realise that not every dog that comes to RSPCA will be able to find a home. Some dogs come to us in very poor condition or with very poor social skills. Our staff and volunteers do everything they can to ensure a dog becomes homable and the fact that we find homes for 94% (92% in 2008/9) of unwanted dogs proves our commitment to this cause.

Every dog is given every change, there are no arbitrary time limits, no unrealistic expectations, just caring people doing what they do best, correcting other people mistakes and taking pride in the work they do, every day of the year. We enjoy an excellent working relationship with the local pound, where dogs are regularly exchanged to give them the best chance of finding a home.

Our work with cats is also a very successful program and we boast a homing rate of over 64% for domestic cats, almost 30% better than the average homing rate across Australia. During this year’s kitten season we saw a tremendous volume of kittens, some 1,000 kittens (compared to 800 last year). Sadly many of these kittens succumbed to a particularly severe season of cat flu and we lost more kittens than expected. Despite this we homed 784 kittens, 3% more than last year.

In total during the financial year we found new homes for 2,138 animals and reunited 978 lost animals with their owners.

June 11, 2010

A little help goes a long way

For some pet owners in the Canberra community, a little help goes a long way.

Through its Pet Support Program, RSPCA ACT is helping many people, who in normal circumstances would have to surrender their pets.

Whether pet owners are going through a difficult time or are physically unable to provide general care for their pet, RSPCA ACT can provide them with physical assistance such as walking their dogs or temporarily placing their pet with a foster carer.

However, to run such a valuable program, volunteer help is crucial. Being a non-profit organisation, RSPCA ACT relies on more than 500 volunteers to assist with the important job of caring for animals so they can reach a better quality of life. Always in search of more volunteers, RSPCA ACT has a number of opportunities for people wishing to get involved.

For more information about volunteering at RSPCA ACT, please email

June 8, 2010

Adopting an older pet

When Lyla, an adorable six-year-old cat who had been at RSPCA ACT since December, finally went to a new forever home last weekend, all our staff were very happy. As our staff strongly believe in RSPCA ACT’s mission to re-home every healthy animal that comes through our doors, it is always emotional when pets leave with their new families after a long shelter life.

Usually age is the reason why one animal is here longer than another one. In fact, our staff frequently wonder why some exceptional pets are still with us after so many months.
While most people want to adopt kittens or puppies, adopting an older pet also has its fair share of advantages. More often than not, older pets will already be house-trained, saving new owners time and frustration. Owners are also more likely to end up with a pet that truly suits their lifestyle, because it is easier to assess an older animal’s behaviour as their character is fully developed.

Take, for example, O’Malley and Kerwin, two mature cats who are currently at our shelter. Five-year-old O’Malley was surrendered by his owners because they were moving house and could not take him. Soon after, O’Malley was diagnosed with ear cancer and as a result, had his ears amputated. Still beautiful and happy, O’Malley has been here for a few months, but would no doubt suit a couple or a family with teenagers looking for a friendly cat who loves attention.

Kerwin, another five-year-old, is an affectionate Persian male who would be happy in a family where he could be the king of the house. A good-looking cat, Kerwin was recently adopted, but was surrendered again because of his attitude toward another cat already living in the same house.  Due to his breed, Kerwin requires a lot of grooming, but would be an ideal companion for a cat-lover with a little spare time.

Next time, when considering adopting a pet, why not look at older pets like O’Malley and Kerwin?

May 27, 2010

A walk at the RSPCA ACT shelter: the vet clinic

If there is one place at the shelter where things never happen the same way twice, it is the veterinary clinic. With an average of 20 animals being taken care of each day, it is not surprising that RSPCA ACT vets and nurses have so many interesting stories to tell in between saving lives.

Having a veterinary clinic on site is a huge benefit for the shelter and plays an important role. By doing most surgeries and checks here at the Weston shelter, money is saved and used to take care of even more animals.

In addition to vet checks conducted when animals first arrive at the RSPCA ACT, the vet clinic is responsible for de-sexing shelter pets to ensure they cannot reproduce and contribute to the overpopulation problem. Surgeries for sick or injured pets and wildlife are also part of the routine.

As well as providing an essential service for the shelter, RSPCA ACT’s vet clinic offers reasonably priced services to members of the community and in some cases assistance for those who do not have the necessary funds to pay full vet fees for their domestic animals.

Asked about an example of something unusual that happened recently, Manager Jane Gregor recalls a surgery where a pair of jeans had to be removed from a bull terrier’s stomach…and the dog survived.

May 17, 2010

Thanks Canberra!

RSPCA ACT would like to thank all 12,000 people and 4,000 dogs who attended the Million Paws Walk in Canberra.

Supporters of RSPCA ACT have put in a massive effort and more than $150,000 was raised yesterday.

All funds raised will help save more animals and provide necessary care for animals at our shelter in Weston during the cold winter months.

May 6, 2010

Win a Million Paws Walk crew pack!

Register for the Million Paws Walk and email us a photo of your team or yourself with your eticket for a chance to win a Million Paws Walk crew pack.
Email your photo at by Monday 10 May 2010
Good luck!
*Crew pack includes a Million Paws Walk festival tee, a cap and a dog lead.

May 4, 2010

Meet Alley

Alley, a lovely four-year-old Kelpie, is looking for a new home. She is very friendly and loves being with people. Ally is an easy dog to walk, and she also knows how to sit. She enjoys playing and likes chasing balls.

You can meet Alley at the RSPCA ACt in Weston.

Click here for more info on Alley or call RSPCA ACT on 1 300 4 RSPCA

April 23, 2010

Our favourite projects over the coming months: Million Paws Walk

With just over three weeks left before the Million Paws Walk, the marketing team at RSPCA ACT is busier than ever, making sure everything is ready for the big day.

As well as being our biggest event, the Million Paws Walk is one of the team’s favourite events where staff can share their passion with thousands of supporters and dog lovers from around the region.

Of course, the Million Paws Walk is also an enormous fundraising effort, which helps us help animals in need. This year we are hoping to raise over $50,000 online and a total of $150,000 for the entire Canberra event.

In 2009, 9,000 people and 3,500 dogs walked and we would be thrilled to see this number rise again this year.

Want to be part of it? Register online at

Do you want to help on the day? We are still looking for volunteers. If you are interested, please contact Marcia Cobb at

Alternatively for those who cannot make it on the day or wish to donate more, an online fundraising page has been set up at

Any donations are welcomed.

April 14, 2010

Swan Lake

Nine months after being brought to the RSPCA ACT for a leg injury, Victoria, an adult black swan, has been released in her natural habitat at Lake Ginnindera, North Canberra

It took several surgeries and hours of physiotherapy for Victoria to be able to walk again, thanks to the ongoing effort from the veterinary and wildlife staff.

To help with the healing process, RSPCA Wildlife Assistant Helen Hardy took Victoria under her care at her home where a pool and a large garden became the swan’s temporary habitat.

Helen knew Victoria was ready to go back into the wild when the black swan flew off the garden walls. Luckily, Victoria was quickly found, safe, in a pond nearly three kilometres away. 
 “Once an animal is ready, you can’t hold it back,” Helen said.

A short time after, RSPCA staff took Victoria and Albert, a young male swan also ready to be released, to the lake where they came from. 

After an emotional goodbye on the lake shore, the two swans gracefully swam away to join other swans.
“We are hoping Victoria will find her mate,” Helen said, adding that swans have lifelong partners. Providing their natural environment is undisturbed, Victoria and Albert can now have a successful life at the lake where they belong.

Did you know RSPCA ACT is Canberra’s only licensed wildlife carer? Did you know you can become a wildlife volunteer carer or help us care for more wildlife in need by donating to the RSPCA ACT online?

March 31, 2010

A walk at the RSPCA ACT shelter: Pet Adoption Centre and Store

Being the front door of the shelter, the Pet Adoption Centre is where the action is. From incoming calls to strays and adoptions, staff at PAC (as we like to call it) juggle with a wide variety of tasks. 

Today, for example, a man came to the shelter to reclaim Romeo, his papillon-cross dog. Romeo was dropped at the shelter last night after escaping from his yard. Because he had a microchip, staff were able to locate his owner easily and reunite them. These happy reunions, says Pet Adoption Centre supervisor Reeni, are one of the reasons she likes working at the centre.

Other success stories that all staff seem to enjoy involve older animals, or long-term residents going home to a new forever home. “We love to know the animal goes to a good home,” says Reeni.

As well as building relationships with customers, staff also play an education role. Whether it be by giving advice on pets or telling people of the importance of desexing and microchipping, staff like to remind people of responsible ownership of pets.  “A pet is a life-time commitment,” says Reeni.

The Pet Adoption Centre is also home to the store, where products such as pet food and toys are for sale. Of course, being an animal welfare organisation, products are chosen with care and this why we do not carry things like choker chains, which can hurt dogs.

Did you know you can call the RSPCA ACT for advices on pets? Did you know the RSPCA ACT has an online store?

Good Friday - 2 April - CLOSED
Easter Saturday - 3 April - OPEN 9am to 4pm
Easter Sunday - 4 April - OPEN 9am to 4pm
Easter Monday - 5 April - CLOSED

Next visit: The Veterinary Clinic

March 29, 2010

A walk at the RSPCA ACT shelter: Cattery

Entering the main cattery building, the first thing that catches your attention is the high number of cats currently available for adoption. “Too many cats, too many kittens,” says adoption assistant Maria when asked how many cats there are.

In the cattery, cats are everywhere. On a sunny day like today, kittens are out playing together and older cats chill out in cat enclosures. Inside, those needing a quieter environment can rest peacefully.

While the breeding season is practically over in the ACT, the shelter is still caring for many cats. In fact, more than 30 kittens and 60 cats are ready to be matched with new families.

In addition to those, another 60 kittens are waiting to be de-sexed or recovering from the cat flu, while many more are with foster families.

The foster program plays an important role at the RSPCA ACT. From as young as four weeks, some kittens are fostered by families who help them socialise. During our busiest months when space is an issue, the foster program allows us to take on and care for more kittens.

Each season, an average of 1500 cats are taken care of by the RSPCA ACT.

The cattery staff are also responsible for rabbits. At the moment, there are 28 rabbits on site and just last week, four babies were born.
Did you know you can adopt a rabbit from the RSPCA ACT?
What do you think of the high number of cats currently available for adoption?
Did you know you can help by becoming a volunteer or a foster family?

Next visit: Pet Adoption Centre and store
When: Next week

March 17, 2010

A walk at the RSPCA ACT shelter: Wildlife

As Canberra’s only licensed carer, the Wildlife centre at the RSPCA ACT is a busy place to be. Here, staff are working seven days a week to ensure injured, sick or orphaned native animals are being taken care of.

Right now, more than 200 animals are in care. From reptiles and birds to bigger mammals such as wombats and possums, “we take whatever turns up,” says Wildlife manager Natasha Ackland. Some animals require surgery and intensive care, while others only need a non-stressful environment to recover before being released back to the wild.

Road trauma or poisoning are two frequent reasons for native animals to be treated at the centre. But depending of the season, wildlife staff also face additional challenges. This autumn, a high number of bats have already been treated for injuries caused by fruit nets, and staff are expecting that many more will require help before the winter.

In total, the RSPCA ACT assists 3,500 native animals each year.

Do you have any questions regarding the wildlife centre?  What is your favourite native animal?

Next tour: The Cattery
When: Next week

Check out this video on bats in Canberra

March 10, 2010

A walk at the RSPCA ACT shelter: the Kennels

There is a lot going on at the RSPCA ACT shelter. If you’ve never visited us, here is your chance. Follow the words each week as I take you around parts of our shelter.

First stop - the kennels 

This is where we keep dogs and puppies that are available for adoption and those who have just arrived at the shelter for various reasons. As part of their routine, staff and volunteers clean kennels, feed dogs and provide them with adequate exercise.  When a newcomer arrives, a few extra steps - such as a visit to the veterinary clinic and a behavioural assessment - are followed to ensure the pet is healthy and ready to be rehomed.

Contrary to common belief, dogs at the RSPCA ACT shelter are not all here because of behavioural problems. Reasons for them being available for adoption include, owners moving overseas, owners having financial hardship, elderly owners not having enough mobility to care for their pets, or they simply got lost and have never found their way home.

In fact, you will find that most of the dogs available for adoption are loving companion animals waiting to be matched with the ‘right’ person or family. The RSPCA ACT shelter has a no-kill policy, so as long as dogs are healthy and behaviourally sound, they will stay with us until they find a new home.

Next tour: the Wildlife Clinic
When: Next week

Have you ever visited the RSPCA ACT shelter?

March 2, 2010

A Strong Voice for Animal Welfare

While dog and cat welfare remains a core issue for RSPCA and the animal welfare movement, our cause has always been grounded on a broader concern for protecting all animals from cruelty. 
The humane movement is built around a concern for any mistreatment and abuse of any animal—whether domesticated or wild or by individuals or institutions. Increasingly, there has been a more careful assessment of the treatment of production animals. RSPCA has for many years looked at ways of improving farming practices including live transport, live export, battery cages, sow stalls and the myriad of welfare issues these practices carry. 
RSPCA continues to investigate and expose inhumane practices across the nation and the awful mistreatment of animals. There have also been pointed criticisms focused on the lifelong confinement of certain farm animals—such as breeding sows and laying hens—in cages and crates barely larger than their bodies. Whether you are a devoted carnivore or a committed vegetarian, these inhumane production practices should be a concern to every humane advocate.
Whereas in the ACT we have limited exposure to intensive farming practices we have a role to play. To ensure you, our supporter is kept informed I have included some key reference points for you which will allow you to be kept informed about the work RSPCA is doing at a national and international level.
In 2010 other areas that we will be focusing on locally include the ongoing issue of intensive breeding of puppies for sale through pet shops and classified advertising. We have recently undertaken a study of newspaper advertising through the Canberra Times. The results are alarming and we have since raised our concerns with the Chief Minister.
Wildlife continues to be a core area. We will continue to educate the community about how we can better live in harmony with our unique fauna and we will further enhance our caring services to better cope with the ever increasing volume of native animals requiring our care.