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2019 RSPCA Highlights

Animals Pets Animal Welfare
This financial year has been another incredibly busy one for RSPCA Queensland!
Our Inspectors investigated 17,810 cruelty complaints. We have also seen a significant increase in offenders being charged and successfully prosecuted. 

The RSPCA Queensland call centre responded to a whopping 403,674 calls, emails and sms. Our Animal Ambulances attended over 30,000 requests about sick and injured wildlife and domestic pets across the state.

Over 5,500 volunteers across Queensland contributed 536,000 hours of their time to our cause in a range of different roles. We couldn’t operate without them!

Our Wildlife Hospitals have seen over 25,000 native animals needing care. Every year we are seeing more and more wild animals needing RSPCA care.

Over 7,000 pets were placed in temporary foster homes thanks to members of the public signing up to become an RSPCA foster carer. Foster carers are amazing! Pets need help from foster parents year-round for a range of reasons some include: pups and kittens waiting to get to the right weight before desexing, farm animals that need extra space on acreage, animals that aren’t coping with shelter life, pets that require temporary homes while cruelty investigations are underway, and more!

You can read our full annual report here.

Some of our big stories from 2019:

Dogfighting dogs rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed

In March 2019, a 38-year-old man pled guilty to 16 charges, including six charges relating to organised dogfighting.

He was charged with numerous offences under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, including: failing to treat for disease or injury, inappropriate handling, possession of prohibited cockfighting spurs and supply of an animal for use in a prohibited event, namely a dogfight.

He was sentenced to three years’ probation and given a lifetime prohibition order, prohibiting him from owning any animal. The defendant was also ordered to pay almost $3,500 in costs.

Magistrate Kilmartin noted that had it not been for the defendant’s very specific personal circumstances, all of which had been out of his control, a period of imprisonment with actual time served would have been imposed.  He made the point that no future courts should rely on this sentence as a precedent and continued, saying “This outcome is a result of exceptional circumstances and is not reflective of the seriousness of the penalty that would usually be imposed.

Two of the seized dogs could not be rehabilitated and were sadly euthanised due to the overt aggression they displayed to other dogs. All other dogs were successfully rehabilitated and rehomed.

Adoni and Portia are just two of the dogs from the seizure that have gone on to find a life free of cruelty. 

owner sentenced over dog fighting rspca investigation

Above: Adoni's life before on a chain.

dog fighting dogs get second chance and adopted

Above: Adoni after, in RSPCA care.

rspca investigations into dog fighting

Above: Portia's life before on a chain

dog fighting dogs get second chance and adopted

Above: Portia after, in RSPCA care.

An emu on the loose in suburbia caused a stir and was luckily saved in time

In April 2019, a juvenile emu was discovered running the suburban streets of Eight Mile Plains in Brisbane. Not a native bird to the area, a concerned member of the public called the RSPCA for assistance and our Animal Ambulance team were able to help rescue the bird.

The emu was transported and given a full veterinary check at our Wildlife Hospital at Wacol. X-rays uncovered sinister metal objects in its stomach. A two and a half hour emergency surgery was performed to remove the foreign objects, which had caused significant damage to the emu. 
The harsh reality is, if the emu wasn’t found and treated, it most likely would have died a slow and painful death.

Luckily, after lengthy rest and recuperation, the emu made a full recovery and was transported to a property in St George to enjoy a normal life.

emu recovers after surgery and is released rspca queensland

RSPCA Cairns re-opens! 

After 599 days, the new RSPCA Qld Animal Care Centre in Cairns opened! Closing on March 5th 2017, much needed renovations took place on the tired facility. Opening on 25th October 2018, the new centre has been a major ‘win’ for animals.

The new centre has 28 adoption areas for dogs, 24 boarding kennels, 6 quarantine pens and three kennels specifically for Inspectorate cases. Cats too have the same number of adoption and boarding areas. There are also three designated dog exercise yards and an outdoor area for cats.

The new facility is much more streamlined for both animals and their carers, making it efficient and cost effective. 

The construction of the new centre wouldn’t have been possible without the generous bequest from the Gorry family.

rspca cairns rebuild

Without your support, we would not be able to continue to help animals that need it most. It costs $49 million annually to run RSPCA Queensland services, and as less than 3% of that we receive in government funding, meaning we rely on community donations to ensure we can care for as many animals as possible.

If you’d like to help RSPCA Queensland now and into the future, there are many ways that you can make a difference; from volunteering, to donating second hand items, and even attending an RSPCA event, it all counts!

Emma Lagoon
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