It’s the school holidays and once again RSPCA Qld is waiting to receive dozens of calls about animals being abandoned.
“While it appears to be an escalating problem, in many of these cases the animals have actually had someone assigned to look after them.” says RSPCA Qld spokesperson Michael Beatty. “The problem is that the animals’ owners have neglected to notify neighbours who then report the matter to us. I would urge anyone who leaves their pets in the care of family or friends to register with our Home Alone service.”
The Home Alone service was set up to alleviate the burden on already overworked Inspectors who were continually being called to investigate possible cases of neglect and cruelty during holiday periods.
“Many people leave pets at home and rely on the goodwill of neighbours and friends to keep them fed, watered and exercised,” said Mr Beatty. “The problem is that often these friends forget or the animal escapes and we have no one to contact in case of emergencies. With Home Alone people can register their pet on our website and leave the name and contact details of the people taking care of the animal. That way we know whom to contact in case of emergencies. You can also call 1300 ANIMAL (264 625) and leave your details.”
RSPCA Queensland investigates over 12,000 complaints of animal cruelty annually and reports of abandoned animals make up a large quantity of these complaints. During holiday seasons these types of calls escalate with families leaving pets behind in the care of friends and neighbours.
“The good intentions of neighbours looking out for the welfare of your pet can often lead to unneeded investigation,” continued Mr Beatty. “Simply by completing your details on Home Alone when your family is going on holidays you can be reassured that RSPCA Inspectors will contact you or your animals’ nominated caregiver if a complaint is lodged or the animal ends up at an RSPCA refuge.”
However the sad fact remains that some animals have been abandoned.
“Your pet is your responsibility. A pet is for life, not just your convenience. Animal abandonment is an offense.”