Every year hundreds of animals are reported as being abandoned during school holidays. While some of them actually had been abandoned others actually had someone assigned to care for them.
“The problem is that the animals’ owners often neglect to notify neighbours and these neighbours report the matter to us" said RSPCA Qld spokesperson Michael Beatty. “I would urge anyone who leaves their pets in the care of family or friends to register with our Home Alone service.”
The RSPCA offers a Home Alone Service which provides peace of mind to owners leaving their pet in the care of relatives or friends and helps to alleviate the burden on already overworked Inspectors. With Home Alone owners can register their pet on the RSPCA website and leave contact details of those taking care of their pets, so they can be contacted in cases of emergencies.
“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.”
RSPCA Queensland investigates over 19,000 complaints of animal cruelty and neglect annually and reports of abandoned animals make up a large number 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 shelter.”
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 offence.”
If you are going away for the holidays:
• Find a recommended pet sitter through services like PetCloud or,
• Book your pet into a boarding kennel and,
• Register your carer’s details online with Home Alone.