Opening Hours

  • Open 7 Days
  • Most Days: 9am - 5pm
  • Wednesdays: 10am - 5pm
  • Viewing of Animals - Daily: 9am - 4pm      
  • Public Holidays: CLOSED

CEO Blog

A view of the shelter from CEO Tammy Ven Dange

Since beginning my role as Chief Executive Officer of RSPCA ACT in Canberra Australia in February 2014, I have been awed and inspired by the work of my team. I won’t lie… there are many sad days. However, there are also plenty of happy endings too.

While we regularly share stories with the public through both traditional and various social media channels, I have found that from time to time that we don’t have the right medium for me to share my own thoughts and feelings about what happens here. This is my attempt to show you, our supporters, another side of our Shelter’s life that you might not see anywhere else as an outsider.

Hope you enjoy this view of life at the Shelter.

Cheers, Tammy

P.S.  Feel free to also follow me on Twitter and Instagram via @tvendange

All blog posts

A Face that can Kill – When Breeds Need More than Unconditional Love

Australian Bull Dog with breathing issues
On the 25 th February, an eight-year old Australian Bulldog named Jaxon was surrendered to RSPCA ACT. Like so many other dogs of his breed, he came to us with significant health issues related to his exaggerated features. In order for him to live a healthy and longer life, our vet team would have to perform significant surgery just to help him breath. In Jaxon’s case, his teeth are overcrowded and the soft palate was too loose and floppy to allow for adequate air flow resulting in a daily struggle, much like a person with chronic asthma. Jaxon’s story is not unusual unfortunately. Turn on any

Through Leopold's Eyes

Leopold the dog
He’s still there. Those big brown eyes staring at me through his cage. I walk by his kennel almost every day to say hello. When he sees me, he recognises me instantly. He never fails to show his delight at the extra attention. I walk into the staff only section and reach my fingers through the gate wires to scratch his back first. He rolls over on his back so that I can try to rub his tummy too. If I have time, I might even go into the kennel with him and allow him smoother me with love and leaving me covered in his hair and drool in the process. I don’t have any treats with me this time, but

Breed Specific Legislation Doesn’t Work

Happy Relaxed Pitbull laying on a garden path he has a big pink tongue and a blue grey coat and soft kind eyes
There has been a lot of talk lately about Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) for dogs after a number of horrific attacks locally. The entire community including RSPCA ACT has a desire to see a reduction and prevention in dog attacks from occurring. However, using legislation in this manner has proven to be ineffective in reducing dog attacks. What exactly is BSL? It’s the restriction of specific breeds or cross breeds of dogs regardless of their behaviour. The only form of BSL that the Australian Capital Territory has in place right now is for greyhounds which are required to wear muzzles until

Pet Pool and Beach Safety

Finn the little dog is wearing his life jacket and he is ready for a swim
Summer is well and truly here and many people are already planning their holidays! If you plan to bring your furry companion along with you there are things you should consider. Here are our top tips to ensure that your holiday is everything to remember – for the right reasons! 1. Pet-Friendly? Make sure wherever you’re going allows animals. Some beaches and campsites that normally allow them may have different rules during the busy holiday period. Give them a phone call and do your research. 2. Make sure your pet can swim: When it comes to dogs, some breeds are instinctively comfortable in th

Christmas Food Dangers for Your Pet

Moo the puppy in a basket licking her nose
We all eat things we shouldn’t from time to time, after all, who can resist that extra serving of dessert at Christmas? Luckily for us, the worst consequences often require us to loosen our belts and put on some stretchy clothing. Unfortunately for our pet pals this isn’t their reality. When animals are allowed to overindulge it can mean an emergency visit to the vet. This festive season keep an eye out for the following dangers: Chocolate: We’ve previously discussed the toxicity of chocolate for animals and would like to reinforce that (even a little bit) it’s a serious health threat to your

Helping Your Dog Be A Good Neighbour

Helping Barking Dogs
Yesterday I decided to tag along with our RSPCA ACT Inspectors for the afternoon. They investigated seven different complaints within a two-hour period and all but one was related to what we would call a ‘nuisance’ complaint – most frequently that of dogs barking. Barking dogs are not actually covered by the Animal Welfare Act which is the legislation that our Inspectors enforce. The majority of the time we will turn these types of calls over to the Rangers at Domestic Animals Services (DAS). However on occasion, the person lodging the complaint will describe other welfare issues which we will

What Can You Do to Help the Greyhounds?

ceo message
Last Thursday was a historical day when the NSW and ACT Governments decided to ban greyhound racing – the first in Australia to do so. Despite our advocacy efforts, it was a day that I wasn’t sure that I would see during my time at RSPCA ACT. We certainly didn’t think that NSW would be the first state to ban this commercial activity in the country. Most people will not realise that only a few countries in the world permit commercial greyhound racing. In the United States, 40 of 50 states have banned it with active racing now only in five states. Growing up in the US, I never met a greyhound my

Pet Owners Make Great Tenants

dog at home
“I’m surrendering my pet because I am moving house.” These are some of the saddest words we hear at RSPCA ACT and way too frequently. While Australia has one of the highest percentages of pet ownership in the world, there are still many people that would love to own a pet, but cannot because they are renting. Last year, I spoke at a property management conference in Canberra. One of the questions I asked the audience was, “How many of you have first-hand experience with a pet causing significant damage to a property that you were managing?” A show of hands only resulted in two people that coul

Why We Rehome ‘Imperfect’ Pets

Kitten
I’m often asked what the best type of pet is. The answer is easy: A rescued one! However, when I say ‘best’ I do not mean perfect. I once had a government official (who is no longer working in government) tell me that perhaps our financial challenges were related to the fact that we were “selling the wrong kind of product.” She meant that if we only rehomed the perfect pure bred animals that were in high demand we wouldn’t have problems adopting them out; and therefore would have plenty of money as a result. She obviously did not understand our mission at all! Every day dozens of animals come

Buyers Remorse: The Problem with Buying Pets Online

Haloumi
It was just another day at RSPCA ACT in February this year, a little ball of white fluff arrived at the Shelter. At just six weeks old, the purebred Japanese Spitz was being surrendered into our care. The reason? After only two days his new owners were in over their heads. He barked too much, he had a skin condition, and what they thought they had ‘ordered’ from the website for about $2000 because of his cute photo wasn’t what they expected. The skin condition was hot spots all over the left side of his body which had turned into ugly scabs. At this age, he should still have been with his moth

'Twas the Night before Million Paws Walk

Sleeping puppy
‘Twas the night before Million Paws Walk, when all through the Shelter All the creatures were stirring, even the mouse; The banners and signs were hung by Stage 88 with care, In hopes that lots and lots of dogs would soon be there: The puppies were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of the Paw-Olympics Games danced in their heads; And volunteers in their green shirts and staff in blue caps, Had just finalised the rosters hoping there were no gaps, When out on the lawn there rose such a clatter, I sprang from backstage to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flas