For the third year running, RSPCA ACT has recorded yet another record breaking year! The animal welfare figures for 2015/16 demonstrate the organisation’s continued efforts and commitment to improve animal welfare across the Territory.
RSPCA ACT has recorded its highest rehoming rates ever across the board with puppy euthanasia at an all-time low with only three of the 243 incoming puppies being euthanised in the last year. Feline euthanasia was also at an record low with rehoming numbers just below 90% and would have been much higher if we did not account for the large number of incoming feral cats that could not be rehomed.
Overall feline adoptions increased by 159 cats and kittens with a total of exactly 100 more incoming fluffy kittens than the previous year despite our desexing campaign. Director of Animal Welfare Jane Gregor commented on these numbers, “While we do not euthanise animals unless they fail the behavioural and/or medical tests, we have been able to rehome a higher percentage of animals this year because of our continuing efforts to refine our procedures and processes that allowed for better management of disease control. When you have thousands of animals coming into the Shelter each year, this alone makes a huge difference in our statistics.”
CEO Tammy Ven Dange further expanded on the outcomes, “Despite a 93% rehoming rate for canines, most people would not realise that in most years we adopt out 4x more cats and kittens than dogs and puppies, and that we often rehome more birds than adult dogs. It often feels like Noah’s Ark with at least two (and often dozens more) of every domestic species at the Shelter looking for a home.”
Overall RSPCA ACT managed to rehome 2,796 animals to their fur-ever home - nearly 60 more animals than the last financial year. One of the many animals that was adopted last year was the world famous ‘Chris the Sheep’. With a fleece that weighed 41.1kg, Chris set a Guinness World Record and was rehomed not long after coming into our care.
In 2015/16, RSPCA ACT also played a vital part in reducing the number of unwanted animals in the community by desexing 2,772 animals in their Vet Clinic. Ms Ven Dange further commented, “Over 30% of the animals we desexed were actually owned by public client owners. While 189 were done through our free Frisky Tom campaign, most people don’t realise that we provide a full service vet clinic to the public with payment plans to meet any budget. We believe that it’s part of our mission to ensure that all pet owners have a way to obtain vet services regardless of income to avoid neglecting their pets.”
Perhaps the most important statistics relate to our core mission - the prevention of cruelty to animals. Thanks to the incredible work of our Inspectorate we have had a 100% success rate for prosecutions with 15 cases decided in the courts and 916 animals either seized or surrendered to our inspectors. This is up from 9 prosecutions in 2014/15. As of today we still have 18 matters awaiting hearings with a staggering 2,725 animal welfare complaints investigated last year.
Ms Ven Dange reflected on this past year, “Our amazing team of staff and volunteers have done a tremendous job to help so many animals this year. Still, this is really a community achievement, not just one for RSPCA ACT. We are only able to achieve these outcomes because the greater Canberra community continues to support our work financially and choose to adopt animals from our Shelter rather than buying them elsewhere. We and the thousands of animals that we care for each year, cannot thank everyone enough!”
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