RSPCA ACT has continued to achieve significant animal welfare outcomes in 2017. We received 3,562 domesticated animals in need of our help through the Shelter with another 499 incoming non-native species and injured wildlife.
For domestic animals, it was the first year ever that RSPCA ACT has achieved a 90% rehoming rate across all species. Notably, canines reached 94.5% and felines a considerable 90.7%. Significantly, in December 2017 RSPCA ACT recorded a significant milestone of 97.62% of kittens rehomed. A substantial achievement given the delicate disposition of young kittens.
RSPCA ACT Chief Executive Officer Tammy Ven Dange reflected on these numbers, “Few people would really understand how hard it is to achieve such numbers in an ‘open” shelter like RSPCA ACT. A Shelter where we take in almost any animal that needs us - especially for felines.
These rehoming rates are, firstly, a reflection of the hard work of our amazing staff and volunteers including foster carers that keep the animals healthy. Secondly, it’s a huge indication of what an animal-loving community the ACT is. They are the ones that decide to adopt from us rather than buying pets online.”
While we saw an overall decrease of 15.4% of incoming animals, this was in part due to:
1) More of the care of injured and orphaned native wildlife being done by ACT Wildlife volunteers;
2) Focused efforts by our Inspectorate to educate and work with pet owners in the community; and
3) A 17.8% decrease in incoming kittens and a 21.6% decrease in cats. Whether this was due in part our efforts to provide discounted and free desexing through our Frisky Tom program for the last three years is hard to tell. What we do know is that we’re seeing fewer felines coming into the shelter and hope that the message has finally come through to desex your pets.
Despite the decrease in incoming animals in so many areas, the Shelter still saw a 37% jump in the number of stray and surrendered dogs. Fortunately, a large number of stray dogs were reunited with their owners.