Surrendered animals stretch resources at RSPCA WA
An influx of animals surrendered to Inspectors over the past financial year is stretching resources at RSPCA WA’s Animal Care Centre in Malaga.
763 animals were surrendered to RSPCA WA Inspectors in 2017-18. A further 168 animals were seized by Inspectors, pending further investigation.
Surrendered animals account for more than half of all incoming animals.
On average, 15 animals are surrendered to RSPCA Inspectors each week in WA and it takes on average seven weeks of medical and behavioural treatment to prepare them for a new home.
The costs associated with treating these animals varies, but typically ranges from several hundred dollars to upwards of $6000.
Inspectors will recommend owners surrender their animals to RSPCA WA if it is evident that the owners are not able to provide the necessary basic or medical needs for their pets.
These numbers do not include the animals who are surrendered to RSPCA WA by their owners for other reasons, such as relocation.
Source: RSPCA WA Cruelty Reports, 2017-18.
Earlier this month, a RSPCA Inspector responded to a report of a neglected dog from a concerned member of the public. On arrival, the Inspector found a terrier, Leo, with severely matted fur. Leo’s owners could not provide him with proper care and he was surrendered to the RSPCA Inspector.
On arrival at the RSPCA Animal Care Centre in Malaga, one-year-old Leo was very timid and his fur was matted so badly that RSPCA vets had difficulty examining him. Before they could proceed, two vet nurses took almost an hour to painstakingly remove his fur.
On top of the pain and discomfort from his matted fur, Leo also had to be treated for an irritating skin condition and a severe ear infection, which required antibiotics, ear-drops and anti-inflammatories.
Leo has been in RSPCA WA’s care for two weeks and is making a slow but steady recovery. Because of what he’s been through, Leo is quite fearful and will need to go to a calm home when he’s ready for a new family.
Comments attributed to Executive Manager Community Engagement Maree Daniels:
Caring for surrendered animals like Leo, in addition to those who come to us because of cruelty or neglect, is a huge task and one that puts enormous strain on the RSPCA.
When animals are let down by their owner, they rely on us to stop their pain and suffering and get them the care they need.
For Leo, this meant being free from the pain of his severely matted hair which had weighed him down and caused him constant discomfort.
Fortunately for Leo he is already on his way to recovery. Other animals need much more extensive treatment or behavioural rehabilitation, which can require many more months in our care.
No matter how long it takes, RSPCA WA will explore all medical and behavioural avenues to ensure animals in our care can have the best chance to find loving new homes.
Taking in 15 surrendered animals a week is costly and time-consuming and wouldn’t be possible without generous donations and community support – which provides 90% of the funding required for RSPCA WA to continue its animal protection work.