South Australia border collie case: Facts

South Australia border collie case: Facts

Along with many people in the community, and our colleagues at RSPCA South Australia, we are deeply saddened by the tragic circumstances of this case.

Following the continued spread of misinformation about the Border Collies seized by RSPCA South Australia, RSPCA WA would like to share the facts of the case here. 

RSPCA South Australia has provided comprehensive information about the facts of this case on their social media pages and on their website. Dog breeders Colin Ross and Kerrie Fitzpatrick are currently facing 17 animal welfare charges in the Murray Bridge Magistrates Court, so RSPCA South Australia cannot legally share every detail publicly as it could jeopardise the outcome of the case. 

Sadly, many people who are attacking RSPCA South Australia have either failed to read this information, have ignored what has been presented, or simply refuse to believe the full account of the situation as presented by the only people who have access to all the facts. They also appear to be able to ignore the fact that both of the accused have previously been convicted for dog breeding offences in Victoria.

Instead, people are taking the words of others, including some media organisations, acting on leaked fragments of incomplete facts, to create distress in the community about how the RSPCA operates in difficult, sad and legally sensitive cases such as this.

Click here to access the full report of the facts by RSPCA South Australia. 

All RSPCA societies in Australia, including RSPCA WA and RSPCA South Australia are required to comply with laws in relation to how we enforce legislation, prosecute cruelty, and obtain and spend our money. Our operations are transparent and are accountable. Annual reports, financial statements and up to date rehoming rates are all freely available and easily accessible online.

RSPCA WA relies on community support and generous donations for over 90% of the cost of continuing our animal protection work. Without your support, we would not be able to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals from cruelty and neglect in WA. These donations are spent on:

  • providing a team of Animal Welfare Inspectors to police the Animal Welfare Act (2002) in WA;
  • providing medical and behavioural rehabilitation to animals rescued from abuse and neglect;
  • providing temporary foster care for animals caught in family and domestic violence;
  • engaging with the community to educate and promote good animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.


Last year alone, your generous donations and support helped us investigate over 6,000 reports of animal cruelty, impacting on the lives of over 10,000 animals.

We welcome questions and are happy to answer any concerns about our policies, practises or positions on animal welfare matters. And if you hear something that you don’t like about us, please ask us about it before sharing it.

If you love animals, if you genuinely care, then work together with us. No person or organisation is perfect, but together we can overcome any obstacles and make new lives for the animals we care about.




  • Faye Williams:

    10 Apr 2019 15:46:56

    How much time was given to the assessment of the dogs.?
    How much time is given to traumatised dogs for possible recovery.
    It is not amediat.
    What age were the dogs? That is also a factor.

  • Alison Joseph:

    13 Apr 2019 20:11:48

    I think it it is totally appaling to suggest that the 100,000+ people who have signed the petition are some how in cahoots with the iillegal dog breeders, or are otherwise misinformed.

    Behavioural science is an imperfect art and it is totally legitimate to question the assessment of the dogs, or why an organisation that claims to have “rescued” the dogs is destroying them. Border Colies are one of the most intelligent of dog breeds and, if nothing else, their unfortunate predicament provides a natural experiment to determine whether they can be rehabilitated. Obviously, after a lifetime of abuse it may take many months or years for the dogs to regain their trust in humans. A shelter environment is also not an ideal setting for rehabilitation.

    While vets are in the business of euthanising many of their patients, given Border Collies have an IQ equivalent to a human 2 or 3 year old, I do not believe anyone would suggest euthanising a 2 year old because of “mental anguish”. I would therefore suggest that the ethical logic of your decision making is flawed.

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