RSPCA Animal Rescue (Tuesday nights on Prime) is a great way to raise awareness about animal welfare but I do wonder if people realise how different the situation in the ACT is to that of NSW.
Obviously, NSW is a much bigger organisation which deals with a larger population. It has more money, more staff, better facilities and (sadly) more animals in need. The ability for NSW RSPCA to respond to issues, as are shown on RSPCA Animal Rescue, may give Canberrans a false impression that the Canberra branch of RSPCA is also able to make house calls to collect strays or rescue trapped animals.
My understanding is that they just don’t have the resources to do this. They have two (I think) inspectors servicing the whole region and no staff who are dedicated to “rescue” missions (again, as far as I know) – expectations that RSPCA ACT can undertake the intensive “call out” work that is shown on RSPCA Animal Rescue are unlikely to be realistic.
It also made me wonder what options there are for the community if and when RSPCA ACT cannot help someone in need of assistance.
I know Canberra Connect is referred to as the font of all wisdom, but in reality what are the options, as an example, for a person who finds a cat (not necessarily their own) stuck in a wall? If a pensioner goes into hospital and has no friends or family and the RSPCA has no room to board their beloved pet, who can they go to for help?
Is the awareness raising benefit of nationally broadcast shows like RSPCA Animal Rescue such that it outweighs any additional pressure placed on smaller branches of the RSPCA as a result? Probably. But it would be interesting to see how many people watching the show go on to donate to their local RSPCA.