Government may put RSPCA and Domestic Animal Services on one site

Lachlan Roberts 25 June 2019 35

Minister for City Services Chris Steel and Chief Minister Andrew Barr at the RSPCA. Photos: Daniella Jukic.

RSPCA ACT may soon have a new home away from its ageing facility after the ACT Government announced a planning study into the long-term plan for upgraded facilities for the charity.

The shelter in Weston Creek has been home to the RSPCA since 1966, but the 45-year-old facility has been struggling to keep up with the growing responsibility.

The ACT Government said its planning study will assess options to upgrade the current site or relocate to a purpose-built facility in a different location, which includes potentially co-locating the RSPCA and Domestic Animal Services.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr visited the RSPCA ACT a month ago to look at the facilities and chat with CEO Michelle Robertson about the RSPCA’s plans and vision for the future.

Mr Barr said the $300,000 funding package will solve an array of short term issues for the organisation while also looking to the future of the charity.

RSPCA ACT CEO Michelle Robertson, Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Minister for City Services Chris Steel at the announcement this morning.

“We recognise the importance of that immediate investment in facilities so this facility will be as good as it possibly can be given available resources,” he said. “More resources and a purpose-built facility in the medium term will allow the RSPCA to provide an even better service.

“Each year funding is provided to the RSPCA and I am pleased that this year we are able to provide additional funding for the RSPCA to continue to meet its demanding workload and further enhance its level of service.

“We want to ensure they are best equipped to continue caring and finding homes for thousands of animals each year.”

The funding will also provide new and modernised kennel facilities and a dental x-ray machine to boost animal management and welfare services with new equipment to better resource the shelter.

Minister for City Services Chris Steel said the funding will ensure the territory’s animals continue to be cared for in a comfortable and safe environment.

Dogs like Sassy, who has been in RSPCA ACT care for 365 days, will benefit from the new funding.

He said that Domestic Animal Services also has an ageing facility and the government is looking at whether there is a potential benefit of having both services co-located.

“We will look at all options, whether that is a new facility in separate locations for both organisations or whether that is co-location,” he said.

“We need to look at how many animals we need to cater for in the ACT with a population of 500,000 compared to 425,000 at the moment. The ACT Government is currently undertaking a pet census to get a better understanding of how many animals and what type of animals people have in our community and that will help us inform the planning work.”

RSPCA ACT CEO Michelle Robertson said the volume and species of animals had outgrown the current facility.

RSPCA ACT president Jeffrey Butler and CEO Michelle Robertson said the current facilities are restrictive.

“In our last financial year, we had 3,300 animals come through the RSPCA,” she said. “At this present moment, we have 208 animals of all different species in our care.

“To successfully continue our mission – to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection – the current facilities must be modernised to ensure that the animals and their humans requiring the RSPCA ACT’s services are able to be cared for.

“The current facilities are restrictive. We achieve great outcomes but that is despite our facilities. If we have the facilities that we need, we can achieve even greater outcomes.

“Every week we have animals on the surrender list. Every week we get phone calls for emergency boarding and we wish we could help every single animal and every single human that requires our help but we are simply not able to at this stage.”

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
35 Responses to Government may put RSPCA and Domestic Animal Services on one site
Vic Franklin Vic Franklin 8:01 am 29 Jun 19

This picture is prime meme material 😄

    Belinda Konz Belinda Konz 11:53 am 29 Jun 19

    Vic Franklin how unimpressed does the cat look lol!

    Rissy Farrow-Pryke Rissy Farrow-Pryke 3:55 pm 29 Jun 19

    Belinda Konz it’s plotting to take them down 🙀

Shaz Ray Shaz Ray 7:11 am 27 Jun 19

How about helping the pet rescues. They do a damned fine job of rescuing amd rehoming. More funding for pet rescues.

Valerie Collits Valerie Collits 8:39 pm 26 Jun 19

I didn't know that !

    Andrew Higginson Andrew Higginson 8:40 pm 26 Jun 19

    Valerie, more to your brother than you realised eh! Lol 😂

Andrew Higginson Andrew Higginson 12:17 pm 26 Jun 19

I remember planting wind break trees at the Weston RSPCA when it was fairly new, late 60s I’m guessing, with Jim Geddes who I’m thinking was on the Board or something similar at that time (volunteered by my parents of course). It’s a good location there, hoping proposed other options are also geographically friendly

dpm dpm 9:19 am 26 Jun 19

This whole story (especially the quotes) is classic spin.
They have already started clearing trees behind the RSPCA (near bike path) so I think we can tell what the plans already are for that area. Go have a look. (On a side note, interesting that the Govt are funding planting more trees while chopping these down?!)

The $300k comes across as some sort of deal to get them to move. Obviously the land there is more important for developers etc….?

They really just need to be straight with people instead of pretending they don’t have an agenda already. This approach is a bit insulting when we already know the result of: “We will look at all options, whether that is a new facility in separate locations for both organisations or whether that is co-location”! Hmmm, I wonder…. Haha!

PigsFly PigsFly 9:05 am 26 Jun 19

I had also been wondering what had happened to the proposed relocation a few years ago – thought that the gov’t had seen the light and decided to leave it there. And I still think the RSPCA should stay there, but is given more space and way more modern facilities. Not sure how I’d feel about Domestic Animals being moved there – what are their facilities like these days?

Julie Maynard Julie Maynard 10:22 pm 25 Jun 19

Have the new households complained about the noise?

Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 9:23 pm 25 Jun 19

That cat looks like a feral.. it's huge!

    Christopher Carter Christopher Carter 2:18 am 26 Jun 19

    Amanda Evans And not too keen on the esteemed Mr Barrrrr

    Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 5:43 pm 26 Jun 19

    Christopher Carter no he's looking a bit grumpy!

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:10 am 29 Jun 19

    He wouldn't be able to hold a feral. As a child I would catch a wild cat's kittens (with long, thick leather gloves). I would lie in wait where I knew they would emerge and pounce. It was a game to me, and what child can resist a kitten. Fortunately the mother never went for me. Anyway, spiky spitfires, at least initially - they got more used to me and were then willing to play - so imagine an adult. I have also trapped a few feral cats and taken them to the RSPCA. They were not particularly big cats. But you do not nurse them. As for size, I had one very tame, quiet cat who weighed 6.7kg (not fat). Average size for cats is 4kg I believe. That cat was big enough to stand and look in my car's side window.

    Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 12:06 pm 29 Jun 19

    Julie Macklin yes I know feral cats ate quite crazy and if caught, they will bash themselves against the cage. My comment was that this cat is huge and angry looking. Poor baby probably had a very loving home by the looks of him.

Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 9:21 pm 25 Jun 19

It needs to stay where it is as it needs to be in the middle of the city and especially where volunteers can get to easily.

Also the idea of putting DAS and RSPCA together, well wouldnt that be a bad look?

    Narrelle Kelly Narrelle Kelly 8:08 pm 28 Jun 19

    Amanda Evans shouldn’t they work together as they are the same thing

    Rachael Szczerbiak Rachael Szczerbiak 8:40 pm 02 Nov 19

    Rachel Ray, how do they work together?

Debbie Soxsmith Debbie Soxsmith 6:58 pm 25 Jun 19

The relocation stalled in 2016 because the cheapest estimate for the move was $26 million:

Holly Nebauer Holly Nebauer 4:36 pm 25 Jun 19

Is that the cat? Stacey Jayne

    Stacey Jayne Stacey Jayne 5:51 pm 25 Jun 19

    Yes!! He is such a gorgeous boy!! (Mum saw it and sent me the article too :P )

    Leigh Taylor-Byrne Leigh Taylor-Byrne 7:05 pm 25 Jun 19

    Stacey what cat? Did you get a cat?

    Stacey Jayne Stacey Jayne 7:07 pm 25 Jun 19

    Alas, no! He's a gorgeous one though!

Paul James Paul James 4:06 pm 25 Jun 19

Yeah, the Macca’s/Caltex deal was a shonky one. The land was rezoned AFTER the Gvt got their stamp duty from people who’d built houses across the road.

It would be good if the RSPCA could stay, but think a purpose built facility along with the increased land value might mean a relocation.

Lana Smith Lana Smith 3:55 pm 25 Jun 19

Laura not sure when the pic was taken but the car looks similar to your boy

    Laura Jacobs Laura Jacobs 3:57 pm 25 Jun 19

    Thank you for thinking of Herm! I don't think it's him though :'( he has a much whiter belly. Thanks so much x

    Lana Smith Lana Smith 3:59 pm 25 Jun 19

    No worries. I had a wander around Evatt for you awhile back but had no luck. My girls go to school there so I make sure I’m always watching out for him. Hopefully he is found soon x

    Laura Jacobs Laura Jacobs 4:05 pm 25 Jun 19

    Lana Smith You're a legend! <3

Stan Vizovitis Stan Vizovitis 3:55 pm 25 Jun 19

In other words its more valuable to flog off to the long lunch club for new slums ...shame

Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 3:52 pm 25 Jun 19

Now that the land with a panoramic view has gone to the Maccas/servo combo, its time to put some badly built Geocon apartments where the RSPCA is. See, I could do Barr's job standing on my head!😂

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 8:17 pm 25 Jun 19

    Kriso Hadskini you wouldn’t even need me as an assistant!

    Julie Maynard Julie Maynard 10:24 pm 25 Jun 19

    Kriso Hadskini make sure to include outdoor advertising depicting women in showers or riding a bike in the sexy underwear!

    Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 12:02 am 26 Jun 19

    Julie Maynard For sure! Maybe some shirtless guys too for balance and extra irrelevancy!

Jessica Brisbane Jessica Brisbane 3:35 pm 25 Jun 19

What happened to the relocation/land swap that was announced a few years ago?

    Donna Venables Donna Venables 4:00 pm 25 Jun 19

    Jessica Brisbane good question. That’s what I was wondering too.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site