24 February 2008

RSPCA desperate

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There was more than a hint of desperation at the RSPCA’s marque at this years Royal Canberra Show.

When I was walking into the show on Saturday with the family, they had several people approaching people passing by the marque asking if they wanted to buy something. One lady approached me and asked if I wanted “to buy a key chain or shirt and support the RSPCA?” Knowing I would soon be carrying show bags and a whole heap of stuff, I politely said “no thanks, maybe on the way out“. RSPCA does good work so I really did intend to return, I just wanted to keep my hands free for a while longer. Instead of accepting that, she walked after me and in a slightly raised voice (probably because of my increasing distance from her), prompted “or perhaps something for the kids, it goes to a good cause“. I replied “give it a rest, the hard sell only infuriates potential supporters“.
On our way out, we passed the RSPCA marque again and I briefly considered stopping by. However, as I walked, a different woman was out the front with a brown box calling out to passers by, “free RSPCA keyrings”.
Not only are the RSPCA (ACT) using pressure tactics to attract customers, they’re now giving away stuff that were assumedly purchased using our donations, donations made to help the animals… not fund $2 keyrings that aren’t selling. That and the frequent TV adds of late cry desperation. Very disappointing, I use to donate often, now I’ll donate elsewhere.

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Dear Oscillate Wildly … the question is, how many of the something like 45% of cats they put down are REALLY feral. Many cats will behave badly in unfamiliar surroundings and it is all too easy to say they are feral. Likewise dogs; what happens to the dogs that RSPCAs ‘relocate’ every year (to non-RSPCA facilities, according to their own statistics. Then there’s the wildlife put down and the general, and terminal lethargy about animals used in farming … do the maths (or better still, read the stats). Gotta say that since you know nothing about me you don;t know how much I know about dogs and cats and animal shelters, too.

Oscillate Wildly7:59 pm 09 Jul 10

Alexandra have you considered actually going down to the Weston shelter and helping out for a day so you can see what the RSPCA staff have to witness and put up with everyday? You’re blaming them for putting down cats and dogs with ‘behavioural difficulties’ without even understanding what that means. As for the feral cats – have you ever actually seen a feral cat? There is nothing that can be done with them, it’s unfortunate but the only humane option is to put them to sleep.

Alexandra8145:25 pm 09 Jul 10

Perhaps all the contributors here should read the RSPCA National statistics and the ACT statistics:


Received: 1,628
Euthanased: 136 (91 for ‘behavioural problems’, 45 for ‘medical reasons’)
Transferred: 191 (means to non-RSPCA facilities such as pounds where they may have been euthanased)
(Are the dogs who are reportedly dumped at the front of the shelter and moved straight out to other facilities counted here?)

Received: 2,654
Euthanased: 1,175 (541 for ‘medical reasons’, 204 for ‘behavioural problems’, 430 for being ‘feral’)

Received: 83
Euthanased: 9
‘Other’: 2

Received: 3,205
Euthanased: 1,580

‘Other’ animals
Received: 570
Euthanased: 167
‘Other’: 16

Cruelty Complaints:
Investigated: 912
Prosecutions: 6
Convictions: 1

National statistics

Euthanased 22,085 – 31.8% of total dogs

Euthanased 39,495 – 59.7% of total cats

Euthanased 10,729 – 51.0% of other animals

Complaints 50,765

Prosecutions 259

Convictions 202

And also ask the ACT Branch about its contributions to the kangaroo massacres in the ACT, and how it kills Eastern Grey joeys – all of them brought to the shelter, reportedly by an injection into the heart. 50% of the wildlife and a massive percentage of the cats who end up at the ACT shelter are ‘euthanased’. 11-12% of the dogs are ‘relocated’ – possibly to pounds where they do the euthanasing to keep it off the RSPCA’s statistics.

Sorry for the double post – don’t know what happened there.

But…..viva republic anyway !!!! 😛

I fully support the RSPCA – no matter what lengths they have to go to in order to raise money.

On another point though, what’s the point of having “Royal” in the title of any charity if they see bugger all from the royal family ? The RSPCA should be getting something from Buckingham Palace for their efforts.

Until the Royal family start sharing their obscene wealth with the very organisations that they use for promotion, I have NO respect for them.

Viva republic.

I fully support the RSPCA – no matter what lengths they have to go to in order to raise money.

On another point though, what’s the point of having “Royal” in the title of any charity if they see bugger all from the royal family ? The RSPCA should be getting something from Buckingham Palace for their efforts.

Until the Royal family start sharing their obscene wealth with the very organisations that they use for promotion, I have NO respect for them.

Viva republic.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy4:51 pm 21 Mar 09

People are capable of self help to a much greater degree than animals.

Timberwolf653:36 pm 21 Mar 09

Are you for real?, yeah let the animals suffer because someone that takes their own time out to volunteer for the animals offends you….geeezzz

Come on, there are more worthy charities than animals.

Like what? what gives you the right to think animals aren’t worthy for help.
A lot of people in the world wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their animals.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy2:49 pm 21 Mar 09

pp1 – please go back and re-read post number 16. Then type a response using the English language.

Absolutely with you pp1. Keep on “flaming” in defence of defenceless animals… and the amazing volunteers behind the counter doing sales work in the RSPCA shop at Weston. And the dedicated kitty-cat lover and expert who seems to be always in the cattery. And the amazing vets who deal with having to euthanase healthy animals, and who perform sterilisations at a discount. And people who take in moggies and mongrels and stick with them through bad behaviours and the results of stress and abuse, and turn them into wonderful pets. And the businesses who sell them supplies at a discount. And the small businesses who sponsor cages.
It’s one thing to object to hardsell techniques – which I have done too, but hopefully in a constructive way – and another to excoriate the organisation for giving away outdated keyrings following a minor marketing mistake. Perhaps RSPCA supporters can start sporting 2006 keyrings in support! I’m very happy to pay for one!


As an eg -the QLD branch goes through 16 million dollars a year and the government only chips in 180 thousand….

SO WAKE UP AND STOP COMPLAINING THEY ARE DESPERATE – why dont u spend ur time bitching about the people that dont give a damn – oh hang on – thats u.

Sina, as stated in my previous post, human animals are my top priority, ie; in the greater scheme of society animals are less important than humans.

Also, these abandoned/neglected children eventually grow to be adults (most of them) so spending money so a cycle of dysfunction might be broken sounds like good spending to me.

To Michael Linke………two mornings ago I found a ringtail possum shred to pieces in my backyard, presumably by one of four cats owned by my neighbours. There is no regulation (in my area) limiting the number of cats one can own or that cats must be contained in a cat run.

The cat owners face no apparent risk of fine or prosecution and the cats continue to hunt day and night for native prey.

This is an issue you need to take to the ACT Government.

I advocate Cat Shootment, but I guess some people like them.

God knows why.

Hi everyone, a couple more facts…RSPCA ACT does not employ time limits for keeping healthy adoptable domestic animals, they stay with us until we find a home. We do put to sleep all feral cats. We strongly advocate cat containment.

Michael Linke

Duke, do you support charities for abandoned/disadvantaged children? If so, why don’t you object to the fact that a good portion your money is going towards fixing up the mistakes that their neglectful parents have made?

“I object to propping up corrupt foreign governments”

Just prop up the local ones through taxes 🙂

lol @ Save a child in Africa – I may be crazy but I ain’t no fool, Maelinar. I object to propping up corrupt foreign governments just as I do supporting attention-span-defficient pet abandoners.

But the problem, see, is that I eat a lot of animals – twice, even thrice daily – so I can’t feel too sorry for the ones people dump at the pound or the ones people dump on my plate.

The short answer has to be (despite your many valid points) that human animals are my top priority……..even though as you say many of those human charities are totally rotten.

ASP and jemmy both raise excellent points.

But if we start with the licencing of pet owners then we can move on to the licencing of parents.

There’s too much bad breeding going on…..but that subject deserves a thread all of its own!

Duke, I take the view that supporting the RSPCA is helping wildlife. They catch loose animals and kill them after a waiting period. If they didn’t, the feral cat problem would be far worse.

Vetting pet owners will never happen, politically. We have to deal with what we’ve got in a practical way.

@Duke – go ask the save a child in africa crowd just how much it will take to finally and irrefutably fix everything for them.

Then calculate how much of that sum divided by the sum of people on the earth is your ‘donateable’ figure. If you then pay that, what do you think is more likely ?

1. You never get asked for money ever again and get to have a ‘paid’ card in your wallet for self appeasement purposes.
2. You get asked for more at a later date.

As I implied earlier, black hole foundations have a vested interest in continuing to fundraise without a dedicated purpose.

If they changed tact, and said that the money raised by Canberrans would build a school here, or drill a well there, that would be a definite finish point goal, and I would consider chipping in.

RSPCA Canberra as detailed earlier are using this money to care for Canberra’s abandoned and mistreated pets. They are providing this service because the Government isn’t looking after that aspect of blatant human selfishness, of fellow Canberrans, your neighbours.

Their endpoint is when dickheads stop mistreating and abandoning pets, unfortunately for them, a constant flow that you can see anytime you care to visit the shelter.

What I was trying to say is the welfare of the patient should come first and besides, one doesn’t have to pick and choose. A small amount to multiple charities from all of us would help.

My problem lies with supporting the welfare of animals whose very existence is due to the negligence of people who won’t vaccinate/de-sex their pets.
Granted, the money we give to RSPCA is given primarily to fix the results of others people’s mistakes. However, when we gives to cancer research, we are (depending on the type of cancer) fixing the mistakes of people who don’t protect themselves from too much sun exposure. When we give to AIDS rsearch, we’re giving to fix the mistakes of people who don’t know how to use protection. When we give to Barnardos, were aiding in the prevention of neglect and child abuse, the mistakes of abusive parents. Many charities aim to correct the mistakes of others and its personal opinion which are more important. I guess I don’t like the insinuation that an animals welfare is worth so much less than ours. The people who get melanoma choose to catch the rays too much, the animal in poor conditions didn’t choose to be in a neglectful environment.

I dare venture an idea, Pet Licencing. There is an epidemic of neglectful and negligent pet owners out there. I think we need to get tough on who can own a pet. Perhaps a licence to take on the responsibility ot caring for an animals would encourage more responsibility.

ASP, you need to read my post again. I give to many worthy charities, including the RSPCA and agree they do much good work. My problem lies with supporting the welfare of animals whose very existence is due to the negligence of people who won’t vaccinate/de-sex their pets.

Unlike something like cancer, many of animal welfare issues are entirely preventable. So I would rather see my money go towards better education and some kind of compulsory vetting of potential pet owners. The RSPCA, if they’re not already, should tack on a few extra bucks to pet registration fees to pay for the negligence of others.

AngryHenry – you want to read an angry letter……check this one out!

Duke, I can name around 30 charities who deserve my support. If I gave $1 per year to each, it would cost me $30. If every one in Australia gave $2 a year to each of those 30, each would raise $21 million. That’s $21 million to rescue animals, research cancer, research CF and AIDS.
No one person is being asked to pay to fix everything. I know first hand that the RSPCA does good work and a majority of the animals they rescue nationally go to good homes. I can spare $1 to save some animals from suffering. If we all spared $1 for each of the charities whose work we beleive in, then so many problems in society would be a step closer to being solved. Call me idealistic but that’s what I think.

What an idiotic article… That annoyed you at the show!?!?! What about the annoying PA annoucements that come tihe every stall on sideshow alley, then stench of faeces at every turn??? There are worse things at the show than someone from the RSPCA donating their time to try and raise funds for a good cause. Go out to Weston Creek, take a look at the good work they do and then tell me you wont donate.

What i want to know is what the RSPCA think of the fireworks at the show on Friday and Saturday nights that traumatised mine and my neighbours dogs… Hmmmm????

Maelinar – that’s a helluva plan: I should stop donating to cancer and aids research, or “black holes” as you put it, and sink it all in to feeding unwanted cat litters?

For those wishing to support native wildlife, not subsidise irresponsible pet owners, donating to RSPCA remains a dilemma.

Michael, well said indeed.
I must commend you on coming on here and responding to criticisms/comments in a calm and logical manor.
Also, congrats on the money raised at the show.
I just noticed though, last year, I believe around 120,000 people attended the show. If everyone who attended gave just $1, well, that would raise a healthy $120,000 or so. I Hope people keep that in mind at next years show, even a little bit from each of us can make a difference.

Well said. I always feel very secure supporting the RSPCA.

Thanks to those of you who made supportive comments and I can only hope those of you with differing views will read this and accept these comments on face value.

The dog tags we were giving away were from Million Paws Walk in 2006 and they were paid for by a partner at that event.
The TV advertising provided by WIN TV is provided mostly free, the only ads we pay for are paid for by a business partner. Check logos at the end of each ad to see who paid for the ad. We still remain very focused on wildlife, in fact we are hosting the national wildlife conference in July this year – check out http://www.nwrc.com.au

All pubic donations go directly into animal welfare and are not used for advertising or marketing purposes. We generate business income, acquire grants and sell products to assist cover the costs of these facets of our business.

In the ACT we operate about a $3m budget, the ACT Government provides $200,000 for services we deliver. We self fund the rest. I apologise for people who may think a couple of volunteers were over zealous but the Canberra show is that sort of event and yes we have about 400 of them. Although I can not control every act of every volunteer, I do know that each and every one of them is committed to our cause.

We raised well over $10,000 in three days, all money going directly to animal care.

I am not posting to flame anyone or change anyones mind, I simply want to get some facts out there.

Michael Linke

Give it a break. Animals dont ask to be mistreated when they are taken out of their natural environment for the purpose of being somebody’s pet, and they dont get the option of voicing their opinion on the matter either.

So you’d prefer to give to human charity black holes ? More the dickhead you. Those charities never have an end-point, and there’s a reason for that if you care to take a look.

I’m with you Potts. I prefer to give donations to human charities. The RSPCA needs to start spending those donations on bullets.

“Come on, there are more worthy charities than animals.”

Yeah, that’s true: I’d happily donate to the “Send Pottsy to Jupiter” fund.


VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy2:20 pm 25 Feb 08

I think the RSPCA should roll out a red carpet, and convey me to the stand on a golden chariot pulled by naked Nubian slaves, all the while bowing a chanting. Then I’ll buy a keyring.

RA regulars will know I took some time off from contributing and have merely being reading RA after a little dispute last year. This post has prompted me to return.

I strongly beleive in the RSPCA and other groups that assist in the protecting of domestic animals and wildlife. I donate to RSPCA and my business assisted them some time ago. Berlina, I can say only one thing, give them a brake. I was at the show, they seemed stressed. Am I offended that when I got a couple of items, they didn’t smile at the checkout and seemed tired… no. The RSPCA is having to cope with an appreciable increase in demand for the services while at the same time are suffering the effects of less government funding and dwindling finances nationwide. Rather than punish them for being tired and in your case a little pushy and adding to the problem, become part of the solution. Donate and perhaps even spare some time to help at the shelter. Also, don’t just say you won’t give. That helps no one. Give Michael Linke a call and say you weren’t happy about the treatment you received. I’m sure he will take your feedback on board.

I agree, the RSPCA have changed their focus to cleaning up after human remains – those who know the show will know the reference I just made.

While they provide an essential service, it is probably up to them to strategically not provide it, to ensure Government funding, rather than pissing about with keyrings and the like, haggling with the general public over $2 purchases.

I’m a big fan of native wildlife, which used to be the main focus of the RSPCA in Canberra. I still donate, but I have a feeling most of my money goes towards people who won’t look after their cats and dogs properly. With pet ownership increasing, the RSPCA quite reasonably gets more pushy in their pursuit of funds.

god, you are stupid! the keyrings they were selling were current stock! The keyrings they were giving away were OLD stock.

I think they’d decide that accepting money from such a sanctimonious peabrain would be more trouble than it’s worth.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler12:13 am 25 Feb 08

My problem is they were selling them one minute, giving them away the next. That indicates to me the did not originaly intend to sell them, in which case it indicates rash decision making and poor planning.
My other problem is pushy people, more pushier than a car sales man… my gosh.
The point is other charities don’t ct so desperate and get by, why should the RSPCA act so stupidly. It annoys me and makes me less willing to support over other charities whose work I support.

I gave $500 to Heart Foundation, $200 to Cancer Council and $500 to RSPCA last year. Because of the pushy attitude of the RSPCA, I think I will give their $500 else where to people who have being courteous in requesting support.

CanberraResident11:24 pm 24 Feb 08

Annoys me when people say no to spending a couple of bucks for a good cause, but then proceed to the next Dagwood Dog caravan and spend ten bucks feeding their fat faces. Karma will get you one day.

Oh yeah, and did it occur to you that the free keyrings are just another way of getting the message across? It’s called advertising, and what choice did they have when scumbags just walk past without giving it a second thought.

May I suggest you start donating to the Heart Foundation?

And as Ari pointed out, the free keyrings were old stock from 2 years ago, someone probably found them and thought it’d be better to at least give them to someone rather than waste them and throw them away.

Erm, I must be missing something; a charity volunteer annoys you by trying to sell you something, BUT THEN, annoys you even more by giving it away for free!!! So now you’ll never give them money ever again.

WTF is your problem? OK, some rep annoyed you. But I don’t understand your issue with them giving away the rings later in the day. MAYBE, if you’d bought one you might have some legitimate gripe, but even then the whole point is the donation, not getting some crappy keyring. Complaining in that case would just be cheap.

But here’s the thing. You didn’t give them sh*t. So what have you lost? nothing. Assuming it was the end of the day, and they had a bunch of unsold keyrings that would otherwise be thrown out, you’d prefer that they DIDN’T give them away? cause that would somehow not be a waste of your previous donations?

OMG, a desperate charity, I’ll make sure I never donate to them!

Give them a break, they use volunteers for those sort of things, as ant pointed out, the RSPCA as an organisation can’t control everything their volunteers say/do.

Alot of times in charity companies will provide in kind support by producing similar items free of charge. Certainly the tactics are a bit ordinary, but that’s nothing new. It seems a bit much to publicly sledge them when you don’t even know if they paid for it.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler6:29 pm 24 Feb 08

I am a great believer in the work they do and have provided financial support for many many years. I also understand that times are tough for them, especially following the cuts to what little government funding the ACT branch received. However, their tactics were worse than that of a car sales man working on commission. I was polite and said later, that should be the end of it… it was last time I bought a car when I said I wanted to go away and think about it… no argument from the dealer, it wasn’t in their best interests. RSPCA should realise that.

Despite the tactics I would still donate, except then they started giving away keyrings, keyrings that were on sale as a fundraiser only an hour before. I donate in the hope that most of my money goes to the care of the animals, though I would expect some to go to admin and business costs as well. When I see them giving away keyrings, I see my past donations being given away rather than going to the animals under their care.

I like their work, but there are so many local organisations that do good work who act in more polite manor. I will also continue to give to the national RSPCA body, but will not give directly to RSPCA (ACT).

They’ll always be my number 1 charity. At least they do something vital. Sometimes the volunteers might get a bit carried away… that’s the drawback with volunteers, the organisation can’t exert as much control over them. And the volunteers largely make up the organisation, make it what it is. I think on the whole the RSPCA must be doing well in that department.

A friend got one of the free keyrings – it was branded “RSPCA 2006”

So a fantastic organisation is in financial trouble and are using whatever means they think they need to to get donations and stay afloat and so…you won’t support them? What, do you only support charities that have lots of cash already?

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