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Time to do something to fight animal cruelty

By Tammy Ven Dange - 4 February 2015 4

rspca act

Just over a week ago, we asked the community to help us find the culprits of a vicious act of animal cruelty where nine underweight puppies were found abandoned in a box in Higgins with one of them with such horrific injuries that he had to euthanised immediately.

The Canberra community chose to get involved by viewing our plea over 100,000 times on Facebook and via all other media forms. The writers and readers of the RiotACT took another step by initiating a letterbox campaign around the Higgins area to try to spread the message even further.

Despite all of this work, I’m as frustrated as you that we haven’t had a decent clue to who might have hurt these poor animals. In fact, I’m sure my frustration levels are much higher than yours. Why?

Because, I saw the puppy right after we put him down. I felt his poor swollen head and watched his skull move in horror when I did. My staff, who watched him suffer in pain while he was still alive, were even more affected by this incident. Cases like this hurt us and leave scars in our memories that never leave.

Unfortunately, in our jobs there will be more stories just like this one. In fact, I’ve lost count of the number of animals that we have seen this week that were neglected or abused – different stories, but way too similar in other ways. We all ask ourselves daily if this is just going to get worse or will we finally make a dent in animal cruelty in the Canberra area.

Many of you would be surprised that we have so many ugly cases of animal cruelty here locally. For many years, RSPCA ACT did not share this information with you. We hid the sadness and ugliness of this cruel world from you with the thoughts that you might not be able to handle the gore and the truth.

If you haven’t noticed lately, we have changed our minds about what you should know. It’s time that you too know the truth. Why now? Because hiding it from you is actually making it worse, and RSPCA ACT does not have the resources to do it alone.

We need your help in more ways than one. Want to get involved in the prevention of animal cruelty in a meaningful way? Here are some ideas:

  • Buy tickets to our Benefit Concert on 14 February. If enough people buy tickets, we can use the profit to fund our work.
  • Volunteer. We need help in so many areas such as: an event worker for Million Paws Walk, regular dog walkers or envelop stuffers.
  • Get your friends and colleagues involved too. Share our posts on Facebook and Twitter. Encourage them to help you make cupcakes for Cupcake Day.
  • Adopt an Animal. We can bring in dozens of animals into the shelter every week. However, if we don’t have enough people adopting those available, we have a serious space and potentially welfare issue for the animals. Adopt, don’t shop if you want to add a pet to your family.
  • Donate regularly. It takes more than a gold coin to help us when each animal usually costs us more than the adoption price. A seized animal could cost us up to $10,000 depending on their health when arriving and the length of the court case. And, we don’t get a dime from the system – even if the person is found guilty. Whether it’s through workplace giving or responses to our direct mail appeals, it really does help!

Yes, Canberra it’s time you know the ugly truth. Animal cruelty is sadly very much present in the ACT, and we can no longer do this alone if we want to make things better.

Help us now! Do more than just thank us. Do something!

Tammy Ven Dange is CEO of RSPCA ACT.

What’s Your opinion?


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4 Responses to
Time to do something to fight animal cruelty
dundle 5:34 pm 08 Feb 15

It’s a shame RSPCA only cares about certain types of popular animal cruelty (puppies, kittens, occasional native animal) instead of all animal cruelty. Aren’t there RSPCA-approved meats? What a joke.

Cupcake Day is also amusing given people will bring out all the dairy and eggs to try and work against animal cruelty. Because puppies and kittens and rainbows, who cares about bobby calves or veal or dairy cows?

I’ll give my money to Voiceless and Animals Australia.

dungfungus 11:24 pm 06 Feb 15

Another problem for RSPCA: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/rspca-act-benefit-concert-with-rickilee-cancelled-due-to-low-ticket-sales-20150206-137yx6.html
When I saw who the performer was going to be at this concert I couldn’t believe the poor judgement being made. I was surprised she was still in demand (not in Canberra, apparently).
It’s a bad time of year for benefit concerts with everyone having a post Christmas financial hangover and the date clashing with the multicultural festval weekend.
Surely there is better talent available locally that Canberrans would be happy to support.
I am happy for Andrew Barr to re-allocate funds from his special events budget to assist the RSPCA.

lynehamovaluser 1:27 pm 06 Feb 15

Problem is that having tried to report cases of abuse, knowing how little power you have when the evidence isn’t bleeding in front of you, I feel stymied. A group of people can tell you who is going to abuse the animal, we just can’t tell you when and until it’s hurt you can’t act. When this person attacked my dog, you asked if it was injured, I said it had managed to run away from the broom, no evidence you said. Now, this person has another pet of their own, after neglecting previous animals, but, no evidence you say.
Why do we have to wait for an animal to be bashed before we act?

Hamlet201 12:53 pm 06 Feb 15

Woman who starved dogs fined just $800, no restriction on pet ownership
February 5, 2015 – 3:41PM
Christopher Knaus
Reporter for The Canberra Times.

This is yet another recent example of animal cruelty. The article did not show a photo of the offender, but it did show what she had done to those dogs. How can a court or (unnamed) magistrate have reached this STUPID and OFFENSIVE decision – can it be challenged ? The politicians are saying they are going to change the laws and strengthen them – WHEN ???? Until they do, all of these horrific incidents will continue to happen and the offenders – if even caught – will just continue to receive a slap on the wrist. Animal abuse is serious – why don’t the courts treat it as such ?

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