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.