RSPCA shelter fills to capacity with seized dogs

MARISSA CALLIGEROS, Brisbane Times , September 11, 2009

The RPSCA’s Brisbane shelter is expected to reach full capacity this weekend, with the seizure of 200 dogs and Riverfire runaways expected to push the animal charity to the limit.

As many as 400 dogs may be housed at the RSPCA’s Fairfield centre, which is only designed to accommodate 300.

Carers were yesterday preparing to receive another 70 of a total 200 malnourished and diseased dogs seized from a property at Wondai, 100 kilometres west of Gympie, following a raid by animal welfare inspectors and Biosecurity Queensland on Thursday.

The property is currently under investigation for alleged cruelty and neglect offences.

Many of the dogs seized in the raid are pregnant, with one one giving birth to a litter of puppies on Thursday night. They cannot be rehomed until the investigation is complete.

Their arrival leaves little room for up to 40 dogs usually rescued from the streets each year as a result of the Riverfire fireworks display.

“We are really concerned about how we are going to cope with the number of animals that will be here,” RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty told brisbanetimes.com.au.

He said carers would struggle housing multiple dogs within the same pen.

“But we’re just going to have to do our best. We are going to have to be careful that we don’t put together dogs that will fight.”

“Fireworks may be fun for humans, but every year they create havoc amongst the animal population,” Mr Beatty said.

He encouraged owners to take special precautions to ensure their pets were safe and secure during the pyrotechnics show.

“It’s likely that scores of animals will end up at our shelters or council pounds and sadly this year we’ve once again been forced to put on extra staff and volunteers in our call centre and our Fairfield shelter reception.

“The sad part is that it’s easily preventable. Despite the warnings many people still don’t seem to understand the devastating effect fireworks can have on some animals.

“Often they will panic and end up on the road where of course they run the risk of being hit by cars. Sometimes they’re found kilometres from their homes.”

Mr Beatty said pet owners should ensure their animals have up to date identification on them.

“It’s very hard to reunite pets with their owners if they don’t have identification that includes the owners’ telephone numbers.

“All pet owners are advised to make certain that their pets are in a secure environment and one that they feel comfortable with.”

Brisbane Times, 11 September. For original article, click here….

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