Strays chaos riles RSPCA

Mercury, Tasmania;  MERYL NAIDOO   |   December 29, 2011

HIGH numbers of stray dogs from across Hobart are being reported to the RSPCA.

RSPCA Tasmania yesterday criticised local councils after being inundated with calls about stray dogs in the Glenorchy, Kingborough and Huon Valley areas.

“Council closures during the holiday period have left the RSPCA to deal with all the strays in Southern Tasmania,” RSPCA Tasmania chief Ben Sturges said.

“Councils have gone missing for a week and their dog rangers aren’t doing their work. This is poor form, saying they will only deal with animal emergencies when stray dogs are the council’s responsibility.”

Mr Sturges called the offices of some councils closed over this period, with calls going to a call centre.

“The caller is informed that a stray dog is not an emergency and is advised to call the RSPCA,” he said.

“We do not have the resources to handle the problem.

“We simply cannot cope with picking up council work on our very limited non-government funding at any time, but especially right now.”

Many stray dogs are handed in to the RSPCA during holiday season, often lacking identification such as a microchip or ID tag.

RSPCA’s Hobart shelter at Mornington had at least 10 stray dog calls yesterday alone.

“We have one animal rescue vehicle in Hobart and it’s being used to pick up stray dogs which isn’t the purpose of it. We do not have the capacity to handle all the stray-dog work in southern Tasmania,” Mr Sturges said.

To avoid losing their pets, Mr Sturges said dog owners should keep them restrained.

Original story here

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2 Comments

Filed under RSPCA Tasmania, Tasmania

2 responses to “Strays chaos riles RSPCA

  1. Geoff Birkbeck

    Its good to see that the RSPCA Tas has the time to take from its busy schedule of doing council work to go to the media rather than addressing the issue directly with the shires.
    Rangers, like all people are entitled to leave over Christmas. The council is not going to pay a call out fee to the employee to go searching for a wandering dog. I can not recall how many calls i got over this issue as the duty officer with the informant saying..”I dunno where its gone, its a brown dog, it was 20 mins ago ‘etc.
    There is the possibility the contracted after hours service would say “This is not an emergency” and have strict instructions over the matter. also they are not trained on dog act matters. If it was an emergency the call center directed the caller to the approporiate agency. The RSPCA.
    I noticed in the article that the RSCPA did not state how many dogs it picked up during this “epidemic”. However, the article did mention the magic word “funding”. Is the RSPCA going to transfer the dogs back to the pound when council is opened again? Are they going for costs incurred? Is there an arrangement for them to be doing shire work? If not, what about the legal liabilities?

    Thisv article is not about stray dogs…its about the RSPCA wanting funds from local government. and this is the time of the year to push it. Plain and simple

  2. pam holmes

    Perhaps if the Tasmanian RSPCA had worked with Jan Cameron who donated several millions to them to start a low cost desexing clinic there would be so many “stray dogs”.

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