The Daily Examiner, David Bancroft | 14th January 2012
A three-month-old pup found abandoned recently on the Woodenbong tip is returning to health.
AN apparent jump in the number of cases of animal cruelty on the North Coast has prompted animal welfare groups to call for better resources for enforcement.
Grafton Animal Rescue and the Lismore-based Animal Rights and Rescue Group say the NSW Government and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) had a responsibility to improve policing and prosecution of acts of animal cruelty.
Pam Holmes from Grafton Animal Rescue said she was aware of two recent acts of animal cruelty in Grafton, one this week where neighbours reported a dog screaming in pain.
She said the RSPCA was unable to attend because it had only one enforcement officer and they covered an area from Coffs Harbour to the Queensland border.
She said police were good and attended that incident, but they were short staffed and not always fully versed in animal protection legislation.
“The dog has a fractured leg and lacerations and police said they thought the RSPCA was going to charge the owner with neglect, which is a lesser charge,” she said.
But she said it was sometimes difficult to get information about charges or the animal’s health.
She said that in a recent incident, a South Grafton man was alleged to have lifted a Staffordshire bull terrier above his head and thrown it to the ground with such force it bounced down a set of steps and busted the letterbox.
As no RSPCA officers were available, police attended and ordered the man to take the dog to a vet, but after neighbours later complained to Grafton Animal Rescue the dog was still at home, Ms Holmes attended herself and took the dog. It was later adopted by the vet who cared for it. “We need more inspectors,” she said.
She said the RSPCA had money but seemed reluctant to spend enough of it on policing.
Animal Rights and Rescue Group founder Barbara Steffensen said it was the NSW Government’s responsibility to ensure animal welfare legislation was enforced.
“It is a criminal act,” she said.
“The government is not meeting its duty of care.
“It needs to stand up and accept responsibility for the Act not being enforced properly.”
An RSPCA spokesman said he would examine the frequency and nature of incidents before responding.