Abandoned pets days from death

Newcastle Herald, MATTHEW KELLY; 02 Jun, 2012

HUDDLED together without food or water, these abandoned pets had days to live when they were discovered at a vacant rental property last week.Not so lucky are several dead birds nearby that died of apparent starvation after their former owners left them behind.

It is a sad circumstance that is becoming increasingly common across the Hunter.

Some are victims of their former owners’ financial difficulties.

Others get left behind because the tenants have moved into a property where they are not allowed to have pets, a common situation.

‘‘It just becomes easier to leave them to fend for themselves and it becomes someone else’s problem,’’ Hunter Animal Rescue president Jaimie Abbott said.

The Australian Terrier and the cat, which are estimated to have been left alone at the Newcastle property for six days, are now with foster carers who are looking for new homes.

But hundreds of other unwanted pets face an ugly fate.

Many are advertised online with little regard for their welfare.

‘‘I see about three or four advertisements a week where people are giving their animals away,’’ Ms Abbott said.

‘‘We suspect a lot of the dogs end up getting used in dog fighting rings.’’

Creer Property property officer Erin Hillier said it was virtually impossible to locate the former tenants.

‘‘Most of the time they skip town owing money or they have damaged the property,’’ she said.

The maximum penalty for abandoning an animal is $5500 and or six months jail.

The same penalties apply for failing to provide food or shelter for an animal.

‘‘If the animal has died as a consequence of their neglect that raises it to aggravated cruelty which has a maximum $22,000 fine and two years in jail,’’ RSPCA Chief Inspector David O’Shannessy said.

He said the RSPCA vigorously prosecuted animal neglect wherever possible.

‘‘Unfortunately we have always had some people who don’t give a damn and they just leave the animal behind, not necessarily as a consequence of not being able to take it but they just up and run,’’ Mr O’Shannessy said.

Original here

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2 Comments

Filed under Abandoned animals, NSW, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Abandoned pets days from death

  1. companionanimalnews

    One of the Reader’s comments: “If I was in a dire financial situation I would live on cabbage water before I’d deny my two fat labs a square meal. I don’t know how a human can treat animals this way. Saying it is because they are financially stressed is making excuses.”

    Well said!

  2. This situation is not uncommon in Western Australia, but more previlent in the mining boom towns in the Pilbara such as Karratha, Port and South Hedland and Newman.

    As I have commented before, as a Shire Ranger, I have had to take animals out of houses due to dumping from persons leaving town and having neighbours contact me saying that the dog’s owner was unable to be contacted to make arrangements to transport the dog. This time, its the mining boom that causes this situation.

    Shire Rangers in some shires do hold dual authorsation as Registered General Inspectors under the Animal Welfare Act (2002), the same act that authorises RSPCA (WA) Inspectorate. However, it is at the disgression of the shire CEO. Cost is the main factor. Not many rangers have this authority or have returned it to the Animal Wefare Unit of the Department of Fishing Primary Industries. The RSPCA (WA) have a reluctance to employ a Inspector dedicated to the Pilbara and Kimberly regions of WA whilst expecting the shire’s to co-operate and do thier work on the RSPCA’s behalf when there is no provision of the Act to work under direction by remote, It should be noted that all sworn members of the WA Police are authorised as General Inspectors under said Act. Most police I found have a reluctance to assist in AWA issues but in saying that there were 3 female officers in New Police who were active in this matter and called for my assistance on numerous occassions both on and off duty.

    The situation here that it is not a state specific or ecomonic issue causing the dumping. It’s purley a human issue. The RSPCA Inspectorate, and the Animal Welfare Unit need to combat this issue as a priority and place an Inspector dedicated to the Pilbara Region or at least provide funding to the shires to take on this responsibility. The mining companies need to address the full extent of the impact thier operations are having in the community that includes animal welfare. Both Loyality for Regions and Mining company funding is urgenty required.

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