South Coast Register; Adam Wright; Nov. 5, 2012
A CLAIM by the Nowra RSPCA that two dogs in its care had found homes when in fact they had been put down has upset animal advocates.
On the RSPCA Nowra Facebook page a photo was posted of a group of people with six dogs on July 29.
At least two of those dogs had been euthanased by the RSPCA, bringing into doubt the organisation’s claims of the number of animals it adopts out.
The Facebook issue was raised by Tony Twining, a volunteer with the Nowra branch of the RSPCA shelter between February and May this year.
Mr Twining said the two dogs that he knew about, Reg and Max, had been put down in May.
“When the RSPCA published this on Facebook saying these dogs had found their forever homes they knew those two dogs were dead,” Mr Twining said.
“I’m upset that I’m in that photo, it’s quite offensive, I feel like I’m complicit in that lie.
“I am also concerned that it is still on their Facebook page.
“RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman claims to have investigated the issue but the page is still there,” Mr Twining said.
The Register contacted Mr Coleman who confirmed that photo did appear on the RSPCA Facebook page but believed it had been taken down.
“I understand where he [Mr Twining] was coming from,” he said.
“He’s obviously annoyed we’ve misled people. Some days later one of those dogs had been euthanased. It was never the intent to mislead or misrepresent anything at the time when that photo and caption went up.
“We’re an organisation that isn’t perfect and is striving to do better, but the energy needs to be channelled into reducing the number of animals brought to us,” Mr Coleman said.
Lawyers for Companion Animals principal Anne Greenaway is an animal welfare campaigner who believes the organisation is more concerned with making money than animal welfare.
“This is not the first report I am aware of that the NSW RSPCA has stated that an animal has found a home when in fact the animal has been killed,” Ms Greenaway said.
“RSPCA counselled Tony Twining on his comments on a Facebook page, yet they did not and still have not removed their false comments on that same Facebook page, despite being fully aware that the comments were false.”