RSPCA hit on animals care

The Mercury ZARA DAWTREY   |   December 20, 2012

“RSPCA president Paul Swiatkowski has angrily denied allegations of animal mistreatment at the organisation’s Tasmanian shelters.”

ANIMALS at RSPCA Tasmania shelters have repeatedly been left unmedicated, untreated and uncared for over the past 18 months, according to a series of internal complaints from senior staff.

The Mercury has obtained documents which show veterinary staff — including statewide chief vet Gabby Lawson — have reported on a number of occasions what they describe as serious animal welfare issues.

However the RSPCA has rejected the allegations, choosing to respond through a lawyer.

“Those allegations are spurious, scandalous, wrong in fact, defamatory, highly inflammatory,” president Paul Swiatkowski said through lawyer Leonard Fernandez.

In January a staffer discovered a rosella trying to escape from a portable cage in the shelter laundry. “Clearly it has been abandoned in a carrier all night,” the woman’s complaint reads.

Dr Lawson had complained that animals were not being medicated properly and in November wrote that this remained an ongoing issue. The chief vet’s email stated she was “struggling to understand” why a core task was still presenting such a problem.

A sample of the further complaints reveal:

A KITTEN with cat flu housed in a cage next to healthy kittens.

AN unvaccinated rabbit with a rotting uterus and mummified foetuses put up for adoption.

RABBITS left without food or water in the sun.

A SICK kitten left without heating overnight causing it to die from severe shock and hypothermia.

A DOZEN cows left without water last summer.

ID collars excessively tight on kittens that had grown.

ROOSTERS in filthy pens.

A now-former RSPCA inspector emailed supervisors last year expressing reluctance to seize animals and bring them back to the Launceston shelter as “in its current environment it may affect their health in a detrimental way”.

The inspector referred to “terrible outcomes” such as four previously healthy cats due to be euthanised that day after contracting a disease at the shelter.

It was suggested the best option would be to board animals seized away from the RSPCA’s shelter.

Documents reveal Dr Lawson and sacked chief executive Ben Sturges pressured shelter staff in Hobart and Launceston to improve the standard of care in a variety of areas and Dr Lawson repeatedly queried why her instructions were being ignored. She is currently off work on extended sick leave.

Original here



Filed under Animal cruelty, RSPCA Tasmania, Tasmania

13 responses to “RSPCA hit on animals care

  1. companionanimalnews

    … the President wants to spend more RSPCA dollars on lawyers……

    • Bobby Bree

      Thats how they survive. Appeal to the public,boo hoo we help all creatures great and small”. Its call “compassionate” grounds to suck every one in.I understand that there is a cafe at the Vic RSPCA now for the “comfort of the staff” awwww!How much more does one have to put up with this fat cat over administrated bunch of goons on the pretence of………..

  2. Kristy

    these large animal rescue organisations appear to have lost the plot, their kill rates alone are a disgrace. People donate large amounts of money every year thinking that it will help save lives, about time they started putting animal welfare first instead of worrying about their bank accounts!

  3. Robyn Anscombe

    For every hiccup there’s a positive. I’ve just adopted from RSPCA and they were wonderful to my new dog. She’s received so much vet assistance. She’s a beautiful dog and l wouldn’t have her without the assistance from RSPCA. They work hard especially this time of year to do the best they can.

  4. Jan Baker

    Yes the workers work hard as they care for the animals…but the political garbage that goes on behind closed doors is a disgrace…the RSPCA has lost what it was first set up for..”THE ANIMALS”

  5. Bobby Bree

    Ho hum. And so it continues.There happened to be 3 enquiries into the running of RSPCA Victoria back in the 80’s.So whats different about Tassie?They all appeared to be tarred with the same brush. Not enough control of the purse strings and government dont give a stuff ! The attitude of the government” let them do the work that we are supposed to do”.Just being allowed to enforce a government act by a private organisation is enough to “go astray” Wake up smell the roses and get on with an enquiry!!

  6. sharon chamberlain

    My heart goes out to Dr Lawson We have been there and done that, tried hard , tired and stressed and no end in sight and it takes a long time for the nightmares to cease and to stop blaming yourself, you can only do so much , I hope you get better soon all the best . Sharon Chamberlain Veterinary nurse (ex RSPCAWA)

    • Bobby Bree

      Animal welfare is the most stressful of occupations going. I,for over 4 decades, also have been there and done that! No thanks, but always a kick in the butt if things dont go the way “they” want things to go “.Governments sit back and wait until all else fails before stepping in BUT thats when animals have suffered unneccessary. Wake up before the suffering gets bloody worse!!!!

  7. Linda Clark

    If these animals were not being bred without proper controls we would not be in this situation. We want Oscar’s Law now.

    • Bobby Bree

      Oscars Law? Yeah, but who polices it Linda. I have been trying since Sunday to get anyone off their butts to “raid” a puppy farm in Nth west Victoria where the pups are like skeletons not vaccinated not micro chipped no bloody water 30 pups 4 mature dogs.!!. Can you believe what I have been told? “we havent the manpower,nor the rescourses, all our staff are on leave untill 7th Jan.” ..What a load of crap. Animal cruelty doesnt stop at 5 pm nor does it wait untill after the festive season!!!To the so called animal protectors it’s only a game!Tried the RSPCA, Local Laws, and even the boss of DPI .’it’s not our jurisdiction RSPCA do companion animals” we do farm animals”?????Cruelty is cruelty is cruelty.And I thought Oscars Law was all about “PUPPY FARMS” your rallies and big noting with the media was all that. Big noting!!!!! Well I will keep trying even if I have to go to the bloody Prime Ministers office .Appears that animals are expected to “lie low” untill after the “festive” season and I guess if they had a lawyer it would be different.No wonder the community has lost all confidence in so called animal protectors that are priviledged to enforce the animal welfare “act”. Just give us your donation blah blah blah!!!!!See ya I’m going to have my xmas puddy now all the rest can wait.

    • Bobby Bree

      Dont talk to me about :oscars law” thats a farce!!

  8. I really must give a plug for our rspca in Bendigo & in recent years the people of the area who have subscribed to it The change is remarkable & so many volunteers I have had a dog from them & a cat They are caring & food collection boxes are in supermarkets The local Council share in this Hurrah for our RSPCA

  9. Bobby Bree

    Correct Joan. The volunteers are great always have been that’s who keep the RSPCA going.It’s the “fat cats” are a droll on the community.RSPCA need only a small admin team and a heap of classy volunteers. NOT paid “fat cats” thats where the problemm lies egotiscatal ??

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