Newcastle Herald; JANEK SPEIGHT; Dec. 30, 2012,
ANIMAL rescue groups from around the state will converge in the Hunter in 2013 to address what they believe are alarming rates of animal cruelty in the region.
The Rescuers and Advocates Companion Animal Conference will be held in February at Warners Bay and aims to educate people on how to participate in animal rescue, how to find foster families for pets and how to work with media, council and vets.
Dog Rescue Newcastle founder Sue Barker, who will speak on the day, said there was a big concern about overpopulation and euthanasia rates of animals in the Hunter.
‘‘Our councils aren’t doing anything to reduce rates, especially concerning backyard breeders,’’ she said. ‘‘We’re constantly busy. Sometimes we’re getting six to eight animals in a day.
‘‘It’s unacceptable and this conference is about figuring out how we can make change.’’
Ms Barker said they wanted a wide range of people to participate in the conference.
‘‘The Hunter is a huge problem area and I’m appalled by the neglect and ignorance here,’’ she said.
Other speakers will include Olga Parkes of Hunter Animal Watch, Dr Cathy O’Neil of Macquarie Road Veterinary Hospital and Barb Steffensen, from Animal Rights and Rescue.
Organiser and lawyer for companion animals Anne Greenaway said the conference was open to anyone, and that speakers would aim to teach people about animal welfare.
The conference will be held on February 2 at the Salas Function Centre, 298 Hillsborough Road, Warners Bay. The cost for the conference is $20 and those interested can email Ms Greenaway at email@example.com for more information.