Jan 14, 2008

Animal abuse in Australia - how can we help stop it?

Yesterday, Caroline and I were horrified to read about a huge case of animal neglect and abuse at a boarding kennel south of Brisbane, Queensland. More than 100 dogs were discovered at the kennel, including Poodles, Labradors and Pomeranians. The dogs later were seized from the property where they had been living in 'horrendous' and 'abysmal' conditions.

RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty told the Sydney Morning Herald that this was one of the worst cases of neglect that RSPCA inspectors have ever seen.

It's hard to fathom how or why someone could stand by and watch animals suffer in such conditions. But sadly, the RSPCA still receives hundreds of animal abuse complaints each year. In fact, RSPCA inspectors in Queensland alone have received 441 complaints of animal cruelty or breach of duty of care since January 1 this year.

You can help the RSPCA by reporting acts of animal cruelty or neglect. If you are concerned for the welfare of an animal, please contact your local state or territory RSPCA immediately.

Australian Capital Territory: (02) 6287 8100
New South Wales: (02) 9770 7555
South Australia: (08) 8231 6931
Victoria: (03) 9224 2222
Darwin Regional Branch: (08) 8984 3795
Queensland: (07) 3426 9999
Tasmania: (03) 6326 6333
Western Australia: (08) 9209 9300

The Dogs Life team calls upon state and territory governments to strengthen their prevention of cruelty to animals legislation and to increase penalties for those who are guilty of animal abuse.

While some improvements have been made in recent times, we believe that much more needs to be done to legally protect the welfare of animals in Australia.

Do you agree with us? Should Australia have harsher penalties for people found guilty of animal abuse? Tell us what you think.

2 comments:

jade said...

I was just reaading the march/april edition when i came across the story of the boy that killed his sisters cat and got away with a slap on the wrist. I think treat others as you deserve to be treated. the boy should be tied up while all the angry animal lovers throw bricks and knives at him and then put HIM in the freezer and washing machine. this was a disgusting thing thhat the boy did but even more disgusting that he didnt get punnished for it

Eedra at Barking Mad said...

How can we help? The answer is not so hard – don’t complicate it.


Shift the focus from rescuing dogs and cats to creating communities where pets are welcome and responsible pet ownership is the norm.

We have the medical system to support domestic pet health. There is no waiting list for your dog’s hip or knee surgery at a vet. Compare this to our public health system where there is a waiting list of up to a year for the same procedure for the dog’s owner!

Obviously, the cost of pet ownership (average $1000 a year for a cat or small dog) MUST be accepted when taking on the responsibility of pet ownership. The majority of pet owners in Australia ARE responsible, and accept the financial and moral responsibility.


But each time we rescue a pet that has been surrendered irresponsibly or anonymously, we are saying ‘oh, that’s ok, we’re here to pick up the pieces’.

How many people that dump cars in the bush, throw out cigarette butts and litter our beaches with fishing tackle and fast-food rubbish participate in clean-up Australia?


The point I’m making is that it is FAR MORE appealing emotionally to rescue a pet – give it a second chance, than to address the cause.

Barking Mad is the lobby group for responsible pet owners. We are an economic force of $4 billion per annum plus. That is larger than forestry and fishing combined. Yet, pet owners remain unorganised and neglect the political power we have due to our economic input.

A lobby group for pet owners? Why? Most people would rather work for one more dog park in THEIR backyard, or rescue cute, lovely Fifi.


When responsible pet owners decide to unite as a political force, we will create better communities AND reduce the number of disposed, abused and killed pets each year. The UK has a lower surrender rate (call it abandonment rate) than Australia, and that’s NOT on a per-capita basis.


Please, Australia. Wake Up. Rescue IS good, and it FEELS good (and my four pets were all rescues), BUT WE MUST ADDRESS THE BIGGER PICTURE.