'Ruff' deal for homeless pets
IT'S raining cats and dogs at Gympie's RSPCA shelter, but the staff and volunteers are not celebrating.
Instead, they're run off their feet caring for the stray and abandoned moggies and mutties filling all available space at the Laurenceson Rd facility.
Shelter manager Vanessa Richardson says more people looking to markets and local newspaper ads for free pets has resulted in a decrease in the number of adoptions through the Gympie RSPCA.
"We've found adoptions have slowed down in the last month," Ms Richardson said. "Mostly it's because people looking for pets are maybe not thinking of the RSPCA.
"They're looking for free pets at markets or advertised in the paper. But these aren't microchipped, desexed, vaccinated and vet checked like ours are.
"We make sure our cats and dogs are healthy and have in a nice way. So you know what you're getting."
Ms Richardson said there could be numerous reasons for the influx at the Gympie shelter.
"There's always the people who get a kitten or puppy and then decide they're just too much trouble, so they abandon them.
"And we've had an influx of strays that aren't reclaimed. If animals come in and don't have identification on them, it's almost impossible for us to track their owners down.
"Dogs can easily lose their collars - after all the storms we had recently, we had a few dogs come in who had flipped their collars which made it really hard for us to locate their owners.
"Which is why microchipping is so important and which is why it's so important for pet owners to keep their microchip information up to date.
"We have a dog at the moment whose microchip says he comes from South Australia and we're having big problems finding his owners.
"If his owners had updated his details it would be much easier to get him back to them.
"What we're really wanting to get across to the community is that if you're looking for a pet, think of the RSPCA first."
- Dogs over four months $199
- Cats over four months $180 (special price $20 until end of April)
- All dogs and cats are microchipped, vaccinated and vet checked.
- RSPCA spends more than $400 on every dog and $150 on each cat that comes through the shelter.