Reading the 2005/2006 annual report from the RSCPA (Qld) some dreadful statistics come to light.
From page 11 comes this.
The “kill rate” for all shelters in Qld was 56%; thankfully, this rate has been falling when compared to the past 2 years, with 63% in 2004/2005 and 73% in 2003/2004.
The highest incoming source is owners surrendering their animals, and the dominant types of animal surrendered were cats.
To the RSPCA’s credit, the re-homing rate is ever so slowly increasing, in 2005/2006 the rate was 29% up from 27% and 24% for 2004/2005 and 2003/2004 respectively.
The more depressing stats are on the following pages;
Of the 13,198 dogs brought into RSPCA care in 2005/2006
1,067 were surrendered by their “owners” for euthanasia (8%)
4,883 were surrendered by their “owners” (37%)
3,719 were strays. (28%)
The figures are even worse for puppies
3,516 came into the RSPCA’s care
2,066 were surrendered at owners’ request (59%)
912 were strays (26%)
Unfortunately, cats and kittens didn’t fare much better
Figures for cats are:
9,381 came into RSPCA care
3,639 were surrendered by the owner (38%)
3,651 were strays (39%)
8,787 came into RSPCA care
3,581 were surrendered by owner (41%)
4,226 were strays (48%)
Of the animals to “leave” the RSPCA’s care for the year 2005/2006 come the following figures;
Adopted: 2,968 (21%)
Reclaimed: 3,091 (24%)
Euthanised: 5,693 (43%)
Euthanised at owners request: 1,067 (8%)
Adopted: 2,355 (63%)
Reclaimed: 106 (3%)
Euthanised: 1,190 (32%)
Euthanised at owners request: 9 (<1%)
Adopted: 1,499 (18%)
Reclaimed: 421 (5%)
Euthanised: 6,043 (71%)
Euthanised at owners request: 302 (4%)
Adopted: 3,015 (31%)
Reclaimed: 39 (<1%)
Euthanised: 6,684 (68%)
Euthanised at owners request: 14 (<1%)
Not listed where the totals for those animals that escaped, were dead-on-arrival, stolen, transferred to other shelters, or die of “natural causes”.
Page 14 is the report from the Inspectorate. In 2005/2006 they investigated 9,465 complaints of animal cruelty, yet only 51 resulted in “approved prosecutions” (0.54%). These 51 prosecutions resulted in 35 findings of guilt, with 16 pending at time of printing. With less than 1% of investigations resulting in a prosecution raises a number of questions. First of all why is the number so low? Is it because the ACPA (Animal Care and Protection Act 2001) is poorly created, with too many loopholes, limiting the ability of a successful prosecution? How many investigations or recommendation for prosecution were rejected for reasons of cost, probability of successful outcome, etc?
I would like to know why the RSPCA isn’t publicly pressuring to government to halt the sale of animals from pet stores, and breeders whilst there are these extremely high rates of euthanasia. If we lived in a perfect world, those people that surrendered animals without a valid reason, would be placed on a register prohibiting them from being able to care for another animal for at least 12 months. Then only after they have attended some sort of course on why animals are not property to be obtained and disposed of on a whim.
Why can’t we have a register of pet “owners”? You have to have a licence to drive a car, a different one for a motorcycle, you also need a different one for the different types of truck, you also need different authorisations to drive taxis, buses, limos, and carry dangerous goods. Even to go SCUBA diving you need to have the proper certification from places like PADI, SSI, AUSI and so on.
Why can’t this be done for pet “ownership”, where you are responsible for the care and well being of another sentient creature? I propose that councils can look after this, in the same way that they administer animal registrations. Wasn’t part of the reason that the Beattie Regime amalgamated the councils was to make them better suited to provide for the future?
Have a register of pet ownership could help to ensure that people become more responsible for the animals in their care, knowing that anything that they do that has a detrimental effect on the animals in their care would severely hinder any future chance of then being able to care for another animal in the future.
I also think that it is about time that the judicial system starts to give the maximum sentences with a “zero tolerance” policy. After all the people that appear before the courts charged with animal neglect do so consciously, and without feeling. No one accidently starves an animal, or accidentally repeatedly abuses it. All these acts are committed with lack of regard or respect for the animal in question.
Before you read this, and think that it will never happen, remember it wasn’t too long ago that people of certain races/ethnicity/sex were regarded as property and as such can be treated as such. Nowadays those that were involved in those practices are regarded as barbarians, and not held high in society anymore.
How will history judge your actions?