Big surge in animals abandoned for summer holidays

Headshot of Georgia Campion
Georgia CampionAlbany Advertiser
RSPCA WA Great Southern Inspector Georgina Brown, and Skittles
Camera IconRSPCA WA Great Southern Inspector Georgina Brown, and Skittles Credit: Supplied

This summer there has been a big increase in abandoned animal reports.

From December to January, RSPCA WA fielded 248 reports — a 43 per cent increase on 2021-22.

The animal welfare organisation believes the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and an increase in people taking holidays are the likely reasons for the rise, according to RSPCA WA.

Two dogs died last summer while tied up with no access to shade or water in Perth backyards.

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RSPCA WA urges pet owners to reconsider the risks of leaving pets at home with no proper care.

This dog was recently found without access to water at a Great Southern home.
Camera IconThis dog was recently found without access to water at a Great Southern home. Credit: Supplied

Pet safety and welfare are not issues to be taken lightly, particularly with hot or unpredictable weather.

Leaving your pet at home with ‘enough food and water to last until you get back’ for long periods of time is never OK.

RSPCA WA Great Southern inspector Georgina Brown said she had seen a range of welfare issues over the summer.

“Recently I’ve attended jobs where animals have not been checked daily, and welfare issues have come up as a result,” she said.

“These animals had spilled or broken their water containers, contaminated their food, or eaten a large amount all at once. Some animals, like horses, can spook easily and may injure themselves. If not checked on daily, this can lead to immense suffering or even death.

“Animals are unpredictable, and so is the weather in the Great Southern, so I’d really urge owners to arrange daily care wherever possible for large animals, and take that extra time to book a pet-sitter for dogs and cats.

“Your animal’s life could depend on it.”

RSPCA WA urges owners to arrange a house or pet-sitter, to organise to board their pet at a reputable kennel or cattery, or for them to stay with friends or family while away from home.

Let your neighbours know of any arrangements made for your pets and how long you will be away.

If you believe an animal has been abandoned, report it immediately to the RSPCA Cruelty hotline on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358), or you can file a report online at rspcawa.org.au.

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