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Livestock vote a win for animal welfare • Marathon effort saves echidna • RSPCA Cupcake Day: it’s almost here!

Winter 20 12




Against the Odds A puppy left for dead in a bin at Bolivar has touched the hearts of South Australians. Now, for the first time, we hear from the rescue officer who saved him … and how “Lucky” is adjusting to his new life. In May, RSPCA Rescue Officer Brigitte was called to a Port Wakefield Road service station. A tiny Labrador cross and two dead littermates, all about six weeks old, had been sealed inside a plastic bag, wrapped in a blanket, and dumped in a bin. “Frankly, I was shocked to see the age of the puppies,” Brigitte said. “It was very confronting.

“I knew he needed a heartbeat and breathing to feel safe so I zipped him in my jacket and held him closely. He didn’t want to be away from me.” Brigitte rushed to the vet with the pup still snuggled in. Despite a head injury and an infection he has recovered, earning him the nickname “Lucky”. RSPCA Chief Inspector, Simon Richards, maintained

regular contact with the vet, Kym Sutherland. “He was about 800 grams when he was rescued but he’s weighing in at almost two kilos now,” Mr Richards said. Now in foster care Lucky is thriving. “Apparently he’s the king of the foster home and gets along very well with the other two dogs they have,” Mr Richards said.

Brigitte knows it could have been very different. “He’s very lucky he made a noise when he did and that someone was intuitive enough to find him,” she said. “I don’t understand why people do this when they have options. People can always surrender unwanted pets to our shelters.” If caught and convicted, the culprit faces up to two years behind bars or a $20,000 fine. If you can help, please call 1300 4777 22.

From the CEO

Events calendar The RSPCA relies on South Australians to help us care for and protect all creatures, great and small. But in recent weeks, we have been overwhelmed by the commitment and passion shown by our supporters.

Firstly, I would like to thank our hard working volunteers who are the backbone of this organisation. From giving our animals some TLC, to stuffing envelopes, to working in our thrift shops and everything in between, these men and women make us proud every single day – and more importantly – really improve the lives of animals in need. In May, more than 100 volunteers assisted at the 2012 Million Paws Walk. Without them, the event would not have been the success it was. I must also thank those who rallied behind us during the recent debate in Parliament about the protection of livestock. There is no doubt the many letters, calls, emails, text messages and visits to MPs made a difference. Not only have we maintained the right to protect the welfare of farm animals and horses in South Australia, our Inspectorate has received a modest increase in funding this financial year to do so. The future is looking bright for us and with your continued support I am looking forward to building on our recent successes.

Cupcake Day 20 August Bake, eat, and raise money for the sweetest day of the year. Register NOW at

City-Bay Fun Run 16 September Combine fitness and fundraising for the RSPCA Visit to catch the early bird prices Neale Sutton RSPCA SA CEO

Awareness Week 1-7 October Happy Tails Day 5 October

Livestock vote a win for animal welfare Parliament recently rejected an amendment to the Livestock Act, which would have stripped the RSPCA of its powers to protect the welfare of farm animals and horses in South Australia. The RSPCA argued this was not in the best interests of animal welfare and urged supporters to help defeat the proposal. In a matter of days, more than 1200 emails were sent to each Upper House MP, and the RSPCA received almost 600 text messages of support. RSPCA (SA) Chief Executive Officer Neale Sutton said it

Published by RSPCA South Australia 172 Morphett St, Adelaide SA  5000 1300 4 RSPCA (1300 477 722) 2

was the best outcome for livestock in SA. “We have been protecting all creatures great and small for more than 100 years, with a very good track record,” he said. “The RSPCA is in the best position to enforce the Animal Welfare Act.” He says the RSPCA will work closely with the farming industry to balance the protection of animals and livelihoods.

“We are not against farming, but there are some practices which we have had issues with for a long time. We want to continue to inform the community of these issues, while respecting the rights of farmers who look after their animals to earn a living. “We are looking forward to strengthening our relationships with them and key organisations in the livestock industry.” Between February and May livestock accounted for 17% of all RSPCA investigations, with inspectors checking up on 92 horses, 50 sheep, 34 fowl and 27 cattle.

Design Sam Kleidon

Find out more

Cover image Leigh Hyland, volunteer photographer •

Million Paws Walk 2012 Thank you to everyone who paw-ticipated in the 2012 Million Paws Walk – it was a great success! About 6000 people and 4000 dogs converged on Elder Park in May, raising just under $190,000. This will make a difference to thousands of abandoned, sick and injured animals in South Australia. The sunny weather provided the perfect backdrop for the walk and many stuck around for a day of fun, activities and competitions.

If you had your photo taken on the day you can purchase your official copy from www. epsomrdstudios. The RSPCA receives $1 from every photo sold.

Pixie: Million Paws Walk Ambassador

Microchipping, vet checks and doggy massage services were also in high demand. Walks held in Berri and Pt. Augusta were well attended too, contributing a further $2,600.

See more photos at rspcasouthaustralia

Marathon effort saves echidna A thorny situation sparked a four hour rescue south of Adelaide. Sellicks Hill resident James was walking his dog on Good Friday when he was drawn to an old water pipe. Trapped inside was a struggling echidna. James tried to free him, but quickly realized he needed help and called the RSPCA. Rescue Officer Soraya assessed the situation. She knew the echidna would die if she did not get him out. “Echidnas are skillful climbers but the height and smoothness of the concrete pipe would have made it almost impossible for him,” Soraya said. “If we left him there there’d be no way he could have gotten out on his own.” The rescue presented a unique challenge. “He kept digging into the bottom of the pipe,” she said.

“When an echidna is in defence mode they anchor themselves in the ground by extending their limbs and spines. “It blew me away how strong they are when they do this - it was like trying to move a large rock. I also needed to make sure not to dig near his beak so I didn’t injure him.” Soraya’s paramount concern for the echidna and the awkward shape of the pipe meant the rescue took an exhausting four hours. Soraya spent half of it hanging vertically down the pipe as James held her legs. But her hands eventually seized from all the digging, and she called the Country Fire Service. Another two hours later, the echidna was finally freed. “Soraya was great, especially with two strangers holding her down the pipe”, James said. But she insists it was a joint effort.

Above: Bones strewn across the bottom of the pipe gave a grim indication of the echidna’s fate had he not been discovered. “I cannot commend the CFS guys enough, they were brilliant. James and his son, Cameron, were also crucial in the echidna’s rescue,” she said. Cameron released the healthy and relieved echidna back into the scrub. The hole was then covered to ensure no other wayward creatures could become trapped.

Soraya and the rescued echidna


How you can help animals in need

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Adopting from one of our shelters Every animal in our shelter has a unique story and they are all searching for love. Visit to meet animals hoping to find their forever home.

Donating Donate either by calling the Donation Hotline on 1300 4 RSPCA (1300 477 722) or by filling in the form at the bottom of the page and returning to RSPCA SA, GPO Box 2122, Adelaide, SA 5001.

Volunteering Our volunteers are dedicated, passionate and hard working with a genuine desire to improve the lives of animals in need. Without them, we would not be able to provide the crucial services that we do.


You can volunteer at our shelters, thrift shops and head office in a variety of roles, developing skills in animal handling, retail, or business while helping us in a meaningful way.

To enquire about volunteering please email


Gifts for our shelters Our shelters are always looking for items to help make life more comfortable for our animals up for adoption. Items in demand this winter are tins of food and blankets. For more information about what to donate please contact your nearest shelter. (See below)

Foster caring Animals in foster care experience a true home environment. This helps them to develop their natural behaviour and temperament and improves their chances of finding a new home. If you are interested in providing tender loving care to young puppies or kittens, animals recovering from surgery or animals with curable behavioural issues, please call 8382 0888.

Contact Us Shelters

Thrift Shops

Lonsdale 25 Meyer Road, Lonsdale 08 8382 0888 (Dogs & general enquiries) 08 8382 9962 (Cats)

Blackwood 08 8178 1065 Brighton 08 8377 0773

Port Lincoln 1 Happy Valley Road, Port Lincoln 08 8682 3016

Prospect 08 8269 2366 Semaphore 08 8341 5000

Whyalla Corner of Cook & Watts Streets, Whyalla Norrie 08 8644 0172

Warradale 08 8296 6700

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RSPCA SA News - Winter 2012  

RSPCA South Australia News - Winter 2012 edition.