RSPCA Tasmania News
Published: 21 April 2017
New Challenge for Million Paws Walk
RSPCA Tasmania has issued a challenge to the dog owners of the state to walk a million paws with their pets in just one month in the lead up to this year’s 22nd annual Million Paws Walk held nationally on Sunday 21st May 2017.
The new Million Paws Walk Challenge launched yesterday allows participants to set their own fitness and fundraising goals over the next four weeks and is ideal for those who wish to fundraise for RSPCA Tasmania but are possibly unable to participate in the official walks on 21st May.
RSPCA Tasmania CEO Peter West says the Challenge is a novel way to introduce a slightly competitive element to this popular annual event and is a wonderful way for people who can’t attend the physical walks on the day to get involved.
He says RSPCA Tasmania hopes to attract a record number of walkers around the state to the six Million Paws Walks at Stanley, Ulverstone, Launceston, St Helens, Hobart and Huonville.
"With the weather hopefully on our side this year, our Million Paws Walks look set to be the biggest yet in Tassie. With luck we will see around 3,500 people and 14,000 paws pounding the pavements around the state,” Mr West said.
An army of more than 100 volunteers will help run the State-wide events.
Million Paws Walk is the Tasmanian animal charity’s biggest annual fundraising event, raising funds critical to the continued operation of their three animal care centres, community engagement activities, advocacy work and the vital Animal Inspectorate Team that deal with around 3,000 call to the Animal Cruelty Hotline each year.
"We are calling on the community to join us in celebrating the health benefits of having a dog by taking the challenge or registering for the walks either online or on the day,” Mr West said.
Southern dog owners considering participation in a Million Paws Walk on Sunday 21st May will again be spoiled for choice, with events in Hobart and Huonville.
The Hobart event will again have a seaside flavour, being held at the Long Beach Reserve in Lower Sandy Bay. This venue was very popular with Million Paws Walk participants for the past two years, and will again feature two official walks with beach components, the popular family-friendly Green adjacent to the playground and beaches.
The third Huonville Million Paws Walk is again a collaboration between RSPCA Tasmania and Huon Valley Council and features two walks from event HQ at the Huonville Oval. This event is expected to attract large numbers of dog owners in the Huon Valley who’ve never before tried a Million Paws Walk.
The Walk in the seaside town of St Helens will use the new venue successfully trialled last year at Stieglitz Beach. It will feature a seaside walk, games, entertainment and catering.
The Inveresk precinct in Launceston has proven to be an ideal venue over the past several years for the Launceston Walk, which traditionally attracts the largest turnout of enthusiastic dogs and their walkers for a Tasmanian Million Paws Walk event.
Along the North West Coast there will be events at Shropshire Park, Ulverstone and at the Stanley Recreation Ground, both events featuring seaside environments, games, entertainment and catering.
All walks around the state start at 11am with on-site registration commencing from 10am.
Register online to fundraise and to take up the Million Paws Walk Challenge, visit
Published: 28 February 2017
Glam with the Governor
In a Government House first, animals will mingle with guests at an official function at Tasmania’s historic Government House next month. But the furry visitors will be more than special and popular guests – event patrons will have the chance to adopt them.
Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner, AC, Governor of Tasmania is hosting a special fundraising cocktail party to benefit RSPCA Tasmania on Wednesday 29 March from 5.30pm.
Guests will have the chance to meet Her Excellency; enjoy fine food and wine; listen to live music from Hobart locals Yesterday’s Gentlemen; participate in an auction and raffle, and meet and potentially adopt one of the RSPCA animals attending the event.
Several animals from RSPCA Tasmania will be joining RSPCA staff and guests - an innovation for Government House.
RSPCA Tasmania CEO Peter West says the charity is thrilled to be hosted by Her Excellency at such an iconic venue.
“Governor Warner is our very committed and enthusiastic patron so we are pleased and proud that Her Excellency has chosen the state’s most prolific animal welfare charity to be the beneficiary of this prestigious event.
“Many in the community have not been inside Government House so this is a fantastic opportunity to support RSPCA’s many and varied animal welfare activities while enjoying the wonderful food and wine, the unique company of two and four-legged friends and the ambience of the house and grounds.
“It will be a truly unique event. We’re hoping that the community will seize this chance to enjoy a unique social experience and at the same time raise much needed funds to continue to help us help Tasmanian animals.
“It’s also a wonderful opportunity for business owners to reward their staff and clients with invitations to this unique event, especially those who have never visited Government House.”
The main event will take place in the house’s iconic ballroom, with access to the one of the finest examples of Victorian-era private gardens in Australia.
Tickets are available online at :www.rspcatas.org.au/GC
Ten tickets or more purchased in one booking attract a 16% discount. Numbers are limited.
Published: 11 November 2016
Milly survives horrific cruelty
RSPCA Tasmania is seeking public assistance in identifying the perpetrators of an horrific act of cruelty on a pregnant cat.
Milly was surrendered to RSPCA Tasmania in late October having had three kittens only an hour before she arrived at our Mornington Animal Care Centre with burns to the back of her head and neck.
The person who surrendered Milly said that a week earlier Milly had petrol poured on her and was set alight.
RSPCA Chief Vet Andrew Byrne says Milly is healing well and is a great mum to her kittens.
“We were initially concerned by the nature of the wound and thought that she might lose her ear, however it has healed well and Milly should make a full recovery, with her ear intact.”
RSPCA Tasmania Inspectors are looking into allegations that other domestic animals in the Bridgewater have also been cruelly treated.
RSPCA Tasmania Inspector Ashlie Burnett with Milly
Inspector Ashlie Burnett says they have been in contact with Tasmania Police and are investigating whether this may not be an isolated incident.
“Anecdotally we are hearing that pet owners in the area are ensuring their pets are indoors of a night. This is a wise thing to do given this situation,” Ms Burnett said.
RSPCA Tasmania CEO, Peter West said he was appalled that this sort of thing was happening in 2016.
He said his biggest concern is that children or young people might be the perpetrators of this cruelty.
“Studies have shown that cruelty to animals in childhood can lead to antisocial behaviour later in life,” he said.
“RSPCA’s vision is for a Tasmania where all animals are treated with respect and kindness, and we hope the community can help us investigate this case and get help for the people who are doing this to our vulnerable pets.
“We urge anybody with any information to call our 24/7 Animal Cruelty Hotline on 1300 139 947 or go to our website and fill out a complaint form. We follow up 100% of complaints and all calls are treated confidentially.
“If there is any good to come out of this it’s that Milly has had three healthy kittens – Mika, Milan and Marlon- and has a chance at a wonderful new life,” Mr West said.
Published: 16 September 2016
Bass Strait cattle deaths investigation concludes
RSPCA Tasmania advises that progress has been made in the investigation into the death of 59 cattle during a Bass Strait crossing aboard the MV Statesman in late January this year.
RSPCA Tasmania Inspectors have been assisting the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) with their investigation.
DPIPWE has concluded its investigation and is preparing a report to go to the Tasmanian Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.
In the interim the MV Statesman continues to transport cattle across Bass Strait under strict animal welfare instructions from DPIPWE.
Published: 01 September 2016
RSPCA Tasmania appoints new Chief Veterinarian
RSPCA Tasmania is excited to welcome experienced veterinarian, Dr Andrew Byrne to the new role of Chief Veterinarian and Animal Care Manager.
Dr Byrne has 30 years veterinary experience and was recently the Chief Vet for RSPCA Victoria. He may also be familiar to many as the public face of RSPCA pet insurance.
Dr Byrne will be based at RSPCA’s Launceston Animal Care Centre but will travel widely and use contemporary communications technology to liaise with other veterinary and Animal Care Centre staff around the state.
RSPCA Tasmania CEO Peter West says that thanks to the Work for The Dole program, RSPCA’s Launceston Animal Care Centre has a new facility exclusively for vet activities.
“Now that we have the infrastructure and the fulltime expertise, we intend to considerably ramp up our de-sexing, vaccination and microchipping services for dogs and cats statewide,” Mr West said.
“Obviously, RSPCA animals continue to be our first priority, but our longer term plan is to make these important vet services available to the general public.”
“We are very pleased that someone with such expertise and outstanding reputation has chosen to come to Tasmania to lead the implementation of our new vet care strategy,” Mr West said.
Dr Byrne says he’s looking forward to his new challenge.
“I am keen to bring my expertise, knowledge and passion to assist RSPCA Tasmania in developing our veterinary program.
“I will be drawing on my thirty years’ experience from other RSPCAs around the country and in private practice to bring improved animal welfare outcomes to Tasmanian animals.”
RSPCA President Simon Froude says Dr Byrne’s appointment heralds a new era for RSPCA Tasmania’s vet services.
“With Andrew’s considerable veterinary and management experience and with an additional new vet recently appointed in the south, RSPCA Tasmania is set to embark on another exciting phase in our renewal strategy.
“Andrew will help us develop and implement strategic initiatives that will improve animal care and welfare outcomes in the Tasmanian community and at the same time, create sustainable value to the RSPCA,“ Mr Froude said.
“We have taken the bull by the horns, as it were, and introduced new services that will not only benefit the community and fulfil our mission, but also have potential to sustain our animal care and inspectorate operations into the future”.
Published: 15 March 2017
It’s St Catrick’s Day – to be sure, to be sure…
RSPCA Tasmania’s Animal Care Centres around the state are celebrating St Catrick’s Day this weekend with special adoption prices on cats and kittens this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
What’s more, each adopted cat or kitten will go home with a special “pot of gold” free gift pack that includes; Hills Science Diet cat/kitten food, a litter tray and scoop, and a cat carrier.
At the RSPCAs three Animal Care Centres at Hobart, Launceston and Devonport, there are more than 120 cats and kittens available for adoption. All are vet-checked, microchipped, vaccinated and desexed before leaving for their new forever homes.
RSPCA CEO Peter West says that he would love to clear the Centres of all available cats and kittens.
“We adore all our Animal Care Centre residents, but there’s absolutely no doubt that home environments are the best places for these cats and kittens.
“If we can clear the centres we will make way for the cats and kittens that are out in foster care and that will continue to arrive due to a mild autumn,” Mr West said.
To view all the cats and kittens available, visit adoptapet.com.au or visit your nearest RSPCA Animal Care Centre. All centres will open 10am to 4pm this Friday to Sunday for this promotion.
Published: 07 December 2016
Timely Christmas present for greyhounds
Government responds to Inquiry recommendations
RSPCA Tasmania has welcomed the government’s announcement of a range of actions in response to the recommendations from the recent parliamentary inquiry into Tasmania’s greyhound industry.
RSPCA CEO Peter West says the actions outlined in the document are a very positive step forward and a great Christmas present for greyhounds.
“While not a shut-down of the industry, the actions announced by government puts the industry on notice and clearly signals that the Office of Racing Integrity is earnest about getting owners and trainers to take the welfare of greyhounds seriously,” Mr West said.
He said as the state’s leading animal welfare advocate, RSPCA Tasmania will continue its work behind the scenes to achieve better outcomes for greyhounds and indeed, all animals.
“RSPCA Tasmania is willing to assist the Office of Racing Integrity to achieve a safer and smarter Greyhound Racing Industry - one that puts the respect and care for their animals ahead of gambling dollars.”
“Tasmania continues to lead the way on greyhound welfare reform and we hope that other states will see what’s happening here and tighten their stance.”
Mr West said he hoped the good news would continue in terms of government announcements around longstanding animal welfare legislation.
Published: 29 October 2016
RSPCA Tasmania continues to look to the future
Tasmania’s peak animal welfare body, RSPCA Tasmania has recognised the great work of staff and volunteers in delivering improved animal welfare outcomes in its 2015-16 Annual Report, released to members at the Society’s Annual General Meeting held in Launceston today.
RSPCA Tasmania President, Simon Froude, acknowledged the organisation’s achievements in a challenging year.
“The last financial year has not been without its challenges, but we feel that RSPCA Tasmania continues to make significant steps towards becoming a more stable and sustainable organisation,” Mr Froude said.
“A few years ago the future of the Society looked bleak but the dedicated efforts of the Board, staff and volunteers have ensured we have a clear understanding of where RSPCA Tasmania is headed.
“We have achieved many good things this year and will continue to deliver growth through initiatives such as an increased Vet Clinic presence, greater emphasis on Grant funding and building stronger relationships with our supporters.”
During the year the RSPCA Tasmania completed the constitutional and governance changes agreed to by members at the 2015 AGM, which have taken almost two years to achieve.
“This year has seen us move to become a Company Limited by Guarantee, and adopt the new Constitution agreed to at the last AGM,” Mr Froude said.
“We have also adopted a Strategic Plan that charts the way forward and provides measurable goals for us to focus on."
The Work for the Dole programs at each of our Animal Care Centres are also delivering great benefits by making the Centres safer and more attractive (to animals and humans).
Work includes completion of new walking tracks, upgrades to dog exercise yards, new cat viewing rooms, a veterinary clinic in Launceston, a dog wash area in Devonport and the commencement of a special project to provide new dog kennels to animals and people in need.
"These measures ensure RSPCA Tasmania will continue to meet the expectations of all our stakeholders into the future,” Mr Froude said at the AGM.
RSPCA Tasmania CEO, Peter West, said last year’s poor financial result had prompted a great deal of introspection leading to a greater emphasis on diversifying income streams.
"There is a very real and demonstrated need for our services and the challenge for us is to respond to that need within our available resources,” Mr West said.
“We intend to continue focussing our efforts on providing increased opportunities for the community to help us help more Tasmanian animals in need.”
In 2015-16 RSPCA Tasmania achieved a live release (rehoming and reclaim) rate of 79%. Three years ago this was 63%, followed a year later with 58%, and in 2014-2015 the live release rate grew to 72%.
"One of the things that makes me most proud of our year is that we continue to achieve strong results in rehoming animals from our Animal Care Centres,” Mr West said.
“I am so pleased we are able to help more animals find homes than ever before.”
With a 97% success rate in the courts, and with almost 3,000 calls to the Animal Cruelty Hotline resulting in over 5,800 individual complaints investigated, RSPCA Tasmania’s Inspectorate Service has yet again shown their commitment to upholding Tasmania's Animal Welfare laws.
This year RSPCA Tasmania has led the public discussion around significant animal welfare issues including the live baiting and welfare of greyhounds and the development of a new and stronger Cat Management Plan. It has also tackled issues related to extreme weather events across the state, community reporting of animal cruelty, and the increase in reports of cruelty to horses.
Mr West said RSPCA Tasmania recognises the role the media plays in helping the society to achieve its vision of a Tasmania where all animals are treated with respect and kindness.
"News media is a most effective avenue to raise community awareness about animal welfare issues and to reach out to the public for support and we gratefully acknowledge the media’s assistance in telling these important stories,” he said.
Published: 14 September 2016
Publication of the Tasmanian Parliamentary Greyhound Report
RSPCA Tasmania welcomes the publication of the Parliamentary Committee’s report into the greyhound industry but says the Inquiry has not let the greyhound industry off the leash.
RSPCA CEO Peter West says the industry is now on notice that it needs to do better.
“The opportunity was there for a once-in-a-generation response that would finally bring about better welfare outcomes for greyhounds and other animals such as those involved in the live baiting scandal.
“It seems the Committee has decided to not make a stand for greyhounds and chosen instead to take the easy way out.
“The focus now shifts to the state Government to see what it will do to ensure greyhounds get a better deal,” Mr West said.
“Judging by recent media releases and what has been said in parliament over the last few weeks, it is clear that the Government, with Labor support, will put jobs and income from gambling revenue ahead of the welfare of animals, especially greyhounds.
“Statistics show that on average, two greyhounds will be injured every time there is a greyhound race meeting in this state, and there is a reasonable chance that at least one greyhound will be euthanased - just so we can gamble and be entertained.
Mr West says TasRacing is at the forefront of reforming industry practices, and other states are considering similar practices to Tasmania’s.
“However there are still so many questions around injury and deaths at race meetings, massive shortfalls in rehoming options and the need for constant policing of owners and trainers by the Office of Racing Integrity – these indicate that greyhound racing can never be a completely humane form of entertainment or sport.”
Mr West says at the end of the day, it is perfectly clear there will be a vast number of greyhounds that will need re-homing, that are currently not being re-homed.
“TasRacing says 100% of greyhounds will be re-homed by 2019, but we ask - why can’t that be from today, or next week, or even next year?
“It seems that those of us that advocate significant change will need to accept the cards we’ve been dealt, take a pragmatic approach and be prepared to work with government and the racing industry to achieve better animal welfare outcomes.”
Published: 25 August 2016
2016 Election of Directors
RSPCA Tasmania hereby gives notice of, and calls for nominations for, election of Directors to be held at the 2016 AGM. Valid nominations need to be received, no later than midday 13 September 2016 addressed to :
- Mr Peter West
- CEO RSPCA Tasmania,
- 553 Pass Road,
- Mornington. TAS 7018
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