RSPCA Tasmania continues to look to the future

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.

RSPCA Tasmania Annual Report 2015-16