Christmas is the time of year that our shelters and inspectors dread most. It should be the happiest time, a time where families gather to give thanks and share gifts. But as Chief Inspector, I have witnessed first hand how busy the shelters can be during the festive season. So many animals will pass through our doors in the next few months.
Animals like Indi, our Christmas mascot. Indi’s story sadly isn’t unique, but her good nature and will to live inspired me. When I first saw a picture of her just after she was seized, I felt sick. She was the skinniest living animal I had ever seen. The image is not one I will easily forget. She is one of the reasons that I come to work and why I am writing to you in the hope that you can help us.
Please consider Indi’s plight and that of others like her and give $30, $50, $100 or as much as you can spare to help the RSPCA survive this season. Everything we do in the battle to prevent animal suffering and cruelty costs money. We are therefore reliant on the generosity of animal lovers like you.
Kind regards and Seasons Greetings,
Chief Inspector, RSPCA Tasmania
My name is Indi. I’m an American Bulldog. I am spending Christmas with my new family and I can’t stop wagging my tail. But things weren’t always so rosy for me. It was not that long ago that I was fighting for my life. This is my story.
I remember my previous home... well, I remember the backyard.... I remember the dirt and the cold and the dark... I remember being tired and exhausted from delivering my babies which I struggled to feed… I remember my babies being gone soon after... And I remember being so hungry. There was another dog with me. He was bigger and stronger and would eat all my food. I did eat whatever I could find in the yard but I could see that my stomach was still shrinking. I could see my bones through my coat... bit by bit I found it harder to lift my body off the ground and raise my head... wagging my tail just took too much effort. So I stopped. I stopped and waited.
One day, just as I was about to give up hope, the back door opened and someone new was standing there. Someone who didn’t ignore me or pretend I didn’t exist... someone who came straight up to me and patted my head... so that’s what it felt like. This person wore a uniform and looked into my eyes with such kindness. Then she lifted me up and took me away.
She took me to a hospital and put me on a table. I heard her say to a nice lady who was holding my paw that my body condition was zero. ‘Zero,’ she said... and she shook her head. I didn’t find out until later that it wasn’t good to be a zero. Skeletal was the word they kept using to describe me.
I was unable to keep food down so a big machine scanned me to find the problem. They said there was something wrong with my stomach, which made sense because it hurt. After two days in hospital, I was operated on. They found in my stomach one of the meals I was able to scrounge in the backyard. It wasn’t food, it was an old towel and it was blocking my intestinal tract.
After the vets had removed the towel, I suddenly felt really hungry and I started to keep my food down. It was great to eat yummy food without the fear of the big dog taking it from me. I went from 14.4kgs to 22kgs in two weeks. I was feeling better and started to look good.
Just as I was calling the hospital home, I was moved again. This time, I was taken to the home of a loving lady who took the best care of me. She played with me and fed me and kept me inside the house. I never had it so good. One day, she looked me in the eyes and said simply, “Indi, you’re ready,” and I was on the move again.
This time, I found myself at the RSPCA shelter. It turned out all this time, the RSPCA was watching over me... they’d sent me to foster care until I was healthy enough to be adopted. The shelter is full of other dogs just like me... all of them waiting to be as lucky as I am.
My new owners are tops. They treat and talk to me like I am one of the family, they even take me camping. Mum told me the other day that my first owner got in trouble and is not allowed to have any dogs for a while. I am sure glad that the RSPCA knew what to do. With all the homes in my life... my first home, the hospital, my foster carer, the shelter and now my forever home – I know I am happier and better off because the RSPCA was there and works hard to care for and save animals in need.
PS: The only towel I come into contact now is the one my owner uses to dry me off after I have splashed all the water out of the bath.
Donate to RSPCA Tasmania this Christmas
To give other animals just like Indi a Christmas gift please donate today.