This is a very touchy subject, one which we are still trying to be objective about. We used to be big supporters of the RSPCA, we would participate in their annual fundraisers such as Million Paws Walk and Cup Cake Day.
However, after watching SBS’s The Tail End, it left us questioning whether we should continue to support the renowned organisation. “There was 100,000 unclaimed pets left at the RSPCA nationally. Now that’s a hundred million dollar organisation, so what else are we putting our money towards if it’s not rehabilitation? Somewhere like the Lost Dogs Home re-homed 3,500 pets, yet it killed 12,000 pets and they take in $12 million a year. So we talk about the animal welfare industry as being under-resourced, but animal charities are some of the richest in Australia”, said Michelle Williamson, the director of Pet Rescue.
Do a search online and you’ll quickly find stories that lead the drop in popularity of the RSPCA. Whether or not such stories are true, we find that our belief of ‘No Kill’ does not align with theirs.
But let’s not point fingers at such charities and look at the bigger picture. One of the major factors for such high kill rates is because pets are easy to obtain and dispose of. There is an over-supply of pets, they are simple to breed (even in the worst of conditions), cheaper to buy than to take care of, easy to love when young and for some, easy to give up. Restricting the supply of pets as early as possible could be a way to reduce the strain on the welfare groups further down the line.
Here are our suggestions:
– Choosing the right breed for an individual’s lifestyle through education
– Compulsory breeder registration, and all puppies and kittens are spayed/neutered prior to going to their new homes
– Eliminating impulse purchases of pets to reduce surrender rates to shelters
– Educational campaigns to show that shelter pets are not rejects and make great companions
Is the RSPCA really the villain here? Can a change to the system reduce kill rates? Perhaps if we had the real facts then we could all work out a way to do so together.