Personal communication from Mark Townend, CEO RSPCA Qlnd. May 2010
“I have mentioned this before but the main reason for euthanasia of dogs is behaviour – especially in regard to those that are not trained and socialised early in life.
At our new facility at Wacol, we will have the opportunity to ramp up in Qld the areas of Animal Training and Behaviour. As from July this year, with a new budget in place we will be launching a new Behaviour Helpline Service in Qld.
Generally, my aim is to instigate a RSPCA nationally accredited animal training service that would be reasonably sustainable and implemented right across the country.
Glad it was a good experience when you visited the Rockhampton Pet Store, the strategy behind the store is that Shelters are the worst places animals could be, they have disease and herd health issues, they are no good for the animals behaviour and for humans often a very sad and depressing place to visit, so in Queensland I have no intention of building new RSPCA Shelters, certainly replacing or renewing the ones we have but no additions. Some new Shelters maybe built by local Governments for animal control but I even see these as limited.
With the use of the internet and some smart technology I believe a good well organised foster network to house the animals is ideal, then they are marketed for rehoming through the internet with some retail type space, e.g. Rockhampton Pet shop to actually meet and greet the animals.
Unfortunately the public are “lazy”. We could sit back and say well if they can’t travel to the RSPCA shelter to get an animal they shouldn’t have one. Sounds fair enough but all that happens is that otherwise good pet owners will just source an animal from a pet shop or some other convenient source that more than likely isn’t desexed etc.
So my aim is to ensure these establishments, whether they be RSPCA Pet shops, private pet shops or vet clinics, sell RSPCA orphaned and desexed animals. Of course we would need make sure the private establishments meet certain standards.
We have our own non shelter rehoming places at Rockhampton and Springwood with a new one opening on the Gold Coast in late October.
There is a new Outreach coordinator starting in a couple of weeks who will be rolling this program out more aggressively now we have tried it in a number of different locations and circumstances to get the processes right.”
The rehoming of homelss animals through an appropriate retail outlet, if managed correctly, can provide homes for many needy animals. This is totally different to a pet store selling a puppy or kitten bought from a back yard breeder, or puppy farm or rogue registered breeder with no scruples.
We don’t like to label these rehoming centres “pet shops” – can you think of another appropriate name? Let us know your thoughts!
(PS remember that the RSPCA’s in each State are seperate and individual entities)