RSPCA NSW want to work with rescue groups..

On the SBS Insights program last night 25 Set 2012, RSPCA CEO Steve Coleman said that RSPCA NSW works with Rescue Groups. He also explained a situation where RSPCA reached out to Rescue Groups but that none responded…

We have some logical questions: please reply in the comments below:

If you are with a rescue Group that actively and currently works with RSPCA NSW – please tell us

If you were one of the Rescue Groups that was contacted by RSPCA with an invitation to work with them, please let us know

If you are with a Rescue Groups that did not respond to the RSPCA NSW invitation please let us know why

RSPCA NSW have made it clear that they want to work with Rescue Groups.

Action that Rescue Groups can take

Please write to Steve Coleman at, with your rescue group request and offer to work with them.  This is a great opportunity!

I suggest that you keep copies of subsequent correspondence for reference.

14 thoughts on “RSPCA NSW want to work with rescue groups..

  1. David Atwell September 26, 2012 / 9:23 am

    David Atwell VP of SoCares here Paul. Coleman’s claim about this meeting at Rutherford is erroneous. The meeting was held at Rutherford on the 24 August 2011. I was there, as were about seven other people from SoCares (Including two lawyers), about three people were from Dog Rescue Newcastle, whilst two were from Hunter Animal Rescue. Several issues were discussed including rescue groups taking animals from Rutherford. Coleman’s first offer was basically to take over the various groups foster care networks (althoguh he didn’t word it that way) & have these carers look after then animals at the rescue group’s expense. needless to say that offer was rejected.

    I then offered the same deal we have with every other council run pound – namely having an animal released under the Clause 16d as it the law governed by the Companion Animals Act (Regulations). The he wasn’t too keen on. So we agreed to have further negotiations & they (the RSPCA) would be in touch to organise negotiators from everyone. We NEVER heard a word since. Then Coleman has the hide to say we never contact him since the meeting. It was supposed to be the other way around.

  2. Melanie Norman September 27, 2012 / 10:15 am

    If the RSPCA is sincere, it is a tremendous opportunity.

    Yes they are a large organisation with legislative commitments and the need for additional governance of people helping is obvious, but heck it could be the beginning of something beautiful, large and enormously beneficial long term for the animals that need extra care to live. It won’t suit some in “rescue” because the RSPCA will keep the highly adoptable pets to sell and will only need help for the dogs who are in need of real help, rehab or actual rescue – but now he has made that statement – let’s celebrate with him.

    I say contact him and make a BIG positive fuss over your attempts to work with them.

    If nothing else it may start the negotiation on what they need from rescues to make to it happen.

  3. Robbie Widdrington September 27, 2012 / 2:41 pm

    I was at the meeting held at the RSPCA Hunter Shelter in August 2011, Before the meeting came to a close Steve Coleman clearly said for each of the rescue groups in attendance to supply one contact persons details to him. I followed up on this in January of this year to find out none of the three rescue groups had sent the details through. I then went out of my way even though no-longer with the group to email two of the three rescue groups saying they’re still interested in possibly assisting the RSPCA to contact Steve Coleman and I supplied his email. I also posted much the same to the email on my Facebook wall with two rescue groups asking me for more information.


    The three rescue groups present failed to comply with a simple request even after I emailed two, if the request was followed then 12 months ago negotiations could of continued and not have waited until now and then publicly announce Steve Coleman lied because the rescue groups failed.

  4. Barb Trytko September 27, 2012 / 10:19 pm

    I co-ordinate NSW mallie rescue for AMRAA Inc. – I have had Yagoona, Katoomba, Sommersby, Nowra shelters all contact me in regard to malamutes. However, Rutherford refused to countenance giving me a mallie that had failed their testing despite being told I work with the other RSPCAs and was happy to sign any waiver they wished of me – they euthenased an 18 month old mallie for acting like a testosterone driven typical male mallie teenager. I have not been contacted to apply to work with the RSPCA. Usually I have contacted them first leaving them information and applying.
    We left contact details at Rutherford a few years back and have never heard from them.
    I would say the RSPCA is highly variable in the way they will deal with rescue which is why I have sent a letter to my MPs and have spoken to Steve Coleman in regard to this, they need to standardise their approach.

  5. David Atwell September 28, 2012 / 8:37 am

    Let’s look at Robbie Widdrington’s comments, contrast them with mine, as well as Steve Coleman’s.

    Steve Coleman claimed that ten rescue groups came to the meeting and he didn’t hear back from one of them. As I have said, only three rescue groups were at this meeting, which Robbie has likewise agreed.

    As Robbie has said, everyone was to choose negotiators for further meetings. I concur that negotators were to be chosen. At the meeting, though, the lawyer representing SoCares, presented herself to Steve Coleman exchanging contact details, as it was agreed she would represent SoCares as our negotiator (this was already prearranged some days ago prior to the RSPCA meeting). Clearly this is something Steve Coleman forgot and for some reason Robbie had likewise forgotten.

    But far more importantly, as per Robbie’s own admission, he contacted the RSPCA himself. This contradicts the claim by Steven Coleman that on-one contacted the RSPCA after the meeting. In other words someone did contact the RSPCA from the rescue groups, after the meeting, even if it be a perfunctionary communiqué yet an important one.

    During the rescue groups access to the RSPCA discussions, it was agreed that further negotiations would take place at a future date. This was to be arranged by the RSPCA. We never heard back about these further meetings even though the RSPCA already had all the contact details of everyone at the meeting, on 24 August 2011, as well as a “role call” which we all signed whilst leaving our details.

    Furthermore, and I have to highlight this, at the meeting I personally made the offer that rescue groups could take animals out of the Rutherford Shelter under the Clause 16d conditions just like at every council run pound. This had been the arrangement at Kurri Pound, prior to its takeover by the RSPCA, & is clearly set out under the Companion Animals Regulations (which are attached to the Companion Animals Act). I will also stress that the RSPCA, in respect to their contract with Cessnock City Council, have to consider allowing rescue groups access to companion animals sourced from the Cessnock LGA (Clause 21.2). Although this offer not rejected outright, by Steve Coleman on the night, it was clear to all of us that he wasn’t very keen on the idea.

    The point is, however, the Clause 16d is the “law” when dealing with council pounds, whilst in this particular situation, the RSPCA are under a contractural demand to work with rescue groups – it isn’t the other way around. The RSPCA are not exempt from the Companion Animals Act nor from the conditions of their contract.

  6. Deathrowpets September 28, 2012 / 10:15 am

    I have had this information sent to me by email: “I know that the RSPCA Sydney have been working with Glenda Renshaw from Schnauzer rescue for a long time. Glenda takes any Schnauzer they throw at her from puppy farms etc.”

  7. Deathrowpets September 28, 2012 / 10:39 am

    David – all sounds a bot confusing – would you mind explaining what the NSW CLause 16d is please?

  8. David Atwell September 28, 2012 / 12:11 pm

    A Clause 16d has been authorised by the NSW govt as part of a process whereby rescue groups, who have obtained their Clause 16d, can turn up at a pound & claim a cat or dog. It forms a key part of the Companion Animal Regulations which is attached to the NSW Companion Animals Act & therefore has the full weight of the Act behind it.

    Essentially a Clause 16d wavers most of the fees, which a general member of the public would have to pay if adopting an animal from a pound, apart from the cost of the microchip (which is generally charged at the wholesale price).

    Although there is no actual legal demand for a council to be forced to release an animal to a rescue group with a Clause 16d, it is in the “spirit” of the law for councils to oblige themselves to cooperate with rescue groups. according to the Companion Animal Regulations. as well as their legal requirement to do so under Section 64 para 5 of the Companion Animals Act where it states:

    “Before destroying a seized or surrendered animal as authorised by subsection (1), it is the duty of the council concerned to consider whether there is an alternative action to that of destroying the animal and (if practicable) to adopt any such alternative.”

    To me that indicates that the Act is refering to the Clause 16d even though it doesn’t specifically mention it in detail (please note that this has never been legally tested nor has it been set out in the “guidelines” – it is, though, my learned opinion).

    Quintessentially neither the Act nor the Regulations excuse the RSPCA run pounds from observing Section 64 quoted above (BTW Section 64A states the same requirement for surrenders) nor from not allowing rescue groups, who have a Clause 16d, from taking an animal from an RSPCA run pound. It maybe a different story from a private RSPCA shelter, such as Yagoona (ie Sydney), but not from somewhere such as Rutherford which has four council pounds located therein (Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, & Cessnock).

    Furthermore, as mentioned above, the RSPCA has a further legal requirement in respect to their contract with Cessnock Council where they must consider releaseing animals to rescue groups as per Clause 21.2 of the contract.

  9. companionanimalnews October 10, 2012 / 8:55 pm

    info received from Hunter Animal Watch who do amazing desexing work on a shoestring: “I may have told you, a couple of years ago we offered to go in a joint venture with them for Hunter Animal Watch to subsidise desexing in an area chosen by the RS for a limited length of time. It was a good offer, and they would have got very good press from it. Guess what happened? Nothing. They are either unwilling or unable to work well with others.”

  10. Peter Shinbone October 27, 2012 / 9:20 pm

    Coleman is a wanker why would anyone listen to anything he has to say

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  13. Gen May 8, 2013 / 8:40 pm

    Maybe RSPCA Australia wide need to get off their high horses, and stop their blatant bullying tactics with no kill shelters. Who monitors the RSPCA they recieve a lot of donations, bequests, government funding, and have millions of dollars in the bank, do you really see them helping out their “competition” not bad for a not for profit charity.

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