All over Brisbane there are groups of dedicated people working tirelessly on behalf of the domestic animals and wildlife that can't speak up for themselves. Rescue shelters house, foster and care for hundreds of thousands of injured, abused, neglected and abandoned animals every year and also educate the public about the very real responsibilities of owning a pet as well as the growing issue of irresponsible breeding can be found all around Brisbane, contributing their efforts with steady determination.
The RSPCA is a known and respected foundation that has been established in Australia since 1871, with Victoria laying claim to
the first development. Over the next few years, every state in Australia had a shelter, including Queensland in 1875. The Fairfield shelter holds the title of the Queensland RSPCA headquarters and is a well-equipped centre - not only providing veterinary and animal care services but also operating as a highly functional call centre and handling community relations and fundraising.
Despite suffering extensive damage to it's vet clinic, forcing an evacuation of hundreds of animals, Fairfield refuge has re-opened since the devastation of the floods and rebuilding projects have commenced, drawing a lot of attention to the RSPCA and showing a spike in volunteers over the past few months. However, the work is far from over and with the added task of continuing to reach out to the community the RSPCA is holding it's Cupcake Day on August 15. A day to learn the facts about animal abuse, donate to a good cause and enjoy a cupcake.
Also working towards a better understanding by the public about animal welfare is Animal Rescue Queensland; "Sadly, every year more than 250,000 pets are euthanised at pounds and shelters across Australia. We urgently need sponsorships, donations, foster carers and permanent caring volunteers to help us continue with this very worthwhile, much needed work."
This plea shows how serious an issue unwanted pets and pets that are unable to be taken care of properly is. ARQ was founded by Mel and Simone with the aim to "brighten the future of each and every animal that crosses our path."
Mel managed a large boarding kennel and cattery, and in 2007 began applying with small animal rescue organisation. Simone worked in a wholesale industry that introduced all natural pet treats to Australia, and later went on to work at the council pound where she was in charge of the sale program and introducing a re-homing scheme. This is where she learnt how to find compatible homes for animals with the aim to "brighten the future of each and every animal that crosses our path," and that is just what they have been doing since they established the organisation.
As part of an education process that all of the Brisbane animal shelters advocate, the Animal Welfare League runs a sanctuary known as Coombabah Rehoming and Education Centre that provides a unique, hands-on shelter experience for students while studying an education program and expanding their animal husbandry skills. This land was originally leased to the league by Gold Coast City Council and the shelter consisted of netting and packing cases while tireless volunteers worked to clear the land, located on Pine Ridge Road.
The bigger organisations, like the RSPCA The Animal Welfare League and Animal Rescue Queensland have spread from Brisbane and now have shelters all around the South East region of Queensland. However, there are also the independently set up organisations. Monique's Cavy Angels opened it's doors to the world with the hope of educating the public on correct guinea pig care and treatment as well as the hazards of irresponsible breeding. Monique explained, "it's simply getting a male and female with the intentions to breed without doing the proper research into what should be done health and care wise." This fact has contributes to more than half of the euthanasia's of animals in shelters every year. At Cavy Angels, though, there is a strict "no kill" policy and animals are not put down unless suffering extreme and untreatable pain. This means the shelter is currently seeking "forever homes" for one hundred and forty guinea pigs, ten rats, two chickens, a rooster and a turtle.
Just few of the many, many animal shelters that reside in Brisbane, these are prime examples of how selflessly committed to a cause people can be. With goals set over the next several years to see dramatic drops in the number of abused and neglected animals, the work done by the volunteers of these organisations certainly will not go unnoticed.