Monday 30 January 2012

Barking dog problem? Blame the owner, not the dog!

A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald reignites the constant battle between neighbours and "talking" pets.

Education Team member and Pet Behavioural Trainer, Tanya Dominguez states that barking is not associated with any particular breeds of dogs. Within every breed, there’s the good and the bad. Dogs can bark incessantly because they are bored, anxious or haven’t had enough experience around other dogs and people. Owners of barking dogs should try to exercise them more, make sure they have enough toys and are in a big enough backyard. Tanya says that it’s really just choosing the right dog for your lifestyle.

I'm just trying to tell you something!

Friday 27 January 2012

Clock is ticking for ticks!

Its that time of the year again and summer is notorious for a variety of animal dangers, thunderstorms, fireworks, overeating, poisons and of course parasites.

External parasites can wreck havoc on your pet health, however the most dangerous parasite to most pets is the Paralysis Tick!

These little guys are found mostly on the Australain East Coast, they are transported about by native animals who are immune to their toxins.  Once they attach to your pet they inject poisonus venom, this venom has a ascending paralysis on animals. Essentially they become paralysed from the hind legs up.
Some of the first clinical signs of Tick Paralysis are:
  • Change in animals voice
  • Wobbling on hind legs
  • Unable to stand
  • Vomiting
Treament for Tick Paralysis is administred by a Vet, it involves giving an Antivenene, a thorough tick search and sometimes this includes shaving all the hair off.
Prevention is always the safest option, if you live or are holidaying in a tick area a daily tick search (feeling all over your pets body for any unusal lumps) the use of tick collars, sprays and tablets are highly recomended.

Please contact your Vet for further information reegarding Tick prevention or to find out if you live or are visiting a tick prone area.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

The Art of Responsible Pet Ownership

Last week, Education Officer Steph visited Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre to deliver a workshop on RSPCA. As part of the Casula Powerhouse School Holiday program, children and parents were invited to participate in learning about RSPCA, taking care of animals and what they can do in their own community to help animals in need. 

The session kick started with a mini quiz on RSPCA; who we are and what we do. It was fantastic to see that everyone knew what the letters in RSPCA stood for and that we care for animals. After some interaction with our plush dog Max and learning about providing dogs with their basic needs, the children were confident in their role as responsible pet owners. There was even time for a demonstration on dog safety!

If you would like a visit from one of the RSPCA Education Officers at your school holiday program, please contact us at
Will we see you next school holidays?

Part of being a responsible pet owner means giving your dog a bath!
But do you know how often?

Tuesday 24 January 2012

YMCA + RSPCA = a mouthful of letters!

RSPCA NSW Education Officers Zoe and Eva went along to visit the Vacation Care group at Bankstown YMCA yesterday and were met by a sea of curious faces.

"It's my favourite sight" says Eva about the enthusiasm of the YMCA kids. It makes for a great opportunity to discuss responsible pet ownership and allow the kids to a chance to ask those questions about their pets that they normally would not have had answered.

One good question, coming from an empathetic viewpoint. was in reference to how much pain an animal would feel during the implantation of a microchip. That was a hard one to answer as each animal would have a different experience, but it the feeling would compare with what is felt during a vaccination.

If you know of a group of curious kids or adults even, we would love to hear from you to book a visit! Email or call 9782 4460

Monday 23 January 2012

We saw the future...

The future generation of Vets, currently aged 9-12 years were visited by Education Officers Zoe and Eva last Friday to round up a week of animal-themed learning.

Zoe used the opportunity to spark some discussion about what the kids understanding of 'animal cruelty' was. As the examples continued, the kids were aghast at what animals were subject to at the hands of some cruel individuals but were relieved to discover that some of the penalties that went along with the offence.

The kids were very clued onto the various animal welfare issues and voiced their opinions accordingly - what fantastic potential in our future vets of New South Wales!

Thursday 19 January 2012

Farewell week two of SHP...

SHP? It stands for School Holiday must learn the lingo!

The Education Team farewells another successful week of the SHP with a full day of Primary Program fun and our first Secondary Program run!

As hard as we tried to avoid the stickiness of last week, it reared it's head again during one of our many activities in the 'Canine Companions and Feline Friends' morning session. Monday saw the rain wreck havoc on our outdoor activities, with the Education Team and kids, constantly ducking for cover!

Kids from Monday's afternoon session immersed themselves in over 20 years of veterinary science knowledge with Education Team Vet and Training Manager Narelle Maxwell.

Tuesday's Secondary Program saw the first every 'Stay Positive' - Animal Behaviour and Training session run. With Tanya and Narelle, our more than qualified Pet Behaviouralists at the helm, the participants were sure to go away and begin analysing every animal that they met.

Thanks to all the kids who joined in all the fun at the RSPCA Sydney Shelter!

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Lucky Lily!

Unbeknowst to many of you out there, but RSPCA NSW is currently home to 8 greyhounds - all of them waiting to be adopted by a loving family!

Now we know what you're thinking..."I don't have a large backyard to meet their high energy needs" or "they must be agressive towards people because they're always wearing a muzzle" and boy are you mistaken!

Greyhounds are known for their agility and speed on the race track and although you think they would been a super-energetic breed, they are actually built for short bursts of energy. So they have no need for a large backyard, or a backyard at all and would be happy and healthy living in apartments or smaller dwellings with a daily walk to keep them mentally stimulated. In fact, if you were to take a greyhound to the park and expect them to do laps, they would most probably do their business and stand around waiting to return home!

And that muzzle that they must legally wear in public? Is merely a preventative measure to ensure they do not harm any smaller animals such as cats or pocket pets as they love to chase small, fluffy things that move quickly! They are actually one of the most docile and affectionate breeds and would gladly lay on the lounge with you.

Which brings us to lucky Lily!

A few months back, the Education Team went along to a community event in Paddington and crossed paths with Denis, who lived in an apartment and was interested in finding the perfect pet. Fast forward to January 2012 and Denis, along with his partner Wil, were ready to adopt an animal and made their way to the RSPCA Sydney Shelter to search for their new family member.

It was love at first sight - Denis and Wil had done their research about the greyhound breed and Lily was ready to go to her forever home!

The Education Team wishes Denis, Wil and Lily the best for the future!

Responsible pet owners + greyhound
+ apartment = match made in heaven!

Lily in her new home - perfect colour for her!

Thursday 12 January 2012

It's not just about the books

And that was definitely the case at Ashfield and Haberfield Library today where the RSPCA NSW Education Team outshone the literature on offer, with a presentation of responsible pet care to the parents and kids at both Centres.

Education Officers Steph and Eva were greeted by a captive audience - it's too easy really when you walk in with 'Rusty', he'll steal your heart in a second! We chatted about all the various things involved and even for those kids who are yet to become pet owners, this knowledge will prepare them for any such future commitments!

Thank you to those parents who enquired about adopting animals from the RSPCA Sydney Shelter - there's heaps of cute critters waiting for their new home!

Rusty's all tired out from his big day out!

Wednesday 11 January 2012

And so the fun begins...

Yesterday saw the official launch of our January, 2012 School Holiday Program, YEAH!

Thanks to our participants, Jacob, Eliza, Stephanie, Priyale, Gabriella and Izabella for sticking around for both the morning and afternoon sessions, it was an amazing experience for all involved!

It's great when the Education Team gets to teach those in the community about what we do at the RSPCA to combat various animal welfare issues, but to allow them to experience it firsthand and witness the day-to-day awesomeness that is the RSPCA, well then it makes for an unforgettable day.

From Pet Behavioural advice, Inspector war stories and Veterinary surgeons in action, participants of the program picked up copious amounts of knowledge and information but not so much that they can't come back for more!

The RSPCA NSW School Holiday Program will be running EVERY School Holidays from now on, so make sure you stay tuned and don't miss out on your opportunity to be part of the fun!

Omo is super-happy to greet the kids!

Monday 9 January 2012

Summer = Thunderstorms

Many dogs suffer from fears relating to loud noises such as thunderstorms and fireworks.
Unlike fireworks, thunderstorms are difficult to predict and can last for long periods of time.

Some dogs can become so worried about these events they may try to escape the noise by jumping through doors, windows, climbing fences or hiding under houses.

If your dog suffers from noise phobia please try the following to lessen the stress of these events and in-turn keep your dog safe:
  • Know your dogs safe place (most dogs will have one, it may be inside or outside)
  • Allow access to their safe place
  • Regularly check fences and gates for holes and gaps.
  • Look for signs of stress, they can be small; pacing, salivating, vocalising, scratching or anything outside the odinary.
  • Talk to your Vet about mediations and training aids that help keep them calm. 


Friday 6 January 2012

Caring Clemton Kids

Vacationing kids in Clemton Park were visited yesterday by Education Officer, Eva, and Education Mascot, Max, in the hope of spreading responsible pet ownership across the suburb - and one day, the world!

There were heaps of pet owners in the group, from dog and cat lovers to rabbit and chicken fanatics and they were all catered for with plenty of time for questions. The kids were able to find out what the best way was to look after their furry family member with queries ranging from diets for rabbits to preventing unwanted dinner guests in the chicken coup.

Two thumbs up to Vicky who inspires the kids passion for pets with a wall of 'Loved Pets', now into its fifth year, where kids are enouraged to bring along photos of their pets to chat to others about their animal-filled lives.

If you or a group you know have started your own animal-themed initiative, the Education Team would love to hear about it! Call us on 9782 4460 or email

Fantastic work Clemton kids!

Thursday 5 January 2012

Welcome back!

To the RSPCA NSW School Holiday Program!
January 2012 sees the second roll out of the School Holiday Program from the RSPCA NSW Education Team and the excitement is buzzing!
The demand is so high that the Team had to add an extra session to the schedule with our first Primary Program run yesterday.
The 'Canine Companions & Feline Friends' session was a smashing success albeit a sticky one as participants experienced environmental enrichment firsthand - basically preventing the Shelter dogs from becoming bored! Why did they get sticky?! Enrol in our Program and found out for yourself!
Chappo the Greyhound, a long-term resident of the RSPCA Shelter, waiting patiently for a new family to adopt him, assisted the Team in teaching the group the best way to approach dogs in public.
There are limited places left so if you want to come along for some fun, call 9782 4460 or email

If you would like to meet Chappo, check out his details here.

Dogs die in hot cars

Even with a window half way down the average temperature in a car can rise by 75% in 5 min!!!!

Hyperthermia or heat stroke can have disasterous effects on the canine body, loss of fluids and increased body heat can cause collapse, seizures and even death.

In the event of finding a dog traped in a hot car, please contact RSPCA, local police or Animal Welfare League for help.