Animal welfare groups were pleased and relieved when fewer pets were abandoned in the Bundaberg Region than expected during the festive season.
Red Collar Rescue’s Sharyn Banks smiled as she knocked on wood, saying there were not as many as previous years.
Before Christmas Sharyn urged the community to think twice about adopting a pet as a present and it seemed the message may have gotten through.
“I’m very much touching wood as we speak,” Sharyn said.
“We have still had some surrendered. On Monday I had four phone calls in the first hour but it’s better than previous years.”
Sharyn said people were mostly surrendering young dogs and puppies that had not received proper training in their homes and had become a burden on the family.
In mid-December there were about 70 dogs in care at Red Collar Rescue, and with a little “networking” with other agencies, Sharyn said the number had dropped to about 55 dogs.
“It doesn’t get any better than that,” she said.
“It was a tiny reprieve for us, but in saying that our pens are all full. It doesn’t matter what week of the year it is, we are always playing the continuous game of Tetris moving dogs around to fit them all in.”
Sharyn said only time would tell if Red Collar Rescue would become burdened with more unwanted pets and abandoned animals as children return to school at the end of the month.
“There are still a few weeks left of the school holidays so I will wait and see, and hope we don’t get too many more surrenders,” she said.
“It does seem the community is doing the right thing and collecting their dogs from the pound, so that’s absolutely wonderful.”
It was also good news at Council’s Animal Management Facility. It was 75 per cent full at Christmas time but this dropped significantly as owners recovered their pets.
“We had quite a few dogs come in over the Christmas period, with the storms and lightning,” a spokesperson said.
“We were able to notify most of the owners, and the majority of the animals have now returned home.”
Mostly cats and kittens at Bundaberg RSPCA
Bundaberg RSPCA on-duty-manager Lorin Grey said it was “generally a busy time” and there were currently about 80 animals, ranging from kittens, cats, puppies to older dogs, in care at the local shelter.
“We have been pretty busy with adoptions around this time,” Lorin said.
“We just need to be aware of people who want the animals as a Christmas gift and make sure they are in it for the long term.
“We just hope people do the right thing by the animals.”
Lorin said of the 80 animals in care, 23 were currently being looked after by foster carers in their homes, while the others were waiting at the Bundaberg RSPCA shelter.
“We have a large amount of cats and kittens looking for homes,” she said.
“We don’t have too many young puppies; we have mostly one-year-old, high-energy, dogs here that are a little harder to re-home.”
Lorin said anyone looking to add to their family could find out more on the RSPCA website.
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