Christmas Eve pet abandonment sparks plea from RSPCA Victoria

RSPCA Victoria is again urging pet owners to take responsibility for their animals this summer, after three dogs were abandoned and seized by an Inspector on Christmas Eve.

After a concerned member of the community made a report, a Heeler, Kelpie and Bull Arab were found tethered on chains in a backyard in the municipality of Wyndham, with no sign of food or water.

A previous tenant of the property denied ownership of the animals, and all three were transported to a RSPCA facility for veterinary assessment and care.

It comes as RSPCA Victoria continues its new state-wide campaign targeting three of the most commonly reported cruelty concerns during the hotter months: abandonment, dogs in hot cars and insufficient access to water and shade.

RSPCA Victoria received 1,401 reports of abandoned animals last financial year, with 468 of these reports during last summer alone.

Inspector Rebecca Mullenger said it was truly disappointing to see some people continue to show such little regard for their animals, especially at a time of year that should be about celebration.

“Pets are part of the family, so to see these three dogs left behind just a day before Christmas is heartbreaking,” Ms Mullenger said. “If your circumstances change and you are unable to provide the level of care your pet needs, there are multiple options available to you. We accept surrendered animals without judgment, but owners still have to do the right thing and reach out for assistance.

“Moving out of a property and leaving an animal tethered in a yard with no food or water is simply not acceptable behaviour, and the community should be rightfully outraged. The concerned citizen who reported these dogs to us likely saved their lives.” The dogs are not yet available for adoption and will continue to undergo health and behavioural assessment and rehabilitation, including potential time with foster carers.

Last year 1,374 reports were received by the RSPCA Inspectorate in relation to dogs with insufficient water and 1,169 reports regarding dogs with insufficient shelter. These reports reached their peak in summer with 500 and 356 reports received for these issues respectively during the warm months.

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