Mildura’s pets to have their best shot at healthy life

Friday 16 July marks the first day of RSPCA Victoria’s Mildura Loves Pets initiative which aims to increase awareness around animal welfare and responsible pet ownership in the Mildura region, giving pets their best shot at a healthy life.

RSPCA Victoria’s Education and Community Outreach Manager, Ian Sumpter, said the Mildura Loves Pets project will support both the people and pets of Mildura.

“We know the people of Mildura love their pets and want them to live long, happy and healthy lives. Research shows that more than 80% of Mildura residents strongly agree that animals are a valuable part of society and 75% strongly agree that animals make our lives better.

“The Mildura Loves Pets community outreach project will actively help the community to provide their pets with their ‘best shot’ at a healthy life by providing free vaccinations, desexing, microchipping, flea and worm treatments and other pet related support.

“RSPCA Victoria is well known for its work to rescue animals and match them with new families in forever homes. What makes our community outreach initiatives different is that they support people to better care for the pets they already have and prevent the need for rescue and rehoming,” said Mr Sumpter.

Mildura Rural City Council Mayor Jason Modica welcomed the announcement, and said the organisation was proud to work closely with the RSPCA to make this initiative possible.

“We have a long history of partnering with animal welfare and rehousing groups to improve outcomes for local pets and are pleased to support the RSPCA with the Mildura Loves Pets initiative,” Cr Modica said.

Representatives from Mildura-based vet clinics, animal training and rehoming groups, Mildura Pound and Council’s Animal Management team have provided valuable insights to the local situation. The Mildura Loves Pets initiative is the result of more than 12 months of dedicated work.

“There are more than 9,400 cats and dogs registered in our council area. Increased awareness and opportunities for locals to be responsible pet owners is very welcome.”

RSPCA Victoria’s Mildura Loves Pets initiative will also offer a variety of tools and information including education on how to better take care of pets. In addition to these services, this important initiative will provide information relating to when and how to ask for help to care for pets.

Vaccinations, desexing and flea and worm prevention are vital to the health and wellbeing of pets. Not only can they help prevent disease and illness, but desexing can also help with reducing the number of stray animals and behavioural issues such as aggression, toileting in the house and roaming.

Parvovirus is common in the Mildura region. In the past 12 months, veterinary clinics across Mildura have reported an increase in cases of Parvovirus, which can be easily prevented through routine vaccinations. Vaccinations not only helps protect pets against catching and spreading Parvovirus but also several other preventable and sometimes deadly diseases. RSPCA will be running free vaccination clinics with local vets to attempt to tackle Parvovirus in the region.

To help reduce the numbers of stray cats in the Mildura region, desexing will form an important part of RSPCA Victoria’s Mildura Loves Pets initiative. Desexing significantly contributes to the health and wellbeing of pets and reduces the number of homeless animals. If they are healthy and at a good weight, cats can be desexed from four months, and dogs from six months.

The Mildura Loves Pets initiative will also address some of the common misconceptions relating to desexing pets and explain that desexing will not impact a pet’s personality, it is not necessary for a female to have a litter before desexing, and it is just as important to desex male animals.

Microchipping a pet is integral and means more pets are likely to be reunited with their owners. This is relevant, based on research that shows almost 80% of Mildura residents strongly disagree that they would rather give up theiranimal than pay reclaim fees at a shelter, showing a true dedication to their pets. RSPCA Victoria’s Mildura Loves Pets initiative will encourage owners to microchip their pets by offering this important service for free.

RSPCA Victoria’s Mildura Loves Pets initiative will enhance public understanding around the key animal welfare issues in the community to support the people of Mildura to care for their pets and increase the well-being of animals in the region.

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