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HeelerLove

Dogs Seized From No Kill Shelter

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Oh wow small world. I used to live close to the above mentioned animal shelter. I actually got a dog from her. Giveaway kelpie cross...one of the best dogs I've ever had. Un-desexed. Reason being she hadn't had time to get her de-sexed and vaccinated...yet. So therefor free to me. I reckon it was her lucky day as we had her and spoilt her for 11 years. I don't like to say too much on an open forum. Lets just say if I was to run a shelter it would be a lot different to this one.

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Snook   
13 March, 2013 6:40AM ACDT

Riverland animal shelter fears closure after RSPCA raid

By Catherine Heuzenroeder

The operator of the Moorook Animal Shelter will fight to remain open after the RSPCA seized nine animals from the property during an inspection last week.

Lola McLachlan has criticized the animal rights' organisation for removing the animals, which she claimed were being cared for and had received veterinary treatment.

The RSPCA will return to the shelter this week after executing a warrant to enter the private property on March 6.

The organisation released a statement saying the court-issued warrant was sought after members of the public complained about the health of some of the animals and living conditions on the property.

Eight dogs and one kitten were taken to Adelaide for 'assessment and treatment'.

"As always, our primary concern is the welfare of the animals involved," the RSPCA said.

The organisation said it was assisted by the Loxton Waikerie Council.

Not the Ritz

The operation of the Moorook Animal Shelter has not been without controversy over the years.

Mrs McLachlan has this week defended the shelter, pointing out that it is run by volunteers who have the best interests of its animals at heart.

"The shelter is for animals with no other option, who without us would've been put to sleep," she said in an official statement posted on the shelter's Facebook page.

"We do our best to rehabilitate, medically treat and provide love and care to these animals and we have a very good success rate in doing so.

"We have never described the shelter as 'The Ritz'.

"We are aware on first impressions that it looks like a mess but we use and salvage every item possible for the benefit of the animals."

Mrs McLachlan is concerned she may be forced to shut the shelter.

"I think it's disgusting what they [the RSPCA] have done, but the fight's not over yet," she said.

Too many animals

Mrs McLachlan conceded council guidelines for the shelter limited the total number of animals to about 30.

The shelter has about 100 animals.

"We have never refused an animal," she said.

It is a stance the shelter will no longer continue to take.

"We now have no choice but to limit our intake of animals to only the local councils," Ms McLachlan said.

"We will no longer be able to assist private surrenders or anyone outside of the Riverland community."

Ms McLachlan said the shelter operated with just three volunteers to clean kennels and care for the animals and that funding was a constant struggle.

The shelter is primarily funded through the sale of animals and private sponsorship.

"Most of our dogs and cats come from the local Riverland councils and community, yet we get very little support in return," she said.

'Heart-breaking day'

Having to surrender seven dogs and one kitten was 'heartbreaking'.

"One of the dogs was blind, but happy and secure in his run," Mrs McLachlan said.

"Another had been heavily traumatised and showed fear with strangers but loved the volunteers.

"He was a silly, happy, wiggly boy when with them.

"Others we don't understand why they were chosen, except for maybe their breed.

"One of them being a girl we had spent several thousand dollars on removing a limb when she was involved in a car accident.

"This has been a heavy blow to us as we have always tried to do everything possible to save the lives of these unwanted animals and find them safe and happy homes."

The ABC has contacted the Loxton Waikerie Council for a statement and will include it in this article when it becomes available.

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/03/13/3714170.htm

Sorry but 3 volunteers to feed, clean, exercise and provide environmental enrichment and mental stimulation to 100 dogs is disgusting, especially considering some of the animals there have been stuck in kennels for at least 2 years. There are worse things than being put to sleep if you're talking about these sorts of conditions. There is a reason Moorook were only permitted to have 30 animals by the council.

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rubiton   

But if the numbers was the issue why did the RSPCA only take 8 and within days put down 3 so far? Why wasnt the property given a warning just like their tv shows of a few yeafrs back use to hand out to puppy farms/hoarders etcand reinspected prior to a mere 8 animals being taken (7 dogs of which 3 are no more).

we've all seen the show and the others from OS that show even older animals are given a chance not written off or did they not pass a temprement test (but even so arent they still the property of the berri shelter until the case goes to court?

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Unless the dogs were signed over to the RSPCA. Which 'might' have been offered to them in exchange for not automatically prosecuting. You know...sign over the dogs and we'll give you a chance to clean up...type of deal.

Who really knows?

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the local councils themselves, who regularly dropped of animals for her to care for.

Up until only a few months ago, the District council continued to drop of strayed and dumped animals, although I had to remind them with receipted proof, because the mayor and the CEO appear to have forgotten this fact. A receipt from the council has clearly recorded drop off’s to Lola on a regular basis of up to 12 dogs at any one time.

So seems the council were overloading her

8 animals 7 dogs and one kitten were taken in the most based on age and past injuries, 4 dogs were ordered to be taken for Vet inspection, of which all 4 passed with flying colours

Three of the seized animals were put down, based on old age and not health concerns, ie; eyesight, ages and other general issues relating to dogs of their age group

Tommy had been blind for a few years and lived happily with his friend at the Shelter

another one was also PTS for being older dog

and the other one had a leg removed years ago and was PTS even though lived happily there

so sad PTS for the age :(

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The RSPCA put 3 dogs to sleep last wednesday . All were healthy for there age but 1 was partly blind tho but apart from that he was very well. Mates of mine Mark and Helen Aldridge were up there today to see what was going on. Mark has a detailed what was said by the RSPCA. This what Mark has on his website

MOOROOK SHELTER CURRENT OVERVIEW

When Moorook started it was originally with the support of the local council to overcome issues with the dumping of unwanted dogs and varied reports of the illegal shooting of stray animals by the council’s dog catchers.

The council all those years ago approved the Shelter for a maximum of 27 or 37 animals dependent on who I have spoken to at the council “Loxton/Waikerie” From then on the Shelter was run and financed by Lola, and from the beginning not only was Lola doing a huge service to needy animals, but also to the local community and the local councils themselves, who regularly dropped of animals for her to care for.

Up until only a few months ago, the District council continued to drop of strayed and dumped animals, although I had to remind them with receipted proof, because the mayor and the CEO appear to have forgotten this fact. A receipt from the council has clearly recorded drop off’s to Lola on a regular basis of up to 12 dogs at any one time.

At this stage we must note that expecting a single person to carry on such works without financial support from the council, is part and parcel of the very issue at hand.

On or about January 2013 it appears the councils position had changed and declaring several complaints were received from nameless residents, whatever be the case, the council now indeed supported an investigation by the RSPCA.

The day chosen for the first visit was not so ideal as Lola had been away the day before, which of course resulted in more mess than any another day of the week. In this case one must remember 2 issues, the first being that it should only be about the condition and treatment of the animals, and being a native sanctuary owner, mess outside the area of the enclosures always comes second to the needs of the animals themselves.

The next visit was scheduled for Wednesday the 13th, so I asked that the date be changed to the 14th so I could get back from Canberra where I was exposing a major issue with out electoral system.

Up until this first visit, the RSPCA were regularly invited to attend, and had never had issue with either the treatment or the enclosures of the animals.

On the day of the first Council assisted RSPCA visits, it appears they not only outnumbered Lola they exerted undue pressure to take at least some animals, as if such actions were compulsory, 8 animals 7 dogs and one kitten were taken in the most based on age and past injuries, 4 dogs were ordered to be taken for Vet inspection, of which all 4 passed with flying colours.

Three of the seized animals were put down, based on old age and not health concerns, ie; eyesight, ages and other general issues relating to dogs of their age group. The kitten had only arrived the day before sick and was in quarantine, a standard procedure The other animals are reported as being under vet care, yet no problems have been reported.

I will request their official return over this weekend. It appears in this case a happy animal, which is only suffering age related issues does not meet RSPCA requirements, so let’s keep the RSPCA out of our retirement villages.

Today Thursday the 14 March, I returned from Canberra to support and ensure the RSPCA and Council were more respectful of both Lola’s rights and the future of the animals.

I had to remind them immediately of the land owners rights, and asked a few questions of them as to ascertain their understanding of Lolas and the animals actual natural rights. It appears this resulted in them refusing to answer my questions lol.

I accompanied them on their examination of the animals, and all passed with flying colours, the only one they questioned was a dog who had come in with skin issues, it had already passed vet checks and the week earlier the RSPCA ordered another vet check, with the same results, in fact the vets had no Idea why Lola had taken it to them, so they appears to lack understanding of how a shelter works, and in fact the treating of medical issues, a very serious concern for those enduring RSPCA visits.

After negotiations with the RSPCA the orders on Moorook are such;

1. All animals must be allowed 30 minutes exercise which can simply mean access to the exercise yards.....done, and they always have had.

2. We must tidy up some enclosures for loose wire and the like, this is simple and only applies to a minority of enclosures

3. All Kennels/pens must have concrete bases to allow for easy cleaning. So not a lot of work it would seem

no more animals can or will be taken, the result of having a little knowledge on side ;)

A working bee will be required to address these immediate issues and a general clean up of the surrounding areas would be my suggestion and has been adopted and being sorted as we speak.

A few tonnes of rubble and a few man hours will see us near up to scratch.

The big issue is the Local council corporation. They are making me work hard on amicable endeavours to move forward, so let me explain, in the past few years councils appear to think they are a form of government, and this is not the case. They write bi-laws and development plans without necessarily having the experience to do so, so the last issue we face is addressing the increase of animals allowed to remain on the property.

I am working with the CEO on this issue, and will play hard ball if required including legal actions if the need arises. Although I am preferring to opt for a better working relationship. We need approval of council, approval of a development application and also with that a heap of red tape relating to any upgrades, but leave that to me. I will work my way around that.

Until then we can clean up, raise money, get ready for concrete work and drainage, and locating loving homes for the Shelters stunning animals (nearly snatched a couple myself)

I have already put a submission to council, which will be addressed tomorrow morning, 15/3/13 and I will get a report in the arvo, then by Monday I should have an ideal of how easy or timely this issue will entail.

I will write to the RSPCA for return of the animals they have in their care, and report back to you all when I have a solid answer.

Leave the politics and media to me, and you guys get back to worrying about Lola and the Animals, I will continue to work with the media and look forward to sorting all this out as quickly as possible, in the mean time, let’s hope every decision is in the best interests and the welfare of the animals.

I assume the Today Tonight expose will be put to air this coming Monday, again I will advise one and all of the exact date it will go to air, and I am using that date as a dead line to try and promote a unified way forward between all parties involved.

Mark Aldridge Independent for Wakefield, and owner of Willow Wood Sanctuary

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The poor little chap with one ear and one eye looked perfectly adoptable. I'm disgusted the RSPCA would have put him down.

I've had a few dealings with the RSPCA in SA, they are not open to other rescues at all - they'd rather euthanase a dog than help it if there is even the slightest issue which is pretty typical of the RSPCA Australia over it seems.

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But if the numbers was the issue why did the RSPCA only take 8 and within days put down 3 so far? Why wasnt the property given a warning just like their tv shows of a few yeafrs back use to hand out to puppy farms/hoarders etcand reinspected prior to a mere 8 animals being taken (7 dogs of which 3 are no more).

Lola 'surrended' the dogs after the numerous RSPCA inspectors that were there the first time told her the only alternative was to pay $100 a day per dog which was not possible without putting the welfare of the remaining dogs at risk.

So sad for the three dogs that were put down. Tommy was totally blind, due to old age. He had been rehomed about 18 months ago but did not cope in the different environment and as soon as he was returned to the shelter and put back in his run with his 'companion dog' he was happy once again.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=585383931490718&set=pb.106267389402377.-2207520000.1363297736&type=3&theater

Wombles also looked like an older dog and only had one eye and one ear but looked perfectly happy and healthy in the photo Moorook posted of him enjoying cuddles with one of the volunteers.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=585363704826074&set=pb.106267389402377.-2207520000.1363297736&type=3&theater

Bear was put to sleep because he was old. No other reason. Having adopted a senior dog myself this really gets me. There is nothing better than giving an old dog the love and care they deserve in their last years. If a dog is old and not suffering there is no reason to put it to sleep :(

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Katdogs   

OT Who is Mark Aldridge? Strange tone to his 'post' or blog. I'm always a bit sus about people who call themselves 'xxx for xxx' without the CANDIDATE word in there - as if they're already claiming an official position representing the electorate. I'm off to google him, see what he's about.

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http://www.markmaldridge.com

Independent Candidate for Wakefield

Wakefield electorate covers an area of approximately 6407 sq km from Salisbury in the northern suburbs of Adelaide to Clare in the Clare Valley, 135 km north of Adelaide. The main suburbs include Elizabeth, Salisbury (part), Craigmore and Munno Para. The towns of Virginia, Gawler, Port Wakefield (part), Balaklava, Clare, Kapunda, Riverton, Mallala, Freeling, Tarlee and Williamstown are also included in this division.

edited to add - Also owner of Willow Wood Sanctuary - a privately run sanctuary for injured and abused native wild life.

Edited by BlueyLove

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Also would like to share a post from the Moorook facebook page that was put up about an hour ago:

FOSTER CARERS:

I'd also like to talk about foster carers. Lots of people are suggesting we use foster carers to reduce the number of dogs in the shelter and on the surface it seems like a good solution, but we have considered this in the past and decided it was not an option for us.

For one, we have a very limited number of volunteers who also work full time. To run a foster care program effectively we really need one person dedicated to full time supervision and until one of us wins lotto that's just not going to happen.

Secondly a lot of foster carer programs fail because of excessive veterinary bills - unfamiliar carers taking the animals to the vet for a minor cut or scrape. For example my boy scraped the underneath of his chin yesterday causing quite a bit of blood, but he didn't need veterinary treatment.

NO-KILL & WHAT IT MEANS TO US

We are a shelter with the primary goal of saving the lives of the dogs and cats in the Riverland via the local Councils. People have asked have we ever euthanised a dog or cat? Well the answer is yes, we have. We're not inhumane, we wont let an animal suffer unnecessarily. We believe in quality of life and if an animal can be rehabilitated from injuries we will certainly give it our best go providing it isn't at the detriment of the animal. If the animal is old, but happy well we aren't going to pts the animal just because of age. If, due to old age, the animal is suffering, well that is different and the hard decision needs to be made.

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But if the numbers was the issue why did the RSPCA only take 8 and within days put down 3 so far? Why wasnt the property given a warning just like their tv shows of a few yeafrs back use to hand out to puppy farms/hoarders etcand reinspected prior to a mere 8 animals being taken (7 dogs of which 3 are no more).

Lola 'surrended' the dogs after the numerous RSPCA inspectors that were there the first time told her the only alternative was to pay $100 a day per dog which was not possible without putting the welfare of the remaining dogs at risk.

So sad for the three dogs that were put down. Tommy was totally blind, due to old age. He had been rehomed about 18 months ago but did not cope in the different environment and as soon as he was returned to the shelter and put back in his run with his 'companion dog' he was happy once again.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=585383931490718&set=pb.106267389402377.-2207520000.1363297736&type=3&theater

Wombles also looked like an older dog and only had one eye and one ear but looked perfectly happy and healthy in the photo Moorook posted of him enjoying cuddles with one of the volunteers.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=585363704826074&set=pb.106267389402377.-2207520000.1363297736&type=3&theater

Bear was put to sleep because he was old. No other reason. Having adopted a senior dog myself this really gets me. There is nothing better than giving an old dog the love and care they deserve in their last years. If a dog is old and not suffering there is no reason to put it to sleep :(

Tommy didnt even really look that old from the pic either

and to think he was put down because of his blindness especially when he was copeing with it at the shelter with his friend

he and the others would have been terrified in their last days at the RSPCA :(

so sad to be PTS because of the age

Glad the RSPCA doesnt look after our elderly humans

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Steve   

O.K. So how do we help them?

When they induct a foster carer they only need a policy of providing them with info on what they want them to do when an animal is injured to eliminate the need for stress about unwanted vet visits and if they advertise for a volunteer to supervise the foster care program they may just get someone fantastic to help out.

Someone who can do the admin work but isn't able to physically volunteer on that level.

This is not my business as they are not MDBA rescue members but surely they should get a bit of a hand ?

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This is just my personal thinking, because I wouldn't have the foggiest about what's involved with such a large number of animals but they'll get the best applicant to assist with foster carers if people know upfront how much work is required, and have agreed policies to run with.

They may get very well meaning people offer but it's going to take more than good intentions to run a program like that.

A couple of groups have quite widespread foster networks maybe they could help with setting out e.g. number of hours, number of manageable carers per co-ord, policy re vetwork and extending the vet clinics available further away from the shelter (so that carers aren't taking dogs in as private clients at non rescue rates), adoption protocol away from the shelter...that kind of thing. So Moorook can call for a volunteer foster Co-ord in a business style advert and choose the most appropriate. Anyone have that stuff handy? :provoke: :)

Edited by Powerlegs

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