The RSPCA ACT is aiming to ‘clear the shelter’ this Friday and Saturday (21 and 22 February) helping animals in their care to find a forever home.
There are currently over 300 animals in care at the RSPCA ACT shelter in Weston, with around 100 animals expected to be available for adoption at a heavily discounted fee of $29 each. Amongst the animals are 14 rabbits, as well as a number of kittens, cats, dogs, birds and fish.
Last year, 108 animals that were available for adoption found their forever homes during the annual clearance.
Clear the Shelter is a national RSPCA initiative and for RSPCA ACT CEO Michelle Robertson the benefits are two-fold: it breaks down some of financial barriers for low income families to be able to adopt a pet, and it provides room at the shelter to accept more animals.
“The summer holidays are a really busy period for us,” Ms Robertson said. “But because of the summer we just had with the smoke and fires, we’ve had to close to the public a number of times.”
Ms Robertson said this has caused a knock-on effect with lower than usual adoptions, lower retail sales, and the shelter at capacity. This has also resulted in their surrender list becoming “quite high at the moment”.
“If we could get 70 [animals] out we would have capacity to take in animals on the surrender list and help those people out,” Ms Robertson said.
This year, the shelter is particularly keen to re-home the significant number of cats and rabbits available.
“Because we have so many [rabbits], they’ve been here longer than they usually would be,” Ms Robertson said, such as long-term residents Hazel and Fae, who have been at the RSPCA ACT for over 100 days.
Of the dogs up for adoption, they are mostly large, with a small percentage that have high needs. Ripley has been at the shelter for more than 170 days.
“Our shelter is a much better place than other alternatives but it is not a home,” Ms Robertson said.
The usual screening and adoption procedures will apply to endeavour to match the right animal with the right homes. If you are renting, obtain permission in writing from your landlord.
All animals will be desexed and microchipped, have had their vaccinations and veterinary checks.
To view animals available, visit adoptapet.com.au