RSPCA SA corrects misinformation about cat intake protocols at Whyalla animal shelter

RSPCA South Australia wishes to correct misinformation that has been circulated among Whyalla social media groups about the organisation’s current policy on the intake of stray and surrendered cats.

The organisation is under contract with the Whyalla City Council to manage stray animals within the council district. However, due to a global shortage of cat vaccines that began last year, RSPCA SA had to restrict its intake of cats solely to those coming in via its inspectorate and animal ambulances.

Supplies of cat vaccines by the overseas manufacturers have only recently been restored, and RSPCA SA is in the process of purchasing the product. However, even with the restricted intake protocol, RSPCA SA still has more than 400 cats and kittens in care. The volume of vaccines used by the charity’s veterinary team is high and its supplies are not yet at a level to enable the resumption of usual intakes of cats at its three shelters.

In the interim, people finding cats that they believe to be strays are asked to either leave the animals where they are or – if the animal has been captured – to return the animal to the place of capture.

Many free-roaming cats are owned cats that have strayed off their owners’ properties. On weekdays, Whyalla council animal management officers are available to scan cats for the presence of microchips, with owners then able to be contacted so the cat can be returned. (Under SA’s Dog and Cat Management Act, cat and dog owners are legally required to microchip their pets.)

Some individuals have verbally abused RSPCA SA staff and volunteers after being advised that they cannot leave stray and unwanted cats at the Whyalla shelter. RSPCA SA has a zero-tolerance policy for abuse of any kind, and anyone who abuses the organisation’s staff or volunteers will be immediately asked to leave the premises and potentially reported to police.

RSPCA SA hopes to be able to again honour its contractual arrangements with the Whyalla council for stray animal management (including cat care and rehoming) within the next few weeks.

Stray animal management is a matter for local councils. Anyone finding a stray animal in a council district that RSPCA SA does not have a contractual agreement[1] with is advised to notify the relevant local council.

[1] RSPCA SA is under contract with four metropolitan and two regional councils (Whyalla and Port Lincoln) to manage stray animals in their districts.

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