RSPCA SA's urgent call for help amid COVID-19 closure fears

RSPCA SA's urgent call for help amid COVID-19 closure fears

The RSPCA SA desperately needs people to adopt pets amid fears it could be forced to close as the coronavirus pandemic escalates, so has slashed its adoption fees by up to 75 per cent.

RSPCA SA chief executive officer Paul Stevenson said the organisation had “no choice but to raise a red flag and call for community support to get through the current crisis”.

People can adopt cats over the age of six month for $29 (usually $99) while kittens and dogs can be adopted for $99 (usually $245 and $380 respectively).

Mr Stevenson said the coronavirus pandemic had already caused down animal shelters in the United States to shut down as increasing number of people are being told to stay home.

“It would be naïve and irresponsible for us to think we’re immune to serious impacts from this pandemic,” he said.

Since COVID-19 broke out, the RSPCA has experienced a reduction in its volunteer numbers, a drop in adoptions and less financial donations – its appeal last month missed its target by 60 per cent.

“Everyone has different personal circumstances to consider at this time, so it’s totally understandable that some of our wonderful volunteers can’t continue to help us, but there’s no doubt this situation is starting to take a toll on those remaining to take care of the animals,” Mr Stevenson said.

“We desperately need to reduce the number of animals in our care.

“I cannot stress enough that our animal operations are at a critical point – to anyone who has been thinking about giving an animal in need a home, please act now.”

Awwwww ... Paco is an SA rescue dog that was recently a finalist in the Dogs of Oz competition.

In the past three weeks the number of kittens arriving at the RSPCA has risen by 16 per cent – to more than 400 - compared to the same time last year, while kitten adoptions are down by 11 per cent.

The reduced fees apply to all animals available for adoption from the RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter, RSPCA Petville at Hillcrest and affiliated Petbarn stores.

Meanwhile, for the first time, the RSPCA is requiring people interested in adopting to book online before visiting the shelter so it can manage social distancing.

Editor’s note: This initiative only applies to RSPCA South Australia and is not available nationally.