In Australia, the RSPCA is reluctant to get involved unless it is at the very top of the cruelty spectrum. Typically they do not act on advise a dog is never walked, rarely fed and chained up on the yard. Or a 10 yr old small fluffy that has spent its’ life as a cherished inside dog only to be suddenly booted outside into the weather because a child comes along who is allergic to dog hair.
Police and council rangers also have limited powers and resources.
There is a silent emergency going on in the back yards of hundreds of homes. Poor dogs being shunned, no longer wanted, fretting, medical needs ignored and sleeping their lives away as busy owners pamper themselves. Or trying to survive in a chaotic, loud and rough household – no where to run, nowhere to hide. Or classified as a ”mistake” and rendered obsolete after they grow out of their puppy paws.
Regrettably, most people, including rescues, do not deem a situation to be urgent unless a dog is in a pound and on death row. By then a dog has often had to endure many years of abuse and neglect. Then the rescue community springs into action, madly posting on Facebook and begging for kennels space, foster care or donations accompanied by the seemingly inevitable vitriol, name calling and bullying.
But what about the dogs we never hear about because they eventually just die in the back yard? And why can’t we help these dogs before if becomes urgent?
Our group tries to focus on helping dogs who are not on any one’s radar. They have fallen between the cracks. But because we are dealing with owners, foster carers and adoptees the work can be tricky. Add medical and/or behavioural issues the poor dog usually has due to its’ treatment and we have major issues to navigate. This is all made worse by endless undermining by other rescues and individuals who can’t seem to grasp the big picture or understand there is always a back story and that life can be complicated.