RSPCA Tasmania Newsletter
July/Aug 2021

Greyhound racing- past its use by date?

Did you know that, on average, around 5 greyhounds are killed at official races around the country every week?

So far this year, 96 greyhounds have been put down or died after a race; 1,012 have been seriously injured; and 5,932 have been hurt on the track.

Six greyhounds have been killed on Tasmanian race tracks this year: 3 at Devonport; 2 at Hobart; and 1 at Launceston. These deaths all occurred after the dogs broke their legs in seven or eight-dog races.  Since January, another 231 dogs have been injured in Tasmanian races, 29 seriously.

The latest greyhound to die was Rojo Nugget. This beautiful boy was only 18 months old - barely old enough to 'officially' race - and he’d had 4 starts.  On the first turn in a race at Devonport last month, he  collided with other dogs, flipped through the air, and crashed to the ground. He was put down on the track.

Australia is one of only eight countries in the world with a commercial greyhound racing industry — and we are by far the biggest. However, internationally, it is an industry in decline. One of the last hold-outs, Macau, was shut down in 2018, while the greyhound racing capital of the US, Florida, finally banned the whole thing from the start of this year. This leaves only three US states where greyhound racing is legal.

State governments provide millions of dollars to the greyhound racing industry — actively encouraging growth and participation through breeding incentives, appearance fees, infrastructure and race-day attraction grants, prize money, and even subsidies for injured dogs.

In Tasmania alone, more than $30 million a year is funnelled from taxpayers to support what is supposedly a sport.

Racing supporters claim the industry provides employment for hundreds of people, but it is more than reasonable to question why it cannot stand on its own feet. Taxpayers have every right to be concerned at the apparent lack of any plan to make the industry sustainable. They also have the right to expect improved animal welfare outcomes and increasing standards of industry accountability and transparency in return for these levels of public funding. Yet evidence would seem to indicate that poor attitudes to animal welfare remain entrenched in the racing industry.

It is clear that there are significant and entrenched animal welfare problems inherent in the greyhound racing industry. These include problems with over-supply, injuries, physical overexertion, inadequate housing, lack of socialisation and environmental enrichment, training, illegal live baiting, administration of banned or unregistered substances, export and the fate of unwanted greyhounds.

Our world is changing – and community attitudes to acceptable behaviours are also changing. Activities involving human-animal relationships, especially when animals are used for entertainment, will have to move with these changes.

One of the key changes should be cessation of public funding of the racing industry past the expiry of the TOTE agreement in 2029.


The Minister is listening to your voices and promises to take necessary steps to stop the sale of pronged collars

Government Media Release 15th July 2021

The Tasmanian Government takes animal welfare extremely seriously, which is why we significantly strengthened the Animal Welfare Act in 2015 and increased penalties across the board and improved the powers of Animal Welfare Officers.

The Government does not support the use of pronged collars and sought to ban them in 2015 based on advice from the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC).

Unfortunately the move to ban was opposed in the Upper House and subsequently withdrawn with the then Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, Vanessa Goodwin stating; ``The Government doesn't want this amendment to be lost and then not have the opportunity to pursue this banning of pronged collars down the track’’.

In November last year Guy Barnett, the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, wrote to the Chair of the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee asking that the Committee consider improvements to the Animal Welfare Act to better protect animals, particularly dogs.

The Government is expecting advice from AWAC and DPIPWE in the near future and Tasmanians can be assured that this Government will continue to take action based on the advice of experts to maintain high animal welfare standards.

The RSPCA has a representative on AWAC and we expect the pending advice to address the use of pronged collars.

Prong collars promise

July was National Desex Month

With collaboration from our vet partners and from funders (like you), RSPCA Tasmania has developed desexing programs for low income earners. 

In a few weeks 30 people have signed their dogs to our Mary Kibble Dog Desexing Program, saving many unwanted litters next season. 

Furthermore the RSPCA Centrepay Cat Desex Program has, so far helped people pay for 70 desex surgeries.

Using Australian information, cats average 2 litters per year, 4 kittens per litter = 8 kittens per year in total. In one year we have 24 kittens born because Kitty wasn't desexed, times that by 70 and see how successful this program is...

A huge thank you to all our vet partners. You are the best!

For a list of participating vets please follow the link

RSPCA Desex Programs

Please donate dog & cat food  to help support our community 

We have always taken emergency boarders but are now partnering with another organisation to assist those fleeing family violence, by taking care of their animals.

But we need your help.

We will take care of the animals but need donations of food.

If you would like to make a difference in your community, please donate food to our Launceston Adoption & Retail Centre (3/207 Invermay Road), our Hobart Adoption & Retail Centre (55-57 Albert Road Moonah), or our Devonport Animal Care Centre.

Call 6709 8100 for more information.

Bake for an amazing paws!

Grab your apron and preheat those ovens – Cupcake Day is returning on Monday 16th August.

Each year, more than 124,000 animals turn to the RSPCA looking for help. This year, you and your utensils have the power to serve up love, care and forever homes to each and every one.

Whether you’re whipping up doughnuts, lamingtons, brownies or traditional cupcakes, the funds you raise at your Cupcake Day event help rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals in need all over the country. Invite your workmates, schoolmates and regular mates along for a sweet-tastic, slobber-filled gathering.

With a pinch of community and a cup of good conversation, your Cupcake Day event has the potential to bake real change.

Sign up to bake for a cause

 RSPCA launches Animal Welfare Response Unit

We foresee this vehicle will be used by RSPCA Animal Cruelty Inspectors for large seizures or surrenders, as well as taken to evacuation grounds, in times of emergencies.  

The state-of-the-art mobile command centre, forms the backbone  in our emergency response infrastructure. After the Dunnalley fires in 2013, RSPCA Tasmania defined a role for a vehicle and crew in supporting good animal welfare outcomes in emergency planning.  

The RSPCA Tasmania team, including the Inspectorate, will be better equipped to immediately respond to calls for help with the acquisition of emergency communication equipment including disaster PPE and other vital equipment. 

We are working with the SES to ensure that our planning and processes are appropriate and clear. We have engaged a group of volunteer drivers in each area of the state and will draw on the expertise within our team to provide support on the ground.  

Use of this vehicle in an emergency is an experience we hope never comes a reality but with a drying climate on one of the driest countries on the planet, we fear will be using this vehicle to help support people fleeing fire, in the not-too-distant future.   

“This mobile unit will provide more communities and their animals with immediate care on the ground when they need it the most.” Jan Davis RSPCA CEO.  

Do you want to volunteer to train as a driver?

Click on 'read more' and fill in the form online


Adoption & Retail Centre to open in Latrobe

The RSPCA has had many facelifts over the 140 years our organisation has been in existence. Opening an Adoption and Retail Centre (ARC) in Latrobe at 3/131 Gilbert Street, is the next step in our planning to upgrade facilities and to introduce the community to our hub and spoke model. With the Spreyton Animal Care Centre nearing the end of its life as a shelter, it was imperative that we provided community access to our organisation in the vicinity before we move on developing a new facility.

We are looking for the perfect site for a central animal care centre, which becomes the hub and to continue to develop ARCs as a touch point for our community, as the spokes. The Latrobe ARC will be the third, after Launceston and Hobart. RSPCA ARCs offer adoptions of cats and pocket pets, as well as general advice on our current community support programs, like low cost desexing schemes, sell retail items; food, enrichment and litter systems and any other necessities for taking an animal home.

RSPCA Tasmania’s purpose is to create and support meaningful connections by enhancing the lives of companion animals and the people in our community who love them, and we are excited to be furthering this cause in Latrobe.

Check out our building efforts on Facebook

We are Delta ready (as much as any organisation can be!)


RSPCA Tasmania's COVID 19 lockdown plan

If Tasmania goes into a snap lockdown we remain committed to taking your calls and managing your inquiries.

Our plans are as follows;

  • corporate staff to work from home,
  • Adoption & Retail Centres and Animal Care Centre will be closed to public (except for emergency activities and by appointment),
  • team members and volunteers look after animals at each site – with ARC animals sent to ACC depending on expected length of lockdown,
  • surrenders by appointment (if urgent),
  • adoptions by appointment and with initial viewing online via Zoom,
  • a documented plan for responding to animals coming off the Spirit of Tasmania and into emergency boarding.


Our gorgeous boy Oakey recently had a couple of weeks on holiday in the country – a break away from the Animal Care Centre.

Unfortunately there were way too many small animals to entice him – bunnies, ducks, livestock, etc – so he couldn’t stay. However, we know more about him now that we knew previously. He showed himself to be very intelligent and ready to learn. He was great in the house, and as you can see from the photo, at the end of the day loved nothing better than to curl up on the couch with one of the young people in the home. He’s probably a little too enthusiastic for very young children, but will form a bond with an older child or adult that will last a lifetime.

Since being back at the Centre, Oakey has been having doggie dates and going for walks along the river in Latrobe with one of our wonderful volunteers. He has been extremely well behaved, and has loved his walks, though he was a little more interested in the ducks than was desirable!

Oakey enjoys playing with other dogs, so we know he could live happily with a companion. An older, tolerant female would probably be best for him, and she could continue his training in good doggie manners. He is going to need a home with very secure fencing, and someone he can be with a lot, so he doesn’t get bored.

This handsome guy has been in our care now since mid-February, and we are desperate to find the love for him that he craves, and that everyone needs in their life. If you would like to talk to us about Oakey, or come and meet, please call 6709 8100.

Lorraine is retiring!

After 31 years working for the RSPCA, our Animal Care Manager, Lorraine Hamilton is retiring.

Lorraine is an RSPCA stalwart, with many years as the manager of the ACT shelter under her belt.

Lorraine is very highly regarded for her dog training methods, for training of staff and volunteers.

Lorraine championed positive reinforcement for positive results and helped dog owners do the same. 

She started dog walking training in her role as manager of the RSPCA's Mowbray facility and helped a multitude of people with difficult dogs.

Her tireless work with the events volunteer committee can not go unrecognised.  Lorraine organised quiz nights, Million Paws Walks and other events. This was all managed with precision and tireless effort. 

Her leaving wish is to find Oakey his forever home.

Lorraine is worried that Oakey's exuberance is proving a barrier to prospective adopters and wants all to know that with training an patience, Oakey can become a treasured family member.

Please email Lorraine a thank you message to

Adopt Oakey

To find out more call us on 6709 8100 or email

RSPCA Tasmania Ltd

PO Box 66 Mowbray. Tasmania  7248   P: 03 6709 8105

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