Wagga Wagga City Council animal shelter is in Australia. Judging by volunteer whistle-blowers, one of whom kept a diary, it is, in my judgement, the worst animal shelter in the world with evidence indicating that there was and probably still is extensive animal cruelty, poor record-keeping, numerous unaccounted dogs and cats by which I mean they disappeared indicating inhumane disposal.
The story below is one where a cat was rescued within the shelter. Have you ever heard of the need to rescue a cat from the people who are meant to be doing the rescuing! And it is a government run animal rescue operation to add insult to injury.
One example of animal cruelty was discovered by a volunteer worker at the shelter, Belinda Oakman. She made a sworn statement for the RSPCA who investigated the cruelty at the shelter in which she stated that she followed a “muffled noise” to a freezer. She opened the freezer and inside there was a frostbitten kitten close to death. The kitten was no more than 12 weeks of age and was slumped over black garbage bags. She reached her hand out and touch the kitten. The kitten gave out a muffled cry. The kitten’s fur had started to freeze over and her eyes were wide open.
She picked up the kitten, wrapped him up to keep him warm and sought urgent medical help. She discovered that a “ranger” had been severely bitten by the kitten while removing him from her cage. The ranger hit the kitten and knocked him out and then presuming that he was dead without any verification of any sort and then put the kitten in a freezer which is where euthanized animals are normally discarded – hence the black plastic bags which I presume contained carcasses.
Subsequently Belinda adopted the kitten. You can see him in the picture.
I’m not going to show you another picture of a dead kitten in a freezer because frankly it is too shocking and I don’t think we should look at pictures like that but the picture indicates that the cat had become frantic trying to escape the freezer leaving bloody paw marks on the inside of the shelter and had blood coming out of his/her nose. It looks as if this cat too had been dumped in the freezer alive.
Another volunteer, Myriam, kept a diary in which she recorded numerous allegations of animal cruelty (I’ve used the word “allegations” for legal reasons but it looks certain that animal cruelty took place). She noted that feral cats were being left in crush cages for up to 5 days with no signs of food or water being provided. She saw dogs being left to die without any sign of assistance being provided.
Another volunteer, Simone, said that she witnessed an emaciated young, sick black dog left to die and a rabbit who was seriously ill with multiple infections being left five days without attention.
There are other instances of animal cruelty and a complete lack of compassion for animals which must be the minimum requirement from workers and management at an animal shelter. Is quite shocking really this was allowed to go on and what is equally shocking is that the RSPCA were unable to prosecute because they say they could not prove animal cruelty beyond reasonable doubt!
In addition the chief inspector of the RSPCA in New South Wales, David O’Shannessy, said that they do not have a specific animal welfare code of practice regarding animal pounds which prevented prosecutors embarking on a successful prosecution. The word “hopeless” comes to my mind. Surely there must be enough evidence there with affidavits being sworn by volunteers and other people keeping diaries. This really seems to me like a copout. It seems to me as if the RSPCA have deliberately failed to follow through on a prosecution for political reasons.
And what the inspector has said is surely an admission of failure by the authorities. If they do not have a proper code of practice for shelters then surely they are failing grossly in their duties as administrators of the local council. It all seems terribly haphazard and badly managed.
This story comes on top of an endless series of stories which emanate from Australia about how the authorities want to get rid of feral cats in any way possible and it does not matter whether the method is cruel or not but as it happens the methods are invariably cruel such as mass poisoning or mass slaughter through shooting. You name it and they will do it simply to get rid of the dreaded feral cat. This, to me, indicates an attitude towards animals which is unsatisfactory to many. It is callous. It is inhumane and it is crude and unsophisticated.