Opening Hours

Animal Viewing Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 10am - 3pm

General Hours: 
Most Days: 9am - 5pm
Wednesdays:  10am - 5pm
CLOSED: Sundays and Public Holidays

Our Shelter will be closed to the public the first Wednesday of each month.

Education and Animal Stories

Education and Animal Stories

Corn cobs and dogs: a potentially lethal combination

**WARNING - ARTICLE INCLUDES GRAPHIC CONTENT Corn cobs can be your dogs worst nightmare. Corn cob husks can not be digested, instead they tend to get stuck and cause a blockage in the intestines. It's painful for the dog, they often lose their appetite, start vomiting and in the case of one poor dog recently at RSPCA ACT, it couldn't pass anything for a week causing the colon to swell and become extremely painful. The constant pressure can rupture the intestine and cause a potential life-threatening infection in the abdomen. If you see a dog eat a corn cob, get to a vet quickly as it may be

Cat Vaccines- what are they for?

There are half a dozen different types of vaccines available for cats. Like human vaccines, they are designed to induce an immune response and thereby protect your pet against some dangerous diseases. In Australia the core vaccination for cats is the ‘F3’- a vaccine that protects against feline panleukopenia, feline herpesvirus, and feline calicivirus. Your veterinarian may recommend other additional vaccines depending on your cat’s circumstances, but this article will focus on the diseases targeted by the F3 vaccine. What is feline panleukopenia? Feline panleukopenia is a highly contagious

Cat Vaccines- what is going on?

There is currently (November 2023) an Australia wide shortage of cat vaccinations due to COVID-related supply chain issues. While most vet clinics will still have vaccines on-hand, they are currently unable to restock their supply from the manufacturers or wholesalers. It is hoped the shortage will be short-lived, and it is predicted that some supply will become available later this year. However, the issue may not be fully resolved until early 2024. Should I be worried? There is no need to panic! The immunity created by vaccines does not disappear overnight, and the majority of cats who have

Getting ticked off, a paralysing problem for pets

There are good ticks and bad ticks in this world. Good ticks are the ones you get for answering a question right. Bad ticks are a type of parasite that can make your pet very ill. It is this second sort of tick that pet owners need to be aware of, particularly as we approach summer and start planning for holidays. So, what are they, what is the problem, and what can you do about it? Firstly- what exactly are ticks? Ticks are small parasites, normally less than 1cm in size. They have eight legs (like mites and spiders) and they feed on the blood of animals- including cats, dogs, and people

Senile Symptoms in Senior Pets

Do dogs get dementia? Can cats suffer cognitive decline? If your pet is getting older, then these questions might be playing on your mind. The answer is yes … just like people, pets can develop symptoms of senility in their senior years. The problem is more technically known as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). So, what exactly is the problem, and how can you help your furry friend to live their best life as they age? Firstly, what is going on in the brain with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome? Studies have shown that pets with CDS can have a build-up of toxic substances in their brain (akin

Autumn and Arthritis

Autumn is here, bringing with it Easter, Anzac Day … and aching joints for those with arthritis. It is commonly accepted that cold and clammy weather can cause creaky joints to complain. But how and why does the autumn weather affect arthritis? First things first … what is arthritis? The term arthritis come from Latin and means joint (“arthr”) inflammation (“itis”). While there are many types of joint inflammation, arthritis in animals most commonly refers to the inflammation associated with degenerative joint disease. Degenerative joint disease is basically joint damage caused by wear and

Why dogs can’t eat chocolate (and why cats won’t)

Have you ever wondered why it is that chocolate is dangerous for dogs, and yet kids can consume and adults indulge with no ill effect (well, aside from a sugar high and excess of calories)? It all comes down to species differences in metabolism. Each species has evolved to eat certain foods. They have their own system of digesting, absorbing, processing, and excreting the waste products of their food. There is a lot of overlap in metabolic processes between species, but the differences are key to understanding why chocolate is a treat for some and toxic for others. What is toxic in chocolate

What are …? Overbites and Underbites

These two terms are easy to confuse. They both refer to a malocclusion- a condition where a dog’s or cat’s (or person’s) teeth do not line up normally. But which is which? How do you know if your pet has an overbite or underbite? And is it something you should be worried about? First things first … what is normal? Dogs and cats have four types of teeth- incisors (the little ones at the front), canines (the long pointy ones), premolars (the front cheek teeth) and molars (the back cheek teeth). Normal occlusion means the teeth line up properly with each other. Specifically: The upper incisors

What’s Up Doc? The Importance of Vaccinating Rabbits

Vaccinations are not only for cats and dogs (and people). They are also for rabbits. There are a couple of very nasty diseases (myxomatosis and calicivirus) that have been introduced to Australia to control our wild rabbit population. Unfortunately, these viruses do not differentiate between our pet bunnies and their wild counterparts. There is currently no vaccine for myxomatosis in Australia, but you can vaccinate your rabbit against calicivirus … and doing so might just save their life! What is the concern with rabbit calicivirus? Rabbit calicivirus, also known as rabbit haemorrhagic

Top 10 Facts: Kennel cough

Most dog owners know about kennel cough. The basics at least. Whether through discussions with your vet at vaccination time, personal experience of your canine catching it, or a good old Dr Google search, you probably have the basics covered. But here is a Top 10 list of facts that you might not know about it: Fact 1: Kennel cough has a bunch of different names. If you like being accurate you can call it “canine cough” because it is not always associated with kennels. If you want to sound smart you can call it “canine infectious tracheobronchitis” because it is an infection of the windpipe

Senior Cats and Their Care

Senior Cats and Their Care
Did you know that RSPCA ACT has been experiencing a high number of surrender applications regarding the surrender of old and geriatric cats? This post is hoping to help pet owners on how to best care for their ageing felines and to help keep them comfortable in their twilight years. A cat’s health changes with age, both physical and mental. It is important to keep an eye on your pet as they age, as some changes can be subtle. Most senior cats will begin to sleep more than they did when they were younger and will usually sleep more deeply, this is typical for any ageing pet. Becoming aware of

What is …? Ringworm

Author: Dr Michelle Gray It has a misleading name and a bad reputation. Many people have heard of it but far fewer truly understand it. So, what exactly is ringworm? And what else do you need to know about it? First things first- what is ringworm? Put simply, ringworm it is a skin infection. More technically known as dermatophytosis, it is not caused by worms, but rather by fungi. Dermatophyte fungi can infect many species, including cats, dogs, and humans. The fungi feed on the keratin containing outer layer of skin cells, hair, or nails. What does ringworm look like? The classical red ring

Holiday Hazards Part 2- Not so tasty treats

The festive season is full of family gatherings and social celebrations. A common theme to many of these festivities … lots of food! While a little overindulgence may hurt our waistlines (and trigger some New Year’s resolutions), overindulgence for our pets can be much more dangerous. This is the second in a series of three articles looking at common holiday hazards for pets. Today the focus is on dangerous delicacies, and some top tips to keep your furry friends safe and well. Hazard #1: Fatty foods- like ham and bacon The problem: Pancreatitis. A sudden high fat meal is one of the classic

Holiday Hazards Part 3: Merry misadventures

Its holiday time (nearly!). The festive season is traditionally full of gatherings at home and trips away. For many of us, our pets will be included in the happenings and holidays. But there are some risks involved. This is the third and final article in a series looking at common holiday hazards for pets. It identifies some potential pitfalls in amongst all the merriment, and features some top tips to keep your furry friends safe and well this festive season. Hazard #1: Escaping and lost pets The problem: With visitors coming and going from gatherings at home, and families travelling for the

Holiday Hazards Part 1-Dangerous decorations

Christmas is approaching. Hurrah! Many of our households will soon fill with beautiful decorations and delicious treats as we prepare to celebrate the festive season. But there are potential perils for our pets in amongst the Christmas trimmings. This is the first in a series of three articles, which will identify the common holiday hazards for pets. They will also have plenty of tips on how to keep your furry friends safe and well … because the last thing anyone wants for Christmas is an emergency trip to the vet! Hazard #1: The Christmas Tree The risks: Injury to your pet if it falls (any

What is …? Reverse sneezing

Author: Dr Michelle Gray Is it a cough? Is it a sneeze? Is it choking or retching? No … it’s a reverse sneeze! The first time you see it, reverse sneezing looks rather odd and concerning. Animals will make a snorting/ gagging sort of noise while extending their head and neck, and will often do this repeatedly for a minute or so. You may think your pet is choking or gagging or retching, but what you are actually seeing is a sudden, forceful intake of air through the nasal passages. This differs from a regular sneeze where air is forced out of the nose- in reverse sneezing air is sucked in

How to know: Is your pet the right weight?

Author: Dr Michelle Gray You probably know that keeping your pet at a healthy weight is important for their well-being. But given the variety of sizes and shapes that cats and dogs come in, how can you know what weight is healthy for your furry friend? And what can you do if your pet’s weight isn’t ideal? First of all- Why exactly should you care? Being over-weight increases the risk of your pet developing certain medical conditions. What is more, being over-weight can make the symptoms of disease more severe and can slow recovery from injury and illness. Examples of conditions that have been

What’s this medication? Meloxicam

Author: Dr Michelle Gray Meloxicam (brand name Metacam) is a commonly used medication in veterinary medicine- it might be dispensed after your pet has had surgery, or if you have an old dog with stiff joints, or perhaps if your cat has been out fighting and been injured. But what is it? How does it work? What side effects can it have? How should it be given? When should you stop giving it? Can it be given long-term? If you have been wondering these things, then read on. What is meloxicam? Meloxicam is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. This means it is in the same family of drugs as

How to spot: Is your cat hurting?

Author: Dr Michelle Gray Identifying pain in your cat can be tricky. Acute pain (like that caused by an accident)) is apparent to most owners, but signs of chronic pain (seen with problems like dental disease or arthritis) can easily go unnoticed. This is because cats have evolved to mask or hide their pain as a survival technique. This trait works well for wild cats, but can unfortunately cause our companion cats to suffer in silence. Learning to recognise subtle signs of pain in cats is important. It will allow you to detect disease or illness earlier. It means you can seek treatment sooner

Dogs and Barking Behaviour

Author: Dr Michelle Gray Barking is a normal canine behaviour for dogs. It’s how they communicate, not only to each other but also to tell you their needs. However, living in a suburban environment, a dog who barks can also cause tension among the neighbourhood. Why do dogs bark? Dogs can bark for a number of reasons, mainly due to boredom, excitement, anxiety or from a stimulus/trigger. Managing barking can be done by first identifying its cause. Look at when the barking occurs, what is happening in the environment at the time and the type of barking – is it constant or intermittent and can

Pet Policy FAQs for Owners Corporations of Unit Plans

Too frequently, RSPCA ACT is the last option for a pet owner when they move house. They simply can’t take their pet with them because of rules imposed by either the landlord or a corporate body. In 2016/17, 12.7% of all surrendered animals were because the owners said they were moving. Canberra is going through major changes in terms of the density of housing, as well as the number of people living in units within our community. While we recognise the need for pet owners and non-pet owners to be able to live peacefully together within tighter spaces, we are increasingly concerned by the number

Take Your Dog To Work Day!

Read our tips for when you bring your dog to work
Puppy Break! Isn't that the dream? A little bit of stress relief and cuddles from 'man's best friend?' Here’s your chance! Friday is International ‘Take Your Dog to Work Day!’ On this day every year, employers are encouraged to open their doors and hearts to our furry friends to promote the benefits of pet ownership and animal adoption. Before you bring the pooch into the cubicle, it’s important to check with your organisation to ensure bringing your dog to work is appropriate and will not affect the health and welfare of your co-workers. Some work environments may not be appropriate or safe