Lack of Funding Could Force Closure of RSPCA Shelter

Added by on March 4, 2011

The future of Sydney’s largest animal shelter is depending on the government’s approval of a multi-million dollar grant, the RSPCA said on Friday.

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The $7.5 million grant, which the animal welfare organisation has been lobbying the government for since 2008, is needed to renovate their Yagoona shelter where, according to RSPCA spokeswoman, staff are working near walls filled with asbestos and in building where sections of the roof are crumbling in.

The spokeswoman told AAP that “It’s not like we’ve set a timescale where we’re saying we’ll have to close in 30 days but the bottom line is we cannot continue like this indefinitely.”

A spokesman for NSW Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan said in a statement that “The government is currently in discussions with Treasury and an announcement about RSPCA funding will be fully costed and audited.”

The annual costs of assisting some 50,000 animals in 12 shelters and four clinics across NSW amount to $35 million, out of which $424,000 is state government funding.

RSPCA NSW CEO, Steve Coleman, said “I would hate to think that it will take a forced withdrawal of animal welfare services to the Sydney area for the government to realise exactly how imperative our operation is.”

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