RSPCA NSW response to COVID-19 Posted on June 26, 2021 In response to the ongoing COVID-19 Greater Sydney outbreak , RSPCA NSW is taking necessary and responsible measures to protect the health and safety of our staff and volunteers. Please read on for information regarding our shelters and clinics, op shops, information about human-to-pet transmission of COVID-19, and more. ***LAST UPDATED 26 JUNE 2021*** Shelter opening hours In light of recent NSW Health announcements as of 6 p.m. the following RSPCA locations will be closed to the public until further notice. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your relevant affected location directly: Sydney Shelter Illawarra Shelter Blue Mountains Shelter Rest assured, these sites will function with essential staff to ensure all in-care and incoming animals are cared for. RSPCA NSW will always be there for animals who need help. Our Sydney Veterinary Hospital will be operating a limited service. This means: Contactless consults – our customers will be asked to contact the clinic phone upon arrival and wait outside Routine consults not allowed – like adult vaccination/health checks. Essential vaccines like puppy/kitten vaccines; sick animals; trauma and emergency patients only. No elective procedures until further notice All other RSPCA NSW shelters and veterinary hospitals will remain open, with significant changes to how adoptions and consultations are conducted. Our inspectors will continue to receive and investigate cruelty reports, with our teams following additional hygiene protocols to ensure their safety and that of the community. Veterinary hospitals RSPCA NSW veterinary hospitals are still operating but with limited public opening hours and significant process changes in light of COVID-19. In light of these changes, our Sydney Veterinary Hospital will be operating on a limited service. This means: Contactless consults – our customers will be asked to contact the clinic phone upon arrival and wait outside Routine consults not allowed – like adult vaccination/health checks. Essential vaccines like puppy/kitten vaccines; sick animals; trauma and emergency patients only. No elective procedures until further notice All other RSPCA NSW veterinary hospitals (Broken Hill and Hunter) will remain open. COVID-19 and pets The Australian Veterinary Association has released a statement stating that the primary source of SARS-CoV-2 transmission remains human-to-human contact, and the best way to reduce your risk is to practice effective hand hygiene. This is corroborated by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which states that at this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. While pet owners should always use good hygiene practices, including hand hygiene before and after handling animals as well as their food, the AVA does not believe there is reason for pet owners to be otherwise concerned. However, along with the Australian Veterinary Association and the CDC, the RSPCA acknowledges that information on this disease is still evolving. If you do happen to test positive with COVID-19, the AVA recommends minimising close contact with pets (such as avoiding hugging, face-to-face contact or sleeping on your bed) and using good hand hygiene practices around your animals, including washing your hands before and after handling your pets. For more information, please head here. Adoptions RSPCA NSW is committed to finding loving homes for all our available animals but in the interest of public health, we have decided to pause adoptions at the following locations: Sydney Shelter (Yagoona) Illawarra Shelter (Unanderra) Blue Mountains Shelter (Katoomba) All other locations (Orange, Coffs Harbour and Hunter) are not impacted at this time. Surrenders and strays As our Sydney, Illawarra and Blue Mountains shelters will be closed to the public non-emergency surrenders are currently on hold. Should you urgently need to surrender your animal, please contact your local shelter. Foster care and Volunteering RSPCA NSW relies heavily on its foster care and volunteer network to give animals a helping hand. Our team has been in touch with current volunteers and foster carers in the affected regions. We need your help Because most of our funding comes from our generous supporters, we continue to feel the impacts of COVID-19. We know this is an incredibly difficult time for so many people, so we want you to know that we’re only asking because we have a responsibility to these animals to do so. We currently have over 2,000 animals in our care, and it costs about $19 per day to ensure each one is safe, well fed and looked after. If you’re able, please will you give a tax-deductible gift today to help protect vulnerable animals during this crisis? RSPCA was created 150 years ago to rescue and care for our state’s animals, and with your help, we will continue to protect them during times of crisis. We hope you and your loved ones are in good health and stay safe in these uncertain weeks ahead.