CAWS for all paws

CAWS for all paws

Most of us have a pet that we love as part of the family. If you don’t, you probably know someone who does. Australians love their animals and, unsurprisingly, overpopulation of companion animals is very common in NSW, particularly in regional and rural areas.

Overpopulation is recognised as a real problem, but how do we solve it?

Here at RSPCA NSW, our solution is CAWS.

The Community Animal Welfare Scheme (CAWS) is all about targeting companion animal overpopulation and increasing public awareness of animal welfare. Through effective community education, more people can learn about responsible pet ownership and the humane treatment of animals.


Every year, RSPCA shelters take in around 160,000 animals across Australia, many of which are the result of unplanned breeding. CAWS provides low-cost desexing, vaccinations and microchipping services to remote areas and low socioeconomic groups, aiming to bring down the number of animals being euthanased in pounds and shelters. Desexing is an effective strategy to prevent unwanted pregnancies and microchipping is a form of permanent identification, making it easier to reunite pets and owners if separation happens.

CAWS is only available to pet owners with a Pension or Health Care Card, ensuring valuable medical resources are dedicated to the people who need it most. While CAWS has usually been held in rural areas, such as Bathurst and Walgett-Lightning Ridge, it’s now running in the Blue Mountains and Sydney as well. CAWS relies on the involvement of local councils, RSPCA branches and local veterinary clinics all working together to fund and run the day.


For many people, the decision to not desex is not based only on affordability. Through educational campaigns, CAWS also increases awareness, teaching the importance of desexing and other aspects of responsible pet ownership. Instead, we need to change the culture and encourage a shift in attitude towards desexing, microchipping and vaccinations.


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Guest Thursday, 17 August 2017

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  1. The initiative runs in New South Wales only from 24 February to 26 February 2017 inclusive.
  2. The initiative applies to all animals available for adoption at RSPCA NSW shelters, Care Centres and participating Petbarn Adoption Centres only. The initiative does not extend to RSPCA NSW animals offered for adoption through RSPCA Volunteer branches.
  3. Animals adopted during the initiative are subject to availability. Should all available animals be rehomed prior to the end of the initiative, the offer will no longer be honoured. No rainchecks are available.
  4. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  5. RSPCA NSW retains the right to refuse an adoption if it does not comply with standard operational processes.
  6. A maximum of two adoption animals may be adopted by any household.
  7. No animal will be placed on hold for any period. Adoption must be by personal attendance at one of the abovementioned facilities.
  8. Photographic personal identification must be presented at the time of adoption.
  9. A suitable carry cage must be used to transport birds, felines and small animals, including pocket pets, from the premises and during the journey home. If you do not have access to an appropriate carrier, you can purchase a carrier at the time of adopting your companion. Cardboard carriers are available to purchase for $10 from RSPCA shelters and Care Centres while stocks last.
  10. Suitable leads and harnesses must be used to transport canines from the premises. Canines must be appropriately restrained within the vehicle for the journey home. If you do not have access to an appropriate lead and harness, suitable equipment is available for purchase at the time of adoption while stocks last.
  11. Suitable transport for livestock and horses must be considered prior to adoption, and animals must be collected on the day of adoption.
  12. We understand that sometimes, despite your and RSPCA NSW’s best endeavours, your new pet doesn’t settle into your lifestyle. For this reason, you can return any animal to a RSPCA NSW shelter within 21 days from the time of collection to receive a replacement authorisation in accordance with our replacement policy, or a refund of the adoption fee paid. Please note: merchandise purchased cannot be returned as part of the replacement of an animal. Should a product be faulty, you can return that product, in its original condition, to the facility you purchased the merchandise from within seven (7) days and RSPCA NSW will replace that item.