ONLY a handful of the more than 80 emaciated dogs rescued from a puppy farm near Goondiwindi last month have been adopted.
The RSPCA spent almost $30,000 on medication, treatments and veterinary services in the five days following the seizure of 81 dogs and 10 cats from a property at Glenarbon on January 17.
The owner of the puppy farm must legally sign over the dogs to the RSPCA before the organisation can adopt them out.
So far 27 dogs have been formally signed over. The remaining dogs are in the care of the welfare agency, which has housed all of the pets at their own expense.
“We are hoping the remainder will be signed over without us having to fight that situation out in court,” RSPCA spokesman Michael Beattie said.
It is costing the RSPCA about $2500 per day to feed and medicate the animals.
“They came with a variety of different ailments. They had hookworm, they had giardia … there was one dog which had a very bad leg injury; a lot of them had bad skin conditions,” Mr Beattie said.
“All of them had bad flea infestations and of course they were all grossly underweight. Before they go up for adoption, all animals have to be desexed …. It becomes a very costly exercise.”
Mr Beattie said it was not just the health of the canines which had to be attended to but there were also behavioural issues.
Many of the dogs, for instance, were timid and are still adapting to life off a chain.
Even being in the company of humans can cause them stress.
RSPCA shelter manager Hayley Kennington has been overseeing the recovery of the animals.
Timid three-year-old American bulldog Blue Belle, who has had two litters, is ready for a home, while big bouncing Bailey, an 18 month Weimaraner American-bulldog-cross, still needs to add a few kilos to his frame before he is offered for adoption.
“Most of the dogs were quite fearful when they came in, they had been out in the sticks and coming to the big smoke can be quite scary,” Ms Kennington said.
“Anyone who takes her (Blue Belle) on, you can’t throw her in the deep end. You have to be very slowly with her.
“They’ve only adapted to being here. So there will be some restrictions… but we’ve not had any problems with their behaviour towards people which is a good thing.”
Of the 10 cats seized, none are ready for adoption.
The owner of the property has not yet been charged with any offences.