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The RSPCA says on their website (https://www.rspcasa.org.au/rspca-sa-corrects-misinformation-about-cat-intake-protocols-at-whyalla-shelter/) ” The organisation is under contract with the Whyalla City Council to manage stray animals within the council district.”  Dr. Andrew Melville-Smith of the Whyalla Veterinary Clinic said that the RSPCA is not doing their job by refusing to manage stray cats because they don’t have vaccines. “This is cost cutting at its worst and the animals and people of Whyalla are suffering as a result.” he said.

The RSPCA says: “In the interim, people finding cats that they believe to be strays are asked to either leave the animals where they are or – if the animal has been captured – to return the animal to the place of capture.” Dr. Melville-Smith said, “This is nothing short of disgraceful behaviour for an organisation that is supposed to be caring for animals and is receiving funding for this job”.

The RSPCA says, “Some individuals have verbally abused RSPCA SA staff and volunteers after being advised that they cannot leave stray and unwanted cats at the Whyalla shelter.”  Dr Melville-Smith said that whilst he does not condone people getting angry and frustrated, he said: “What did the RSPCA expect when they don’t do their job? Flowers and chocolates?”

The RSPCA says: “However, due to a global shortage of cat vaccines that began last year, RSPCA SA had to restrict its intake of cats solely to those coming in via its inspectorate and animal ambulances.”  Dr. Melville-Smith said that statement is an insult to the people of Whyalla. “Whilst the lack of vaccines is inconvenient, it is being used as an excuse for cost cutting and poor management”.

The RSPCA says, “The volume of vaccines used by the charity’s veterinary team is high and its supplies are not yet at a level to enable the resumption of usual intakes of cats at its three shelters.”  Dr Melville-Smith says the whole pet care industry has been affected by this. “We have managed this problem, but the RSPCA is not able to. Really, an organisation with all their resources.” He said “Again, it is poor management and cost cutting.”

Dr Melville-Smith said their response to criticism is farcical. “RSPCA South Australia wishes to correct misinformation that has been circulated among Whyalla social media groups about the organisation’s current policy on the intake of stray and surrendered cats.” And the RSPCA also said: “RSPCA SA hopes to be able to again honour its contractual arrangements with the Whyalla council for stray animal management (including cat care and rehoming) within the next few weeks.”  Dr. Melville-Smith said, “There is no misinformation here” he said, “They are not doing the job they were contracted to do by the Whyalla Council”.

Dr. Melville-Smith has written to the Whyalla Council asking them to cancel the RSPCA contract on the grounds that they are not fulfilling their contract and to ask for a refund of any money paid to the RSPCA as part of the animal management contract that, by their own admission, they are not carrying out.