Last updated: May 20, 2014
RSPCA Qld is a non-government, community-based charity dedicated to protecting the welfare of all animals – great and small. Approximately 40,000 animals depend on us every year and we depend on your support and donations to continue our life-saving work.
Visit www.rspca.org.au to find our more about RSPCA Australia, our campaigns, our policies and the RSPCA in each state.
The RSPCA is a non-government community based animal welfare charity. The organisation was created by the community and driven by strong local support. Without public backing the RSPCA would cease to function and without the services of the RSPCA the future for thousands of animals would look very bleak indeed.
RSPCA Animal Care Campus, 139 Wacol Station Rd, Wacol (map)
For a list of RSPCA Shelters throughout Queensland visit: http://www.rspcaqld.org.au/AboutUs/OurLocations
If you have a non-urgent enquiry, please use the contact details available on the RSPCA QLD Contact Page.
Animal Emergencies & Cruelty Complaints:
If you have been witness to animal cruelty, neglect or abandonment, or have seen injured wildlife, please report it to our emergency hotline: 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625). More information is available on the RSPCA Qld website’s Animal Emergencies page.
The work of the RSPCA in Queensland
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Queensland Inc. is the state’s leading animal welfare authority. It is also the oldest animal welfare authority in Queensland. The Society is a non-Government, registered animal welfare charity, with powers to enforce an Act of the Queensland Parliament – The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, which was proclaimed on March 1, 2002.
RSPCA Queensland’s mission is to be a proactive and compassionate advocate for all animals. Our vision for the RSPCA is to be the leading authority in animal care and protection.
RSPCA Queensland Inc. supports RSPCA Australia’s belief that the welfare of an animal includes its physical and mental state and that good animal welfare implies both fitness and a sense of well-being.
The RSPCA considers that an animal’s welfare should be considered in terms of five freedoms:
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst : by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour
- Freedom from Discomfort : by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
- Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease : by prevention, rapid diagnosis and treatment
- Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour : by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind
- Freedom from Fear and Distress : by insuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering
The RSPCA Queensland Inc. supports these freedoms through the following areas of operation: – Shelters, Inspectorate, Animal Ambulance, Veterinary Services, Behaviour Assessment, Cruelty Case Enrichment, Lost and Found service, Volunteer program, Education program, Bequest and Pet Legacy program, Fundraising, Animal Training Centres, Publicity and Campaign promotion. The RSPCA has been in existence in Australia since 1871. Since 1883, the Queensland Society has worked to improve the welfare of animals and to protect them from cruelty and ill treatment.
We strive to educate the community on its responsibilities in relation to animal welfare and to continue to protect and enhance the welfare of animals.
RSPCA Queensland Inc. was also involved with child welfare for many decades and in its early days played a major role in developing the original Children’s Protection Act of 1892. The RSPCA considers its work still relates to child welfare, due to statistical links in the UK and USA between animal cruelty and domestic violence, child abuse and other criminal activity. The RSPCA’s efforts to reach potential animal cruelty offenders through education and the enforcement of anti-cruelty laws, may help stem the cycle of violence to animals and ultimately to people.
Please take the time to visit the RSPCA Qld website, which offers a detailed outline of the history of RSPCA Queensland, including archive photographs, as well as a copy of our Animal Charter.
History of RSPCA Queensland Inc
How sadly wise, perhaps it is,
Dogs live so brief a span,
Who in that short existence make,
An idol out of man.
For which of us is great enough
Or wise enough, or true,
To stand unspoiled such worshipping
A whole long lifetime through’.
– Virginia Scott Miner
The Queensland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty (QSPC)to Animals was established in Brisbane in 1876. After lapsing due to a lack of funds, it was re-established in 1883. Its first Queensland Inspector, Mr Marlowe, was installed and by the end of September 1884, had issued no less than 350 ‘cautions’, mainly for ill-treatment of working horses. These cautions resulted in numerous prosecutions.
The Society dropped the word ‘Animals’ from its title after nine years, as it had widened its activities to include neglected and ill-treated children and later the care of neglected aged people, also providing vocational guidance for children with disabilities and care for the people with emotional disabilities. The QSPC also concerned itself with transport of stock and slaughtering methods in butchery. In 1892, a children’s department was well established, 10 children were removed from ‘cruel and immoral surroundings’ and 130 warnings affecting the welfare of 222 children were given by Inspectors. The Council of the Society, after close study of the ill-treatment of children, prepared a Bill for their relief and in 1896-7 the Children’s Protection Act become law. As a result of the work of the Society and a Mr JT Bell, it became a penal offence in Queensland to ill-treat children. The Society’s public appeals were now to ‘all friends of children and animals’. It was also in 1892 that the Queensland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals became simply the Queensland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty.
In the 1890s and in the early part of the 20th Century, the RSPCA was the sole agency responsible for children’s welfare, protecting children from cruelty and all forms of ill treatment by removing them from moral or physical harm where necessary.
The Society maintained an active involvement in the protection and welfare of children until the 1970s, when it once again became solely dedicated to shelter and welfare of animals. The Society became the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Queensland (RSPCA Qld)in 1982 and subsequently on December 23, 1999, was incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981. The Society is regarded today as the State’s leading authority and agency on animal welfare, offering a range of services designed to alleviate situations that may cause distress to animals.
Enforcing the law
The Animals Protection Act was created in 1925 by the Queensland legislature, and RSPCA Inspectors became responsible for investigating cruelty and enforcing the Act. For many years, the Inspectorate was assisted by ‘Honorary Inspectors’, volunteers who dedicated much of their lives to investigating suspected cases of cruelty. Although Honorary Inspectors no longer operate in Queensland, they contributed a great deal to building awareness and public support for the RSPCA in Queensland.
In the late Spring of 2001, the Queensland Parliament passed the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, the Act proclaimed on March 1, 2002. The Act provides an increased level of protection for animals in the courts of Queensland and a taskforce of Department of Primary Industries Inspectors is working with RSPCA Inspectors to enforce the law.
Shelter and help for homeless and abused animals
The RSPCA’s shelter facilities, which now form such a large component of the Society’s operations, started humbly with a few cages in a vet surgery. The RSPCA has been based at Fairfield since the early 1900s and took over the old Brisbane council pound in Fairfield in the 1960s. This refuge, built in the 1920s, still serves on the site of the RSPCA’s state headquarters. The Society plans to rebuild the facility, along with several regional shelters, during the coming years.
RSPCA branches and shelters are situated throughout the eastern part of the state and include the Brisbane shelters of Fairfield and Pine Rivers, with regional shelters in Bundaberg, Cairns, Noosa, Kingaroy, Toowoomba and in an amalgamation with the NQSPCA in 2001, a shelter at Townsville. Branch Committees are based on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and in Brisbane, Gympie, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton.
From one Inspector and several supporters in its fledgling years, the Society has grown to its present day level of around 190 staff throughout the state, generously supported by more than 1,200 volunteers. All who work directly or indirectly with the RSPCA are dedicated to increasing the opportunities and improving the quality of life of each animal in their care.
The RSPCA remains an independent animal welfare charity, striving to educate the community on its responsibilities and continuing to protect and enhance the welfare of animals.
Portions of this text courtesy: – Three Score Years and Ten – (Elizabeth Webb) – published 1951. Printed by Shipping Newspapers (Q’ld.) Ltd., Ryan House, Eagle St., Brisbane.
Become a volunteer…
Would you like to use your time and talents to help injured, abused and abandoned animals?
If so, check out the RSPCA Qld Volunteering page for more information.
Want to learn more about RSPCA Qld?
Get the RSPCA QLD “Pocket Facts” 2012 document (PDF 1.5MB) and get lots of information and statistics about the RSPCA in 2012 as well as contact information for RSPCA Qld departments and RSPCA animal shelters located within Queensland.