Sunday, 19 May 2024

Opening of RSPCA SA new animal care campus

It’s my pleasure to join you today for the opening of the new RSPCA facilities here in O’Halloran Hill.

It’s an honour to be patron of RSPCA South Australia, the state’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity, and to take part in this historic occasion.

The name ‘RSPCA’ is synonymous in South Australia – and across Australia – with the highest level of compassion and care for animals.

In the last financial year, more than 6,000 animals were adopted from your shelter.

More than 2,000 animal rescue calls were responded to by rescue officers, and more than 4,000 cruelty reports were received by your inspectors.

Your presence, and our community’s respect and gratitude for your work, is deeply woven into the fabric of our society.

Many of us still recall fondly the famous RSPCA TV commercial, set to the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Standing here today at these state-of-the-art premises, we recognise just how far the RSPCA has come since it was first established in South Australia in 1875, in response to the ill treatment of draught horses and bullocks.

Last year Rod and I visited the Lonsdale shelter and saw how staff and volunteers were overcoming the challenges posed by the site.

It’s wonderful to see, after many years of fundraising and planning, the new animal campus brought to life.

With the capacity to care for twice the number of animals as your previous site, a new state of the art vet clinic, and an education facility focused on the prevention of animal cruelty, this campus will support you all to do your best work.

During my visits Kangaroo Island I have heard directly from locals about the distress they felt at so many animals being injured and killed during the 2020 bushfires.

I am so pleased that the operationalisation of SA’s first dedicated wildlife hospital on this site is underway.

Among other functions, it will play a pivotal role in the response to wildlife injury in future bushfires and floods. I look forward to this project’s completion.

I was also gratified, but not surprised, to see the generous response of South Australians to your recent ‘We’re on the Move’ fundraising campaign, in which you more than reached your fundraising goal.

I thank each and every donor who contributed, from small family donations right through to corporate giving and, of course, Carole Stone’s incredibly generous contribution.

Congratulations to you all - Board, staff, volunteers and supporters - on the launch of this new facility.

I look forward to celebrating 150 years of RSPCA South Australia with you in 2025.

Until then, I wish you all the best as you continue to care for all creatures, great and small.

Coming events