During 2015-16 the RSPCA received1 45,256 dogs and achieved the highest adoption/reunited with owners rate to date with 76.03% of dogs being adopted or reunited with their owners (see figures 2, 3 and 4).
An additional measure for monitoring change over time is the live release rate (LRR). The 2015-2016 LRR for dogs was 85.77%, which is an increase of 1.78% compared to the previous year. The LRR is the percentage of dogs that were adopted, reclaimed by their owner or transferred to a rescue group or other non-RSPCA facility as a percentage of the total number of dogs received (not including those currently in care or categorised as ‘other’ ) for the 2015-2016 financial year.
1 Received refers to all animals in RSPCA facilities during the 2015-2016 financial year.
Many more owners reclaim lost dogs from the RSPCA than they do lost cats (17,766 or 39.26% of dogs compared to 2,594 or 4.67% of cats).
The increased use of microchip identification for dogs supports reuniting lost dogs with their owner; while this increase in adoption and reuniting with owners is also the result of our proactive tracing services, promotional, care, and rehabilitation activities leading to a decrease in euthanasia.
Sadly, 12.98% (5,872) of dogs/puppies were still humanely euthanased (see figure 5). We remain focused on adopting all animals that are suitable for adoption.
Of dogs euthanased, the majority of cases are because of severe behavioural issues (67.12%). This includes aggression and severe anxiety that the RSPCA is not able to or has not been able to treat through behavioural modification programs. Such issues can compromise the dog’s welfare and quality of life and can be a safety risk to adults, children and other animals.