Our role

The state and territory member Societies provide services to animals in need through their shelters and inspectorates. In the national office, RSPCA Australia works to influence animal welfare policy, practice and legislation across the country
Go to Our role

Key issues

The RSPCA advocates for the welfare of animals across a number of industries, issues and platforms. Help from our supporters is important to progress change. Working together is key.
Go to Key issues
take action live sheep export alternate
Priority issue
We are closer than ever to finally…
Live sheep export

Support us

Whether you're an individual or a business, there are multiple ways you can support the RSPCA
Go to Support us
An animal in the RSPCA care being cared for by an RSPCA vet
Donate now to support your local RSPCA and make a difference to animal welfare across Australia


The RSPCA is an independent, community-based charity providing animal care and protection services across the country.
Go to About
about us national statistics
Read our National Statistics
Compiled on a national basis by RSPCA…
Annual statistics


By choosing adoption, you’ll not only have the chance to make a friend for life, but you’ll be giving an animal a second chance and helping support the RSPCA.
Go to Adopt
adopt a pet logo
Visit the Adopt A Pet website
Make a difference to a pet’s life today.
Search Adoptapet

As Australia swelters through some of the hottest weather on record, the RSPCA and Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) are warning owners that the summer can take a particular toll on dogs with extreme features and breathing difficulties.

AVA spokesperson Dr David Neck said that as Australia’s summer temperatures soar, the risk of dogs suffering from heat stress or heatstroke grows higher, with some breeds more vulnerable than others.

“Heat stress and heatstroke are particularly common in brachycephalic breeds, such as English and French bulldogs as well as Pugs. These types of dogs have been bred to have exaggerated features, including a very short muzzle.

“Unfortunately, this particular feature leads to – among other things - breathing difficulties, which only worsen in hotter temperatures.

“We’ve seen the popularity of these breeds rise significantly over the years and in many cases, owners are forced to invest in medical management and/or surgery to address the discomfort their dog experiences with breathing.

“The last thing we want to see is dogs suffering unnecessarily simply because they have been bred to look a certain way.”

While these extreme features make some breeds more prone to heat stress and heat stroke than others, any dog can suffer heat stroke in high temperatures

Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, fatigue, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea and even seizures. Dr Neck advises pet owners to keep an eye on their dogs, especially dogs with exaggerated features, during very hot days.

“If their dog displays any of these symptoms, they should speak to their vet as soon as possible.

“Ensure there is cool fresh water at all times and leave it in a shady area – you might even want to put a few ice cubes in to help keep the water cold. If you don’t have air-conditioning, leave a fan on and giving your dog a trim, especially if it has longer hair, will also be a big help,” Dr Neck said.

The AVA and the RSPCA have launched the Love Is Blind campaign to raise awareness about the health and welfare problems caused by exaggerated features, such as the shortened muzzle, among others.

For more information on the Love is Blind campaign visit: http://www.loveisblind.org.au

subscribe box

Stay informed on big issues and how you can help improve animal welfare across Australia.

Subscribe today and we’ll keep you updated on all the latest campaigns, events and news.