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18 March 2013

We have received a number of enquiries about an inspection at the Moorook Shelter on

Wednesday, March 6.

Prior to the inspection Animal Welfare Inspectors received information and intelligence from a

number of complainants. This information related to the health of some of the animals and living

conditions on the property.

The information was considered significant enough for a Magistrate to issue a warrant permitting

unrestricted access to the site by inspectors. While we do not publicly release the source of our

information, it was not as previously reported, made from a disgruntled neighbour, nor did the

reports refer to an untidy state within the shelter.

Inspectors attended the site accompanied by an animal behaviourist and an independent

veterinarian. We were assisted by employees of Loxton Waikerie Council. On veterinary and

behavioural advice eight dogs and one kitten were removed from the property for ongoing medical

and behavioural reasons. They were immediately transported to an independent veterinary surgery

for further examination. Attending inspectors advised the shelter proprietor of their intention to

seize the animals; however she agreed to surrender the animals so as not to incur costs for their


Unfortunately three dogs – Tommy, Wombles and Bear – and the kitten were humanely

euthanased as a result of ongoing medical conditions, which were causing continued

unmanageable suffering. The decision to euthanase these animals was made only after thorough

examination and independent veterinary advice. The other dogs removed from the shelter remain

under our care and continue to receive treatment.

At this stage, the shelter has been issued with a number of Animal Welfare Notices, requiring

specific actions to be taken to improve animal welfare standards.

Animal Welfare Inspectors are authorised by the Minister for Environment, Water and Natural

Resources to administer the Animal Welfare Act 1985 (The Act), and do so without fear or favour.

The Act exists to provide animals with a minimum acceptable level of care. It ensures they have

access to suitable food, water and appropriate living conditions. It also ensures their behavioural

and health needs are met.

Removing animals from the care of an owner is one of the most serious actions an inspector can

take, and must be done so in accordance with provisions of the Act. It is not a decision that is

made lightly. The actions of Animal Welfare Inspectors as individuals and the Inspectorate as a unit must be in

accordance with the Act. As is the case with other enforcement bodies, complaints can be lodged

with the State Ombudsman or your local Member of Parliament.

Our actions are determined by existing legislation. We have a duty to enforce and uphold the

Animal Welfare Act, as parliament, on behalf of the South Australian public, intended. Our

primary concern is and always will be the welfare of the animals involved.

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