Just days after posting cute photos of one of its dogs, a Brisbane animal rescue has 37 animals seized by the RSPCA — with one dog’s disability and flesh wounds so bad it had to be put down.
The organisation said it executed a search warrant at the Storybook Farm Animal Garden Rescue in north Brisbane after a number of concerns were raised.
“All of the dogs were living in faeces and urine,” the RSPCA said in a statement.
“Disabled animals were lying, unable to move normally, living in filth and squalor, some even without water or bedding.
“All the animals smelled putrid, with an overwhelming stench of aged urine and faeces.”
RSPCA Queensland said one of the dogs, a dalmatian named Barry, had to be euthanised.
The flesh on his back legs had worn through almost to exposed bone, it said.
“The skin on his testicles had worn bare exposing raw flesh, and he had other wounds on his rear end also associated with dragging and immobility in his rear end,” the statement said.
“His quality of life, prognosis, and an inability to keep him alive comfortably meant that vets had no option but to humanely euthanase him.”
Social media told a different story
As recently as the day before this seizure, a photograph of Barry was posted on Storybook Farm’s Facebook page looking cute, contented and clean, wearing a donated jumper.
“This poor dog’s real life could not have been further removed from that happy scene portrayed on Facebook,” the RSPCA said.
“It was immediately apparent to inspectors that the conditions in which the animals were being kept in no way resembled the conditions portrayed by this rescue group on their social media profiles, or in their regular stories aired to media, incorporating pleas for donations.”
The organisation said in total 33 dogs, two birds, a pony and a donkey were seized.
In a related investigation, three underweight horses were taken into the care of RSPCA from a different property north of Brisbane.
Do due diligence before surrendering your animal
RSPCA Queensland’s chief inspector Daniel Young said charged would likely be laid after a thorough investigation.
“It’s still very early, so this person will need to be summoned at some stage,” he said.
“But it’s extremely likely this person will be facing a number of charges under the animal care and protection act.”
Mr Young urged residents to do their due diligence before donating to similar rescue organisations.
“Some of these groups receive a lot of money and in a lot of cases, it unfortunately doesn’t go directly to the animals,” he said.
“It’s up to you to really look into that.
“If possible go and visit these locations, if they’ve got a sanctuary then ask if you can go and visit it, if they’re not willing to show you where these animals are then that should raise alarm bells.”
Storybook Farm has been contacted for comment.