Dubbo Daily Liberal

10 May, 2012 04:00 AM

FAMILIAR furry faces at Dundullimal Homestead will not be seen there again after the property’s two cats were taken to the RSPCA.Ginger cat, Maughan, has since been euthanised and another, Sophie, has been reunited with the previous manager/caretaker of the National Trust property on Obley Road.According to the former Dundullimal caretaker/manager, Catherine Basford, the cats were strays born on the property and raised by herself and her daughter.The felines became popular additions to the homestead and Mrs Basford said their friendly natures appealed to visitors and won them a lot of attention.After the caretakers’ positions were handed over to new management, Ms Basford moved to Victoria and the cats remained at the homestead.Ms Basford said she didn’t take the cats with her because she thought they might be considered property of the homestead, as there were other animals that are part of the caretakers’ responsibilities and considered Dundullimal property.She said she left at least a month’s worth of provisions for the cats before she had to hand the keys over.Ms Basford was later called by a concerned friend and told the cats had been taken to the RSPCA with the assurance that they stood a good chance of being rehomed.She said she believed that the new caretakers had been concerned that the cats were eating native wildlife.

Ms Basford then began making enquiries from her home in Victoria to adopt the cats.

“When I enquired [of the RSPCA] as to why nobody contacted me, I was told that I wasn’t entitled to be informed,”she said.

“I asked the RSPCA in Dubbo if I could pay the expenses to get the cats back, but they told me Maughan had been rehoused and was happy with another family which was not true at all.”

Pursuing the issue, she said she phoned the Dubbo City Council, the RSPCA along with a number of other people to seek help with adopting the cats.

After contacting a regional manager at the RSPCA she was told Maughan had been destroyed on April 21.

She found out the cats had been taken to the shelter on April 13 and, because Maughan was not microchipped, he had been destroyed seven days later.

After paying $370, Mrs Basford was able to adopt Sophie, who was still in the shelter.

The cat was then flown to Victoria to live with Mrs Basford and her daughter.

“I am aware that I should have had the cats microchipped, that’s certainly my fault, but I can’t understand why no-one gave me the option to take the cats before sending them off,” she said. “If I had known sooner Maughan would not have been destroyed.”

The new Dundullimal management declined to comment about the two cats.

National Trust’s Gerry Hayes also declined to comment on the issue.

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Im sorry but why did the RSPCA lie this is more than uncalled for. This will just make them look shady for others. And as for the new owners of Dundullimal why not just make contact with the previous owner and explain the situation Im sure they would have understood and collected the cats. I understand there is a lot of discussions about cats etc but this is one big shummozzle that could have been avoided. Im glad one of the cats is safe. Shame on the other one. they were both friendly cats having been out there several time these 2 little gems were more than happy for a pat

Posted by confused, 10/05/2012 8:21:18 AM, on Dubbo Daily Liberal

The new caretakers should be ashamed at there actions not to try rehome the cats with there original caretakers is lazy- they were obviously loved and cared for simply by looking at there condition

Posted by no ones laughing now, 10/05/2012 8:42:30 AM, on Dubbo Daily Liberal

She left them in the home they were comfortable in, cats don’t like change. If they’d bothered telling her they were “getting rid of” the cats she’d have taken them. Can’t get fairer than that.

Posted by Jo, 10/05/2012 10:15:31 AM, on Dubbo Daily Liberal

dont look like they were wild laying back in photo, on a good lounge

Posted by k.hume.toldu, 10/05/2012 11:43:13 AM, on Dubbo Daily Liberal

This whole story is saddening. Firstly the new manager for dumping them at the RSPCA, then the RSPCA not even trying to find both a home. They look lovely cats.Both have been let down and one has lost his life. How would the remaining cat feel?

Posted by Toby Walker, 10/05/2012 3:14:24 PM, on Dubbo Daily Liberal

Sadly I’m not at all surprised. The RSPCA’s tales of not killing healthy cats are just that – fairy tales.

Posted by Juta, 10/05/2012 3:56:35 PM, on Dubbo Daily Liberal

The RSPCA nationally puts down thens of thousands of cats a year – 38,642 or 58.8% in 2010-2011. Dogs fare only slightly better, at 20,177 or 29.4%.It’s easier to put them down than to make an effort to re-home them, or to return them to owners.It’s a killing field.Sad that they couldn’t even tell the truth about the one that was destroyed.

Posted by Nicky, 10/05/2012 4:07:54 PM, on Dubbo Daily Liberal

I hear these sort of stories regularly about cats being destroyed before being given a chance to be rehomed. Shame on the RSPCA and the Management of Dundullimal Homestead. You both failed.

Posted by Bernard Brennan, 10/05/2012 4:49:48 PM, on Dubbo Daily Liberal
The RSPCA seems only interested in killing.Why on earth would they not be helpful in saving these cats when someone who obviously loved and cared for them wanted them back.The homestead caretakers and management should also be ashamed for not contacting the previous caretaker.RSPCA is not for all animals as they claim to be. Their kill rates are higher than many pounds across the country.
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