SICK animals that turn up at the Orange RSPCA shelter are not automatically euthanised, rather they are treated in Orange or sent to RSPCA veterinarians in Sydney.
RSPCA animal care services senior manager Donna Hough said if an animal could be saved, the RSPCA would do what it could.
“ The RSPCA will usually only put an animal down for medical reasons if it is deemed too cruel to keep them alive,” she said.
Ms Hough said the Orange shelter aimed to treat any animal that had a good prognosis for recovery and rehoming.
Animals commonly receive treatment for dental work, hernia repairs and skin conditions, as well as x-rays for diagnostic reasons such as hip dysplasia, she said.
“ A couple of recent examples would be a dachshund that was treated for parvovirus, a cocker spaniel with cataracts and some other minor issues that was started on treatment [in Orange] and then transferred to Sydney for further medical work ... and an overweight Labrador that required treatment for an eye infection before transfer to rescue for further care and weight loss management,” she said.
Ms Hough said there was a high rate of parvovirus in Orangbe because there was a relatively low rate of vaccination in the city.
Because of this, she said the number of dogs that had to be put down was also higher, because in many cases the disease cannot be treated.
Ms Hough said there were plans to run more vaccination drives, whereby vaccinations would be subsidised to encourage people to vaccinate.
“That will help in the long run, but in the meantime the Orange shelter is up against that,” she said.