Along with over 1,600 animals looking for homes across RSPCA shelters at this time of year, the RSPCA is currently caring for 26 unwanted puppies and kittens in their Brisbane Animal Hospital critical care ward. Many are stray pets, surrendered litters, or have been brought in via RSPCA Queensland Inspectorate. They are incredibly sick - riddled with worms, fleas and unvaccinated, and most are far too young to be separated from their mothers.

RSPCA Queensland is at capacity in their shelters with animals looking for homes at this time of year. Sadly the influx of sick puppies and kittens has put added strain on already stretched charity resources. 

Brisbane Animal Care Manager Nanda Ten-grotenhuis explained, “I’m very sad. I’ve been fostering five four-week-old puppies due to overcapacity in our veterinary hospital and things were looking up for these pups but due to the severity of the worm and virus burden on these puppies, after re-admission to intensive care in our vet hospital, three have sadly since passed away. This is just the tip of the iceberg and what is most concerning is that these illnesses are preventable.”

All pet owners should be aware of the dangers of having unvaccinated and untreated pets. Simple medical treatments can be the difference between an animal living and dying. 

RSPCA Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Anne Chester said, “Owning pets that haven’t had their vaccinations and simple worm and flea treatments, is completely unacceptable. The lives we are losing in our shelters because of illness are unnecessary and the community needs to take more responsibility for their pets. If you have a litter of puppies or kittens, they need to be wormed every two weeks from two weeks of age. Simply having these pets checked by your vet ensures they are receiving the right treatments and vaccinations at the right time.”

If you have a pet remember to desex them to help prevent hundreds of unwanted litters ending up in animal shelters and councils across Queensland. 

If you can adopt a pet or become a foster carer contact the RSPCA on 3426 9999 or visit for more information.