RSPCA SA appeal to cope with virus hit

RSPCA SA has launched a crisis appeal as it forecasts a $100,000 weekly financial hit after its income streams closed due to coronavirus.

So far, all nine RSPCA SA Op-shops have closed, dog training classes have been suspended and the number of volunteers and regular donors have dropped.

The 'Million Paws Walk', the organisation's biggest national fundraising event scheduled for May, has also been cancelled.

All funds raised by the appeal will ensure frontline animal care and rescue services continue during the virus outbreak.

RSPCA SA's chief Paul Stevenson said the high possibility of a national lockdown reinforced the urgency to boost the organisation's financial security.

"In the past week, we have seen the income streams we rely on for the daily care and rescue of animals either dwindle or completely dry up, to the point where our budget forecasts show will soon suffer losses of more than $100,000 a week," Mr Stevenson said.

He said staff and remaining volunteers worked long days to ensure hundreds of animals receive the daily care they need.

"With 700 animals in care, more than half of them in our shelters, and other animals in urgent need of care still coming in via our inspectors and animal ambulance, this is clearly not sustainable for long."

RSPCA SA anticipates further demands on its service as people's health and livelihoods are impacted, forecasting an increased need for mobile animal care support and more surrendered animals as people struggle to afford pet food.

"We are determined to survive this - but we cannot do it alone," Mr Stevenson said.

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