1300ANIMAL – Anywhere, Anytime
Janet Gamble, State Wildlife Coordinator, RSPCA
- 1300 ANIMAL
- 1300 264 625
- ANYWHERE ANYTIME
1300 ANIMAL Background
The 1300ANIMAL concept was conceived from numerous reports of the difficulty and the time involved in finding help for injured animals. People often get in touch with several agencies before finding someone who can assist, by which time the animal may have died or be suffering needlessly.
The 1300ANIMAL number aims to abate this problem. Using a database of rehabilitators, rescuers, council agencies and organisations state wide, a centralised phone number will be manned by RSPCA staff. The database allows for searches in regards to the type of animal and the suburb it is located in.
The RSPCA has been receiving calls for injured animals since its establishment in Queensland in 1876. RSPCA Qld is a charity organisation with an annual operating budget of $16 million and receives just $170,000 in government support. Implemented in 2007 the association now has a 24/7 call centre with trained staff to handle calls for all animal emergency situations. Ideally, sponsorship would fund staff to work solely on 1300ANIMAL including database maintenance and answering calls.
The 1300ANIMAL number was launched in August 2006 and is currently in use on a daily basis. The next phase is to increase awareness of the number and its purpose with signs erected on roadways throughout the state. In addition, the RSPCA will likely distribute magnets, bumper stickers, key rings, pens and other merchandising products.
The Qld Roads and Transit Authority has been reluctant in the past to erect signs displaying contact numbers for groups that care for injured wildlife, mainly due to the high number of different contact details. The RSPCA has successfully implemented an easily remembered 1300 number state wide, and has made a commitment to this becoming a national number for animal welfare emergencies.
The ‘ANIMAL’ corresponds with alphanumeric numbers on a phone keypad (264625) making it very easy to remember. All calls to the 1300ANIMAL number are directed to the RSPCA call centre to coordinate assistance / rescue based on the RSPCA’s wildlife carer database. The RSPCA database enables the call centre operator to match the animal type with a suitable and approved carer in a nearby location to the caller. The system not only assists with the delivery of care to injured animals but also provides a high profile service for those that find injured animals and are unsure of what action to take.