Cats and dogs in Darwin
Q & A with Kerri Ann Laurence
Kerri Ann Laurence is the General Manager at RSPCA Darwin, Northern Territory. Kerri Ann knows all about cats and dogs in Darwin. Prior to her appointment as General Manager a year ago, Kerri Ann volunteered at RSPCA Darwin for five years. In our Q & A with Kerri Ann, we put the spotlight on what’s unique about companion animals in Darwin.
Kerri Ann is passionate about finding good homes for surrendered and abandoned cats and dogs in Darwin. She has her own fur family all adopted from RSPCA Darwin – Jasmine a lovely cat she adopted in 1995 who sadly passed away recently, another cat called Callie adopted five years ago, and Stella, a Shepherd cross she adopted over two years ago.
Pets4Life: What’s unique about Darwin compared to other Australian cities when it comes to companion animals?
Kerri Ann: The NT is very fortunate not to have breed specific legislation, this means we are able to rehome Pit bulls, Japanese tozas, Dogo Argentino’s etc. that are banned in other states. We don’t have any issue rehoming these breeds, Pit bulls being the most popular and find that the community are quite fond of them.
Pets4Life: What are the popular cat and dog breeds in Darwin?
Kerri Ann: We see a lot of Pit bull mixes, Staffies, Bull Arabs, Sharpei mixes, Large x breeds and Med mix tan dogs, we call them the “Darwin brown Dog”. In regards to cats we mostly see Domestic Short hairs, sometimes the odd Ragdoll or Russian blue.
Pets4Life: You have a few Catahoula cross breeds looking for a home, are they common in Darwin?
Kerri Ann: We get them in time to time, from our experience they make great pet dogs for active people that enjoy daily exercise and enjoy the challenge of providing lots of stimulating enrichment.
Pets4Life: What are the challenges you face at RSPCA Darwin?
Kerri Ann: We have a number of challenges in Darwin that keeps us on our paws!
- Transient population
- Location limits us with ordering or receiving certain things
- Keeping the animals cool
- Massive cat population
- Very limited funding
- Low kennel space
- Disease control in the wet season (lasts for 6 months) – Parvo & ringworm is a big issue during the wet.
- Cracker night where the public are allowed to let fireworks off for one night a year in their gardens.
- Thunderstorms where our dogs get quiet anxious
- Having a ready plan for when a cyclone hits