Busselton on RSPCA WA's animal cruelty hot spot list

RSPCA WA Inspectors seized a starving horse from a Collie property in 2017 with the assistance of the Shire of Collie rangers and Collie Riding for the Disabled Association. Photo: supplied.
RSPCA WA Inspectors seized a starving horse from a Collie property in 2017 with the assistance of the Shire of Collie rangers and Collie Riding for the Disabled Association. Photo: supplied.

Busselton ranked eighth in the RSPCA WA's animal cruelty hot spot list in regional WA for 2018, with 74 reports being made to the agency.

It is the third year in a row Busselton has featured on the list.

In the South-West, the City of Bunbury was fourth for regional WA with 150 reports made about animal cruelty followed by the Shire of Harvey with 102 reports made.

There were 86 reports made within the Shire of Collie and 72 in Capel.

Esperance was 10th with 53 reports made.

Every day the RSPCA WA receives, on average, between 50 to 60 reports of animals being mistreated or neglected.

The number of calls received in WA continues to increase year on year, and is expected to hit about 21,000 this year.

The nature of cruelty complaints received changes slightly in each post code, but there are common complaints being reported regularly across WA.

The most common cruelty complaints received across the state last year included ill treatment of animals (e.g. kicking an animal), abandonment, and insufficient food and water.

Failure to alleviate harm, which could be someone failing to take their sick or injured pet to the vet, was also one of the top complaints received.

In some cases, people might have been experiencing financial hardship and could not afford vet care, but in other more disturbing cases, people have simply ignored their pet's suffering.

During the warmer months, there was an increase in calls relating to dogs left in hot cars, and dogs being transported on the back of utes with little or no protection from the elements.

In regional areas, while the majority of calls relate to companion animals, Inspectors are also called upon to address welfare issues relating to larger animals, like horses and livestock.

These Inspectors work closely with a local network of vets and volunteers, with support from rangers and police to help owners care for their animals.

RSPCA WA chief executive officer Iain Torrance said in hot spots where they knew cruelty was prevalent, they worked hard to improve standards of animal welfare, but were still getting a consistently high number of calls.

"It's encouraging to see the community is reporting cruelty, and giving a voice to abused, neglected and mistreated animals who cannot speak for themselves," he said.

"But, with more than 50 reports flooding in every single day, the sad truth is we simply cannot get to every animal in time.

"We know we are impacting positively on the lives of over 10,000 animals every year, but there is so much more we need to do.

"RSPCA WA relies on generous donations and community support for more than 90 per cent of the funds required to carry out our animal protection work - saving animals from desperate and dangerous situations.

"RSPCA WA also relies on the community as our eyes and ears on the ground, so please, keep reporting animal cruelty to the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline.

"With more resources, we can rescue more animals. It's that simple."

Donations can be made to RSPCA WA via stopanimalcruelty.org.au.