RSPCA WA Shocked By Sharp Increase in Violence Towards Animals

RSPCA WA Shocked By Sharp Increase in Violence Towards Animals
  • RSPCA WA is shocked by a sharp increase in violent acts of cruelty towards animals over the last Financial Year.
  • There has been a 73% increase in the number of reports of malicious beating or wounding; a 67% increase in the number of cases involving tormenting an animal; and an 18% increase in the number of suspected baiting cases reported in 2017-18 compared to 2016-17.
  • There appears to be no geographical trend to where these incidents are taking place, with reports coming from as far as Broome, Halls Creek, Kalgoorlie and Esperance, as well as some of Perth’s most well-to-do suburbs.


The data, released by RSPCA WA today, covers reports of incidents of animal cruelty in the current Financial Year, compared to the 2016-17 Financial Year. 

These statistics relate to the most violent, wilful and intentional acts of cruelty, and form just a small part of the 40-50 cruelty calls received each day. 12 Inspectors, based in Kalgoorlie, Albany, the South West, Perth metropolitan area and Geraldton, are responsible for investigating over 6000 cases annually.

Over two-thirds of these violent attacks involved dogs and puppies, but cats and kittens, and native wildlife have also been targeted in noticeable numbers. In semi-rural and regional areas, livestock have also fallen victim to cruelty, and in coastal areas, there have been some disturbing reports of violent acts on fish and other sea creatures.


RSPCA has received 100 complaints this year about suspected baiting or poisoning throughout the state. Many of the reports suggested barking dogs and wandering cats may have led to frustrated neighbours taking matters into their own hands. Earlier this month, a northern suburbs woman was found guilty of animal cruelty by laying baits.

With violent acts of cruelty on the rise, RSPCA WA is warning the community to be alert, as they do not have enough Inspectors to be able to protect all animals at risk in WA.

The interactive map below shows the suburbs where these cruelty reports have been made. (Markers depict the suburb, not physical location of report). Click the icon in the top-left corner to adjust.


Comments attributed to RSPCA WA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift:

“We are very concerned about the escalation in violent acts of cruelty to animals in our community. It has to stop. And what really worries us is the spread of violence to areas like the far north of WA, where we don’t have a presence yet.

“There are too many reports of people physically abusing their pets, intentionally mistreating animals in their care, or targeting native wildlife. Cruelty to animals is a serious crime, and we will do everything we can to hold people to account for this appalling behaviour."

Comments attributed to RSPCA WA CEO David van Ooran:

“These reports show that the community finds cruelty to animals totally unacceptable. Part of the reason we have more reports is that people are taking action when they see something wrong – hearing neighbours beating their pets; seeing youths tormenting animals; sharing social media posts when people do stupid, cruel things like run down wildlife with their cars.

“There are only 12 Inspectors in WA – which is why we rely on the public to be our eyes and ears on the ground, and report cruelty when they see it. It’s thanks to them that so many animals are rescued from abusive situations and given a second chance.

“Sadly, we know that, particularly in regional areas, what is actually being reported is just the tip of the iceberg. That’s why we’re asking every West Australian to chip in $20 so we can increase and keep Inspectors on the road throughout WA. And it’s vital that you keep reporting cruelty when you see it – so we know where the next Inspector is most needed. 

“Without your help, so many more animals would be suffering. If you see something that doesn’t look right, take action – report it to the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline on 1300 278 3589 immediately.”


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