COVID-19, RSPCA WA operations and caring for your pets

COVID-19, RSPCA WA operations and caring for your pets

While the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 is having an impact on many aspects of our lives, sadly, animal cruelty has not stopped. 

The health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and the people with whom we interact is our main concern at this time. We are closely monitoring the situation to minimise the risk to our people and the impact on animals.

We will still need your support to help fight cruelty: We still need to keep inspectors on the roads; we still need to provide medical treatment and care for animals suffering cruelty and neglect; and we still need to provide care and shelter for animals in need.

We have prepared the following information to help you understand how RSPCA WA will remain operational to continue to provide animal protection services to the community, and continue to treat the animals in our care.

As things change, we may need to adjust our operations. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.

Follow these links to the information you are looking for:



The RSPCA WA Cruelty Hotline remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to take your calls about legitimate, urgent animal cruelty and animal welfare concerns in your community. Call 1300 278 358 to make a report, or you can make a report online

RSPCA Inspectors will follow-up on cases based on priority as long as it remains safe to do so. 

Inspectors are already equipped with specialist tools to enable them to carry out their important work, and biosecurity management forms part of their training. They will be relying on this training to keep you, your animals and themselves safe.

Please do not be offended if Inspectors do not shake your hand when introducing themselves. This is one of the common sense measures they are taking to protect your health and theirs.

If you have concerns about lost or stray animals, or nuisance cats and dogs, please contact your local government rangers. These matters do not fall under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 and as such, RSPCA WA is unable to respond to these types of calls.



Protecting the health and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our top priority during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

If you'd like to adopt an animal from RSPCA WA, you will need to make an appointment to visit the shelter. To avoid disapppointment, please do not visit the Shelter without making an appointment.

You can search all the animals available for adoption online at

Once you’ve found a pet you think may be right for you, make an appointment and provide your details. Appointments are available to meet dogs, cats and other animals on-site at RSPCA Animal Care Centre in Malaga.

45-minute appointments are scheduled throughout the day between 10am-5pm on weekdays and 10am-4pm on weekends. You can still make an adoption appointment if you don't have a specific animal in mind. 


Our adoptions policy and procedures remain unchanged. This means that if you are interested in adopting an animal, your current pets and your family may be required to attend a meet and greet. If anyone in your family is self-isolating, or is showing symptoms, or has been tested positive for Coronavirus COVID-19, please do not come to the Animal Care Centre. You will need to delay your adoption until you all have the all clear.

If you are thinking about surrendering your pet, please call the Shelter on 08 9209 9323. There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted between humans and animals – there is no need to surrender your pets for fear of contracting the disease from them. 

RSPCA WA will continue to operate as the pound for City of Joondalup. If you have lost your dog or cat in these areas, please call 08 9209 9323.

If you wish to purchase pet food or supplies from the RSPCA WA Shelter Shop, please call ahead to arrange a suitable time.

Please do not come to the Shelter if:

  • you have returned from overseas in the last 14 days

  • you have had contact with anyone who has returned from overseas in the last 14 days

  • you are feeling unwell

  • you or someone in your family are self-isolating 

If you are self-isolating and are concerned about taking care of your pet, please refer to the Section below with further information.



RSPCA WA will be following advice from the Australian Government in relation to mass-gatherings of 500 people or more. As a result, some events may be cancelled or postponed. 

While COVID-19 is having an impact on many aspects of our lives, sadly, animal cruelty has not stopped. We will still need your support to help fight cruelty: We still need to keep inspectors on the roads; we still need to provide medical treatment and care for animals suffering cruelty and neglect; and we still need to provide food and shelter for animals in need.

Million Paws Walk – Sunday, 17 May 2020

Based on recommendations from the Australian federal government, RSPCA will no longer hold their pubilc event on Sunday, 17 May. 

While we understand this is a great disappointment for dogs and dog owners around the country, the safety and wellbeing of our supporters, volunteers, staff and animals has always been a top priority for the RSPCA. 

We are offering refunds to anyone who purchased tickets to the Million Paws Walk. If you would like to donate the cost of your ticket to RSPCA WA instead, it would be very, very much appreciated. 

If you have already registered to attend the event, you will be sent an email outlining any changes and the options available to you.

If you have ordered merchandise as part of your registration, you should receive this shortly.

But don’t put away your activewear just yet!

We’re excited to present ‘Million Paws Walk: Walk This May’ – your fun excuse to (responsibly) walk your dog and still raise money for animals in need. Think of it as your virtual Million Paws Walk! 

While social distancing is a national priority, our dogs still need enrichment and exercise. And, funnily enough, the CDC-recommended distance to keep between you and another person is 1.8 metres… Which is also the average length of a standard dog lead!

As part of Million Paws Walk: Walk This May, we’re asking supporters to take their dogs for a walk in their backyard or neighbourhood and log their steps on the pawdometer on their fundraising page. You can share your step-count with friends and family and encourage them to get involved too!

The next few months are going to be difficult for everyone but with your help, we’re going to do everything we can to keep our inspectors on the road and our animals safe and healthy. 

Let’s Walk This May and get one million paws to hit that pavement.   

If you have any questions about your registration or attendance at the Million Paws Walk 2020, please email

Community Action Day – Wednesday, 8 April 2020

RSPCA Community Action Days have been cancelled until further notice. If you are experiencing financial hardship and finding it difficult to care for your pets, please contact the RSPCA on 1300 278 358.


Dog Training

Due to government restrictions around public gathering, RSPCA Dog Training and Puppy Kindy classes will be temporarily suspended until further notice. 

If you have already booked a class or are part way through a class, a representative from RSPCA Dog Training will be in touch with you shortly.

If you'd like to arrange a one-on-one dog training session, please email

Sign up here to be kept informed about when classes start up again. We'll drop you a line when classes come back on line, and keep you posted with interesting dog behaviuour-related information, tips and hints.

If you have booked an RSPCA Puppy Kindy or Dog Training class and have not yet been contacted, please email

Visit the Dog Training website.


Retail Stores

As part of measures to contain novel coronavirus disease COVID-19, we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily close our retail stores network, including RSPCA’s Reloved Stores in North Perth, Subiaco and Fremantle, and RSPCA Op Shops in Mirrabooka and Bibra Lake. Saturday, 28 March, 2020 will be our last day of trading for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your support of the RSPCA retail stores over the many years – this has been a fun and enjoyable way to help animals in need in Western Australia. We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the many volunteers and our tireless staff for their dedication and hard work.



RSPCA WA continues to work with government, industry and other stakeholders to promote better welfare outcomes for all animals in Western Australia. While we will be taking common sense measures when attending meetings, we will not rest in providing a voice for the animals of this state. 

RSPCA WA will continue to work on the Animal Welfare Act Review, and we will be working hard to ensure that changes in legislation and regulations are put in place to protect livestock, to stop puppy farming, and to hold the Federal Government to account for winding back measures to protect sheep from harm during live export to the northern hemisphere during the hottest months.

We will continue to share our progress with donors and supporters via our monthly e-newsletter and quarterly Great & Small newsletter.

If you’d like to be kept up to date, please sign up for the monthly e-newsletter.


Donations of products

RSPCA is still accepting donations CLEAN sheets, blankets and towels which can be used to care for animals in the Shelter. We are very grateful for your generously donated items.

RSPCA Op Shops and Reloved stores are closed until further notice. We are no longer accepting donations of clothes, household items and other goods for sale in our retail stores. Please consider donating these items to other worthy charities so they may help in some other way.

Please understand that it costs us money to dispose of unsanitary, dirty, infected and unsuitable items that are left in our donations area. For this reason, we respectfully ask that you do not bring pillows, duvets, comforters, and any soiled or dirty items. It is your responsibility to dispose of these items properly.

Please do not donate items from your household if:

  • you have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • you have had contact with anyone who has returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • you are feeling unwell
  • you or someone in your family are self-isolating. 

Donations can be left in the donation area on site at the RSPCA Animal Care Centre at 108 Malaga Dr, Malaga, during business hours: Weekdays 8:30am-5pm; Weekends 10am-4pm. We are closed on public holidays.


COVID-19 and your pets

There is no risk of contracting the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 from companion animals. There is also no evidence that any other animals (e.g. livestock or wildlife) are involved in the spread of this virus in Australia.

You should continue to care for your pets as per normal – provide nutritious food and fresh clean water daily, take your dog for a daily (at least) walk, and continue to provide enrichment for all your pets. If you notice a change in your pet’s behaviour or health, contact your vet to arrange a check-up. 

Talk to your vet directly if you have concerns about being out in public – they might be able to arrange a home visit, or schedule an appointment for you at a suitable time when there are fewer people in the clinic.

As a safeguard, we’d recommend keeping one month’s supply of medication and food for your pet, in case you need to self-isolate. However, please don’t hoard vast quantities of pet supplies, as this creates a shortage for others.


  • Wash your hands regularly and especially before and after touching animals, and before eating and drinking (if unable to wash, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer)
  • Try to refrain from touching your face
  • Avoid close contact with other people – don’t shake hands or kiss when greeting
  • Always sneeze or cough into a tissue and then discard the tissue into a bin
  • If you or your companion animal show symptoms, quarantine in your house and seek advice from your doctor and veterinarian by telephone.

Some myths that need to be busted

  • Weather doesn’t appear to be a factor in the spread of COVID-19
  • Goods transported from China or any country reporting cases of COVID-19 will not be contaminated with the virus
  • Mosquitos or other insects do not carry the disease
  • There is currently no vaccine that will help protect you from COVID-19
  • Currently there is no medication or herbal remedy that will help protect you from contracting the virus

We are very concerned about the indirect impacts of this pandemic – for example, people losing work or income and struggling to afford pet food and vet care bills.

We’d like to remind pet owners that it’s OK to ask for help. If you’re struggling to care for your pets, please talk to your friends and family, or contact a local shelter, rescue group, or the RSPCA.

We are appealing to the State and Federal Governments to make sure that RSPCA WA is identified as an essential service, to ensure we can continue to care for animals and support pet owners in this difficult time.

How to care for your pets if you’re self-isolating

If you are self-isolating for any reason, you can still take care of your pets. They are likely to be welcome company while you are restricted to your home. 

Some ideas for mental stimulation for your pets:

  • Use Kongs when feeding your dog
  • Hide treats in your house and yard
  • Make frozen treats for them
  • Keep plenty of different toys that you can rotate
  • Play games with them such as fetch
  • Do some basic training with them. (What better opportunity to make sure they know all the basics, like sit, stay, lie down and come?) 

If you are in self-isolation and your dog needs a walk, you could arrange for a dog walking service. And if your pet requires veterinary attention, contact your vet to discuss the options.


Please ensure that you plan ahead so that your horses can be well looked after should you have to self-isolate or are admitted to hospital.

  • Have at least one (1) month’s supply of food (and medication if necessary) available on site
  • Let you neighbours and next of kin know about care arrangements for your horses
  • If your horses are kept at a separate property to where you live, make sure the property owner where the horses are kept, those neighbours and the local council rangers are aware of any arrangements you have put in place and know how to get hold of you.
  • Put a sign on the property where your horses are kept with your name and phone details, in case someone needs to get in touch with you
  • Ask friends or family to assist with checking on your horses at least once a day to ensure they have access to fresh water and plenty of nutritious food
  • Make sure that any equipment usually left on your horses (blankets, halters, fly screens, etc.) is in good working order and cannot cause harm or injury to your horse if they become loose or get snagged on fences, etc.

If you are struggling to care for your pets, please ask for help. Contact fellow horse owners, or approach horse shelters, rescue groups or the RSPCA for assistance. (It is important to note that RSPCA WA Inspectors are currently attending calls based on priority – emergencies and major incidents where an animal’s life is in imminent danger take priority. Inspectors will not be able to attend a property just to check on an animal’s status right away).

As always, it’s also a good idea to be prepared – have a full tank of fuel, and don’t make any unnecessary stops if you’re going out to check on your horses. Maintain social distancing rules at all times, and wash your hands thoroughly when you return home.

General Information and Recommended Links

It is important to know the facts. A lot of information that is being distributed on social media is unreliable, simply not correct, or might not relate to the situation in your community. If you find yourself overwhelmed with conflicting information from different sources, take a break from social media for a while and rely on information from trusted sources – reliable news services, and the Federal and State Government Health Authorities.

You can also find more reliable information here:


How you can help

RSPCA WA relies on generous donations and community support for over 90% of what it costs to carry out our animal protection work.

While COVID-19 is having an impact on many aspects of our lives, sadly, animal cruelty has not stopped. We will still need your support to help fight cruelty: We still need to keep inspectors on the roads; we still need to provide medical treatment and care for animals suffering cruelty and neglect; and we still need to provide shelter for animals in need.

You can help by donating to our latest appeal or setting up an automatic monthly donation . You can also call 08 9209 9311 to speak to our donor care team who can assist you make a donation over the phone.

Thank you for your support.



  • Helen:

    22 Mar 2020 11:11:55

    I am self isolating and I heard you are looking for people to foster for a few weeks or more?
    I could look after a small dog or chooks.


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