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Albany ranks fourth worst regional local government for animal cruelty in new RSPCA WA data

Headshot of Kasey Gratton
Kasey GrattonAlbany Advertiser
The number of animal cruelty reports in the City of Albany has dropped.
Camera IconThe number of animal cruelty reports in the City of Albany has dropped. Credit: RSPCA WA/RegionalHUB

Albany has seen a drop in reported cases of animal cruelty over the past year but is still ranked as the fourth-worst regional local government for animal cruelty reports.

RSPCA WA on Wednesday released its annual animal cruelty hotspot data which detailed the number of animal cruelty reports in local governments across the State during the 2021-22 financial year.

The data showed 6444 animal cruelty reports were received across the State last year, of which 146 were in Albany.

This was an 11 per cent decrease from last year for the region and dropped the city from third-worst last year to fourth.

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Overall data showed cruelty reports had fallen in comparison to the previous financial year, dropping from 6637 to 6444.

Animal cruelty offences reported across WA included sick and injured animals not receiving veterinary treatment, animals with insufficient food or water, abandoned animals and animals left in hot cars.

The regional local government area with the highest number of animal cruelty reports was Kalgoorlie-Boulder at 231, followed by Geraldton with 192 and Bunbury with 152.

The most common animals involved in reported offences were dogs and puppies, followed by cats and kittens and horses.

Albany RSPCA WA Community Action Day in April 2022.
Camera IconAlbany RSPCA WA Community Action Day in April 2022. Credit: Sarah Makse/Albany Advertiser

RSPCA chief executive Ben Cave said though there were fewer cruelty reports, the 36 sentences handed down to animal cruelty offenders in the past financial year was more than double last year’s 14.

“Reports about owners failing to seek vet care for sick or injured pets spiked by 20 per cent last financial year,” Mr Cave said.

“Reports about animals allegedly being beaten or intentionally wounded were up 15 per cent compared to 2020-21.

“Among those reports was one of the most shocking cases RSPCA WA has seen in recent times, which resulted in an immediate jail term.

“Looking at these numbers, it can be easy to feel disheartened but it’s important to remember that every offence reported is a person speaking up and being a voice for animals.”

Mr Cave said there were concerns animal neglect could increase with the cost of living rising. In response, RSPCA WA was increasing on-ground support and education for pet owners, including free community action days.

“Ignoring your animal’s suffering is never OK,” he said.

“If you’re no longer able to care for your animals to the standard they deserve, you must reach out.”

Animal cruelty can be reported to RSPCA WA on 1300 CRUELTY (278 3589)

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