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Animal welfare is their task

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In the home mail box was a white envelope with just one neatly-written line. It said: ‘Just a quick note in case you’ve got forgotten!’

Inside the envelope was a printed note along with a pre-paid envelope. On top of the address was a ‘Thank You!’

The note was from RSPCA – the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – asking for a donation of $20 “to increase and keep the number of inspectors we have on the road”. According to the note, the RSPCA Western Australia has only 12 inspectors responding to 40-50 reports of animal cruelty each day. 

“Please don’t wait, send your $20 now to rescue more animals,” RSPCA WA Chief Inspector appealed. 

The only local animal welfare charity in WA, RSPCA works with inspectors working in the field, following up on reports of animal cruelty, rescuing animals and educating

people on how to look after animals properly.

The Inspectors have authority under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 to protect all animals from cruelty and to prosecute people who are cruel to animals whether they are companion animals, farm animals or wild animals. 

The Society is one of eight Member Societies of RSPCA Australia. It was established in August 1892 by a reading circle of female friends, with a fee of one shilling, on the initiative of a teacher from a Perth school. 

A not-for-profit, independent charity dedicated to animal welfare, its mission is “To prevent cruelty to animals in Western Australia by actively promoting their care and protection.”

The Society has laid down ‘Five Freedoms for Animals’. They are:

Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by providing access to fresh water and a balanced diet to maintain full health

Freedom from Discomfort – by providing a safe environment, shelter and a comfortable resting place 

Freedom of Pain, Injury and Disease – through prevention, rapid diagnosis and treatment

Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind

Freedom from Fear and Distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering

Though Australia has a reputation as an animal-friendly nation, there are instances of cruelty to animals. RSPCA WA receives and investigates complaints of animal cruelty and takes a lead role in animal welfare in Western Australia. When a cruelty complaint is made the Society assures it will swiftly follow it up.

RSPCA WA inspectors have the power to seize and care for any animal they believe is suffering. And in cases of extreme cruelty or neglect, the person or persons responsible may be prosecuted. 

RSPCA raises community awareness, changes community attitudes, provides resources to schools and conducts animal welfare classes.

Among its core activities is animal sheltering, which involves the care, treatment and accommodation of unwanted and abused animals; then re-homing.

The Society maintains liaison with the Government and industry which includes advocating legislation, policies and practices that benefit animal welfare. 

RSPCA says it receives minimal Government funding and relies on community fundraising.

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