About RSPCA Western Australia

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RSPCA WA is a non-government, community-based charity dedicated to protecting the welfare of all animals – great and small.

Contact Us

RSPCA WA (Inc.)
PO Box 3147
Malaga WA 6945

Street Address:

PawsCentral
108 Malaga Drive (cnr Reid Hwy)
Malaga WA 6090

Cruelty Complaints

Adopt a Pet

PawsCentral

Education

Dog Training

Vet Advice

The Society is not in a position to provide veterinary advice for privately owned pets. For all queries relating to your pet’s health, please seek the advice of your local vet.

For a list of Auxiliaries and Society Stores, please visit the Contact Page on the RSPCA WA website

General Enquiries

If you have a non-urgent enquiry, please contact us using one of the following methods:

  • E-mail: rspca@rspcawa.asn.au
  • Telephone: (08) 9209 9300
  • Fax: (08) 9248 3144
  • Post: RSPCA WA (Inc.), PO Box 3147, Malaga, WA 6945

About the RSPCA in WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Photo of the entrance to RSPCA WA

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals WA (Inc.) was formed in Western Australia in 1892 and has the responsibility for administering the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

Objectives

  • To promote kindness to animals
  • To prevent or suppress cruelty to animals.
  • To do all lawful acts as the Society may consider conducive or
  • incidental to the attainment of these objectives.

Activities

Without limiting the activities to which the Society may apply its resources, activities may include the application of resources;

  • To ensure the enforcement of laws protecting animals from cruelty and promoting animal welfare.
  • To procure the passage of such amending or new legislation as is necessary for the protection of animals
  • To take whatsoever steps are necessary to educate the community with regard to the humane treatment of animals.
  • To disperse information about the care, protection and treatment of animals by publishing and circulating literature and conducting lectures, seminars and competitions.
  • To conduct, manage, operate or encourage clinics, hospital, homes or shelters for the care, treatment, maintenance and protection of animals and to provide services for the humane transport of animals.

Five Freedoms for Animals

The RSPCA believes that all animals have the right to five basic freedoms:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour
  2. Freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain injury and disease: by prevention by rapid diagnosis and treatment
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind
  5. Freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

Funding

The Society is a not for profit non-government community based charity and currently, is totally reliant on the generosity of the public for financial support.

Membership and Management

The Society is controlled by a Council elected from and by its members. The Council meets monthly to decide policy matters and financial issues and delegates responsibility for the day to day affairs to its Chief Executive.

Anyone can become a member of the RSPCA by paying an annual subscription which entitles them to receive regular RSPCA publications. Money raised through membership subscriptions goes toward helping animals in need.

Education

Photo of the Education Barn at RSPCA WA

The RSPCA Education and Training Unit provides school aged children, students and other community groups with the opportunity to learn all about a variety of topics relating to the Work of the Society, Animal Welfare and Responsible Pet Care. Visitors to the Education Centre, have the opportunity to visit the purpose built interactive Pet Barn where a range of pet animals can be observed and are also taken on a guided tour of the RSPCA’s Malaga premises. RSPCA representatives also visit schools and adult groups to talk about the work of the RSPCA in WA.

Inspectorate

Photo of RSPCA WA Inspector

The objectives of the Society are implemented by Inspectors, who are the Society’s uniformed representatives, specially trained to enforce the State Animal Welfare legislation and to deal with all matters relating to animal welfare.

Shelter

The RSPCA Animal Shelter opened in Malaga in May 2000. Experienced staff at the shelter care for more than 2000 animals each year.

Photo of RSPCA WA Inspector at the shelter with a goat

The shelter rehomes dogs and cats and also has facilities for birds, horses, cattle and livestock in need of temporary care.

The shelter provides veterinary services for RSPCA animals only as it is not a licensed veterinary clinic.

The shelter also provides Pound services for several local Councils, but is unable to accept stray animals, which legally must be dealt with by Council Rangers.

The Society in Western Australia

The RSPCA WA Inc is recognised as the authority on all animal welfare related matters. Each day our Headquarters receive in excess of 200 telephone calls, on topics ranging from complaints of alleged cruelty and neglect of animals, to people seeking pet care information or Society policy on animal welfare issues.

“We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

If you would like to help the Society in any way at all, please contact us on (08) 9209 9300 during normal office hours, and a member of staff will be only too pleased to assist you.

The History of the RSPCA WA

Sleeping in a hammock might not generally be associated with animal protection, but it was once a way of life for an RSPCA Inspector. 

For more than a century now the fight for animal protection in Western Australia continues to intensify, with the RSPCA celebrating its 110th anniversary in 2002.

Originally known as the WA SPCA – Western Australian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – the organisation emerged from a reading circle of female friends and was officially founded on 2 August 1892, with a membership fee of one shilling. This was officially announced in the press.

Photo of Edith Cowan

RSPCA WA was an initiative of Miss Best, a teacher from the St George’s School in Perth, who was joined by Mrs Ethel Burt, Mrs Edith Cowan, Mrs Madeline Onslow and Miss Wigglesworth to form its first committee, which set the wheels of Animal Welfare in motion in Western Australia. His Excellency the Governor became Patron of the RSPCA in 1893, commencing a long tradition of succeeding Governor’s providing patronage to the Society.

That year also saw the Society achieve a number of milestones, including a list of almost 100 registered members and the organisation of the inaugural “Animal Ball”, a fancy dress ball that became one of the highlights of the Perth social calendar. Education for the prevention of cruelty to animals was already of extreme importance at these early stages, and the ball was introduced primarily to raise community awareness of the Society, in addition to raising much needed funds for its activities.

With only one salaried inspector in 1894, meeting the needs of the community was often arduous and the inspector’s lifestyle tiring. Mr Titus Lander held this position at the time and continued in the role until 1911 when he became elected to Parliament. Mr Lander was elected MLA for the Labor-held seat of East Perth and later presented the first animal welfare bill in Parliament. He also established a Lethal Chamber at his house in 1907, in order to ensure stray cats and dogs were put down humanely instead of roaming and scavenging, facing further pain and misery.

A second RSPCA inspector was appointed in 1906, with Mr Lachlan Batesassigned to work the Eastern Goldfields.

Photo of Titus Lander

In 1920 that the Society received Royal patronage, with King George V conferring the honour of the prefix. Governor Sir Harry Barton was RSPCA Patron at the time.

The authority of RSPCA inspectors today is much stronger than that of their counterparts in the early days, as a result of changes to laws governing the Society. These original laws were the Police Act (55th Vict.) and the Dog Act (47th Vict.), which saw maximum penalties for animal cruelty set at 10 pounds or three months imprisonment. These laws also required RSPCA inspectors to be accompanied by police officers to enter properties or make arrests, as they did not hold those powers themselves. The first Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (WA) passed in 1912 and was updated in 1920.

The Dog Act (WA) was introduced in 1976 to amend and consolidate the law relating to the control and registration of dog ownership. In 1980, the RSPCA advised dog ear tattoos for easier identification and also suggested that maximum penalties for animal cruelty be increased through the alteration of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (WA) was instituted in 1988.

Today, the face of animal welfare remains the same and the RSPCA continues to uphold the original objectives set out by its first committee, to:

  • Prevent cruelty to animals by enforcing the existing law
  • Establish further legislation to protect animals
  • Educate the public in responsible animal care

May 1998 saw the first Million Paws Walk held at Sir James Mitchell Park in South Perth, and the event has continued to grow to become the RSPCA WA’s biggest annual fundraising event.

Photo of Million Paws Walk with a happy dog on a leash

Funds raised contributed to the construction of a dedicated animal shelter, which was established in June 1999, and has provided the RSPCA with the ability to find new homes for more than 2000 neglected, abused and abandoned animals.

In 2001, the State Government honoured its promise to introduce new animal welfare legislation and to provide a recurring grant to the Society for the next four years. This $250 000 per year provides, for the first time, an element of financial certainty towards approximately 10 per cent of our annual operating costs. Unfortunately, the State Government elected in 2008 did not continue this grant, causing us to depend solely upon the generosity of the public to provide essential services.

Stage Two of the Malaga Animal Welfare Centre was completed in 2001, which saw the construction of an extra kennel block, dog exercise yards, a modest caretaker’s cottage and the fit-out of the new reception/education centre.

The RSPCA remains dedicated to educating the community on the importance of animal welfare and therefore continues to rely on the brilliant efforts of its members and volunteers. We could not have achieved all we have done without their unceasing assistance, and it is this support that will see us advance and further sustain the objectives established by our founders 110 years ago.

What’s Next?

Learn about the key historical dates of RSPCA WA

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