23 August 2023

A first for RSPCA WA inspectors earlier this month when they took a cat to the funeral of a generous, lifelong supporter.

Coogee woman Kerry passed away recently aged 73. She had a great affinity for animals and was invested in improving their welfare.

RSPCA WA CEO Ben Cave said Kerry’s 8-year-old cat Hannibal was such a huge part of her life that the organisation’s inspector manager took him to Kerry’s funeral.

‘He was an integral part of her final goodbye, just as he was in her everyday life,’ he said.

Kerry and Hannibal were part of RSPCA WA’s Home Ever After program.

‘That means Hanny, as he’s known, is now in our care as we work to match him with the perfect new family.’

‘Home Ever After gives people peace of mind that their pets will be found permanent, loving homes after they pass away.’

‘If you leave a gift in your Will to RSPCA WA, no matter what size, you can join the program. We document all the details we can about your pet – likes, dislikes, medical history and so on – so we can ensure their adoption is as stress-free and successful as possible in the event of your death.’

RSPCA WA was humbled to learn Kerry had left her entire estate, including her home, to the animal welfare organisation.

‘I am continually blown away by the kindness of people who choose to let their love of animals live on through a gift in their Will - that level of commitment to the well-being of animals is really very special.’

‘Each year we see gifts of various sizes, big and small, and I am so grateful for each and every one because they all make a tremendous difference.’

More than one third of RSPCA WA’s funding comes from gifts left in Wills.

‘Frankly, we couldn’t operate without them,’ Ben said.

‘It costs us around $12 million a year to operate.

‘Many people think that because we enforce the Animal Welfare Act on behalf of the State Government, they fully fund us.

‘The reality is State Government funding, doesn’t even cover the cost of keeping our inspectors on the road, let alone the costs we incur in rehabilitating and rehoming the animals they rescue, delivering education programs, helping the pets of owners who are suffering financial hardship, and much more.

‘Generous souls like Kerry, who leave us a gift in their will, help us pay for all the vet care, site costs, staff costs, behaviour training and everything else associated with keeping the lights on and ensuring the animals of Western Australia have the best chance at a happy, healthy life.’

To find out more about Home Ever After, go to rspcainyourwill.org.au.