For the first time in its 130-year history, RSPCA WA is appointing a Broome-based inspector. The position is now advertised in what RSPCA WA CEO, Ben Cave, said was great news for animal welfare right across the Kimberley.

'Kimberley locals have been crying out for an inspector for many years and I’m pleased that, thanks to a boost in government funding and the incredible support of our donors, we can now make it happen,' Ben said.

'The Inspector will be based in Broome and will liaise with local rangers, communities, rescue groups and WA Police to protect animals from cruelty, rescue animals from dangerous situations and work with owners and the community to teach people ways to better care for their animals.

'For reasons the RSPCA doesn’t yet fully understand, the incidence of severe animal neglect and cruelty appears higher in the Shire of Broome that almost anywhere else in WA. Broome Shire Council has four rangers who spend around 60% of their time dealing with animal related issues, mostly cruelty and neglect.

Bobbis ears were treated by a local vet in Broome'Take Bobbi, a dog who was neglected and covered in thousands of ticks (pictured). She was the subject of a recent Broome prosecution for animal cruelty and a success story in that she’s made a full recovery. These are the types of things we can achieve,' Ben said.

'Regional WA has traditionally drawn the short straw when it comes to animal welfare, despite the number and range of animals, and a level of cruelty and neglect that is hard to measure because it’s out of sight.

'Currently we have 11 inspectors trying to cover the whole of Perth, Bunbury, Geraldton, Albany and Kalgoorlie. Thanks to a funding boost by the State Government, plus the amazing commitment of our supporters and donors, we will be able to expand this to 13 Inspectors with improved metro coverage and the expansion into Broome.

'Although we do our best to respond to complaints State-wide, there are vast areas of the Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley – alleged hotspots for cruelty cases – that we struggle to service because of distance and limited resources. So, you can see what a massive difference appointing an inspector in Broome will make.'

Once people know there is an RSPCA presence in the community they start lifting the lid on abuse and reporting more of it.

Kalgoorlie is a good example of the benefits of employing local inspectors. Reports in the Goldfields grew from 23 to almost 130 in just one year when an inspector was appointed in 2012. That number had jumped to 500 by 2019.

The Kimberley-based inspector is expected to be in place for at the beginning of next year, following initial training. All cruelty reports in WA can be made by calling 1300 278 358 or online here.