9 March 2022

Collie was home to more animal cruelty prosecutions than any other regional town last year.

New analysis of RSPCA WA’s case files has revealed the small town accounted for 33 per cent of regional prosecutions finalised in the past 12 months.

And while the case details are disturbing, the RSPCA said figures also indicated a proactive approach by local authorities and community members, who were vigilant in reporting suspected abuse.

Two of the six animals at the centre of Collie’s worst cruelty cases finalised in the past year died after suffering terrible neglect.

Dog Charlie was found buried in a backyard–malnourished and severely emaciated. Meanwhile, horse Sunny was suffering immensely from lack of food and water and had to be humanely euthanised.

Thankfully, the other animals, a puppy named Lily, and horses Robin, George and Xanadu, were able to be rehabilitated.

Lily was left to starve

Horses emerged as a key area of concern for Collie. The town was home to four of the five horse cruelty prosecutions RSPCA finalised across WA last year.  

Collie also accounted for 12 per cent of reports about horses in the South West last year, despite having less than 5 per cent of the region’s population.  

Animal cruelty offenders in Collie were disproportionally young compared to the rest of WA – the oldest offender was 30 and the youngest a shocking 22 years old.

RSPCA WA South West Inspector Genna Haines said most people in Collie loved their pets, and were quick to make a report if they saw something that wasn’t right.

‘It’s true that some of the State’s most disturbing cases prosecuted in the past year came out of Collie,’ she said.

‘But the fact these cases were reported in the first place demonstrates that locals won’t just sit idly by while animals are being neglected.  Collie rangers and local police are fantastic to work with and really responsive in following up complaints.

‘Our message to pet and livestock owners would be to please reach out to friends, community members or the RSPCA for help sooner rather than later if you’re struggling to care for your animals.

‘If you simply ignore your animal’s suffering, you will be held to account.’   

The RSPCA relies on the community to report incidents of suspected cruelty and neglect. Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or at rspcawa.org.au