27 July 2022

RSPCA WA has revealed which local government areas generated the most animal cruelty reports last financial year.

Analysis of the 2021-22 data has also revealed the type of offences most reported through the charity’s 24-hour Cruelty Hotline.

RSPCA WA received 6444 animal cruelty reports last financial year, an average of more than 17 a day.

Rankings by number of reports - Metropolitan area1

Number of
Local Government Area % Change 2020-21 Ranking
1 648 City of Swan +8% 1
2 413 City of Wanneroo -15% 2
3 394 City of Stirling -14% 3
4 354 City of Gosnells - 5
5 342 City of Rockingham -20% 4
6 313 City of Armadale -5% 6
7 241 City of Cockburn -6% 7
8 203 City of Mandurah -16% 8
9 189 City of Joondalup -16% 9
10 164 City of Bayswater +11% 12

1. Note: Metropolitan data includes Perth and Peel regions.

Rankings by number of reports - Regional WA2

Number of
Local Government Area % Change 2020-21 Ranking
1 231 City of Kalgoorlie Boulder +12% 2
2 192 City of Greater Geraldton -15% 1
3 152 City of Bunbury +20% 4
4 146 City of Albany -11% 3
5 66 Shire of Northam +25% 8
6 65 Shire of Harvey +14% 6
7 61 Shire of Busselton +13% 7
8 44 Shire of Capel -8% 10
9 37 Shire of Augusta-Margaret River +12% 13
10 36 Shire of Collie -14% 12

2. Note: LGAs in the Wheatbelt have previously been classified as metropolitan because metropolitan-based inspectors respond to reports in these areas. They are now included in the regional table to better reflect their geographical position. The City of Geraldton-Greenough and Shire of Mullewa are now reported as a single figure under City of Greater Geraldton.


Top offences reported3

Offences category 2021-22
Ill-treatment of an animal4 3080
Sick and injured animals not receiving veterinary treatment 1355
Animals with insufficient food or water 1236
Unnecessary harm 903
Abandoned animals
Insufficient shelter 657
Animals left in hots cars 530
Malicious beating or wounding 329

3. Note: Many of the reports received by RSPCA WA in 2021-22 included allegations of multiple offences involving multiple animals.
4. Note: This is a broad offence which captures all manner of cruel behaviour, neglect and abuse. It may be selected in place of, or in addition to, the other offences listed in the table.

Overall, cruelty reports were down from 6637 in 2020-21 to 6444 in 2021-22.

RSPCA CEO Ben Cave said that while cruelty reports had slowed, more than double the number of animal cruelty offenders had been sentenced in 2021-22, compared to the year prior.

RSPCA WA prosecuted 36 offenders last financial year, compared to 14 in 2020-21.

‘This may indicate there is more serious offending occurring across the State, such as deliberate violence and extreme neglect,’ he said.

‘Reports about owners failing to seek vet care for sick or injured pets spiked by 20 per cent last financial year.

‘Reports about animals allegedly being beaten or intentionally wounded were up 15 per cent compared to 2020-21.

‘Among those reports was one of the most shocking cases RSPCA WA has seen in recent times, which resulted in an immediate jail term.

The 28-year-old offender had viciously beaten a cat to death with a metal pole, and the whole sickening ordeal was filmed by his co-worker.

‘Looking at these numbers, it can be easy to feel disheartened, but it’s important to remember that every offence reported is a person speaking up and being a voice for animals’.

Animals most commonly reported

Welfare concerns for dogs, cats and horses continued to make up the majority of reported cruelty offences in 2021-22.

  • 7022 reported offences involved dogs and puppies
  • 1848 reported offences involved cats and kittens
  • 621 reported offences involved horses

Note: Some of these offences involved multiple animals

‘In these hotspots where the number of reports shows us cruelty is prevalent, RSPCA WA works hard to improve standards of animal welfare, but we’re still getting a consistently high number of calls,’ Mr Cave said.

‘Our animals rely on us for everything, so it’s worrying to see so many pets and livestock continue to be deprived of food, water, shelter and vet care.

‘With the rising cost of living hitting WA families hard at the moment, we’re worried neglect of those basic needs is only going to increase.

‘RSPCA WA has ramped up on-ground support and education for pet owners, through events like our free Community Action Days, but it’s so important pet owners ask for help if they’re struggling.

‘Ignoring your animal’s suffering is never OK. If you’re no longer able to care for your animals to the standard they deserve you must reach out.’

About this data

  • Many of the 6444 reports received by RSPCA WA in 2021-22 included allegations of multiple offences involving multiple animals.
  • Not every report contains a substantiated offence. Some reports involve concerns that do not meet the threshold for an offence in WA, and others were not substantiated through investigation.
  • Not every offence results in a charge or a prosecution. Many offences are resolved quickly by the owner or person in charge of an animal after they have been contacted by an RSPCA WA inspector.