16 January 2023

A bee with a chip on its shoulder, a lifelike cat ornament, and an ‘alarming’ case of dog abandonment were among the strangest call-outs received by RSPCA WA in 2022.

The charity fielded nearly 23,000 calls from concerned members of the public last year, but things were not always as they seemed.

‘RSPCA WA’s call centre is open 24 hours a day, and our inspectors are on the road 365 days a year investigating reports of cruelty and neglect,’ RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said.

‘We take every report seriously, however every now and then we’ll get a call-out that provides some much-needed comic relief or turns out to be a case of mistaken identity.

‘This list of our favourite calls is a light-hearted way to celebrate the tough, tireless and sometimes surprising work RSPCA WA’s inspectors undertake. In this job, no two days are the same and you learn to expect the unexpected.’

The RSPCA’s strangest call-outs for 2022:

  1. A call about an abandoned dog in distress. An inspector attended and met a confused homeowner with two cats, who soon realised her security alarm was set to play the sound of a barking dog.
  2. A report that a cat had been callously impaled on a metal fence. Much to the inspector’s relief, it turned out to be a garden ornament (pictured below, left).
  3. A call about cruelty to a bee pictured on a government website. While the bee did have a chip on its shoulder, it was a harmless sensor used to track the species’ movement for research.
  4. A driver who spotted a deceased dog strung up in a tree. Closer inspection revealed it was a case of mistaken identity. The cuddly toy was still brought into care to avoid further distress.
  5. A report about a pigeon tangled in fishing line atop a rooftop TV antenna. The little bird triggered a seriously big rescue effort involving our inspector and a flock of firies with their truck in tow (pictured below, right).


Ms Green thanked each and every person who picked up the phone this year out of concern for an animal.

‘We would always prefer to get a report and find out it’s nothing than miss an opportunity to help an abused, abandoned or neglected animal,’ she said.

‘I am so grateful to the community for being our eyes and ears on the ground, and for contacting RSPCA WA when they see something that’s not right. Please keep it up.’

In 2022, RSPCA WA has investigated 6520 cases and inspectors travelled more than 335,000kms.