Southern suburbs a problem area for animal cruelty, but Cockburn and Fremantle not among worst regions

Charlotte Armstrong, of Spearwood, with Fern.
Charlotte Armstrong, of Spearwood, with Fern.

PERTH’S southern suburbs have again featured heavily in an unwanted top 10 list highlighting animal cruelty, but the cities of Cockburn and Fremantle have remained clear of the metropolitan area’s worst regions.

Figures released last week by RSPCA WA showed the number of reports made to its cruelty hotline in 2017 was tracking in line with the amount made last year.

After topping the list in 2016 with 118 reports, Baldivis again led the way with a further 40 cruelty reports made between January 1 and April 30 this year.

Armadale (39 reports) and Ellenbrook (27) rounded out the top three, with Warnbro in 10th position with 16 reports.

Of the local suburbs, Hamilton Hill was closest to featuring in the list with 14 animal cruelty reports made to the RSPCA this year.

RSPCA WA chief inspector Amanda Swift acknowledged Perth’s south was a problem area for animal welfare issues.

“There are some suburbs in the southern part of Perth where animal cruelty is prevalent and while we’ve been working to improve standards of animal welfare in these areas, we’re still seeing a high level of cruelty taking place, which is very concerning,” she said.

With just 11 inspectors in WA having investigated 6300 cruelty reports last year, Ms Swift said the RSPCA was desperate to stock up on staff.

“A greater RSPCA presence across the State will mean more cases reported, and more cases responded to,” she said.

Animal cruelty was in the headlines recently after a four-year-old Labrador was allegedly stabbed to death in Mirrabooka.

The incident prompted Spearwood resident Charlotte Armstrong, herself a Labrador owner, to set up a petition calling for the State Government to review the Animal Welfare Act and enforce harsher penalties.

With more than 18,000 supporters so far, it appears to have struck a chord with many in the community.

“I wanted to get the word out and see who it resonated with,” she said.

“It seems there are a lot of people who want to get the WA government to stop and listen.

“The death of Luna has highlighted this issue but it’s for all animals.”

Ms Armstrong said she would look to rally local members of parliament to ensure change is considered.

Perth animal cruelty hotspots – 2017 year to date

Baldivis – 40, Armadale – 39, Ellenbrook – 27, Gosnells – 26, Rockingham – 25, Byford – 24, Maddington – 22, Mandurah – 18, Midland – 17, Warnbro – 16.
Fremantle animal cruelty reports for the 2017 year to date: Beaconsfield – 3, Fremantle – 6, Hilton – 5, North Fremantle – 2, O’Connor – 2, Samson – 1, South Fremantle – 2, White Gum Valley – 2.
Cockburn animal cruelty reports for the 2017 year to date: Atwell – 3, Aubin Grove – 1, Banjup – 4, Beeliar – 6, Bibra Lake – 3, Coogee – 1, Coolbellup – 5, Hamilton Hill – 14, Jandakot – 3, Leeming – 1, Munster – 2, North Coogee – 2, South Lake – 5, Spearwood – 6, Success – 6, Yangebup – 2.
No stats for Cockburn Central, Hammond Park, Henderson, North Lake, Treeby or Wattleup.

City of Cockburn’s ranger and community services manager, Bruce Mentz

“The City does receive a number of reports where dog owners are walking their dog not on a lead, which can lead to dog attacks,” he said.

“All dog owners need to ensure that when they are taking their dogs for a walk, they must at all times be tethered unless they are in an approved dog exercise area, where they still need to have proper control of their dogs at all times.

“Responsible dog or cat ownership starts by having these animals registered and microchipped and for cats to be de-sexed.

“Responsible ownership also includes taking care of the general welfare needs of the animal at all times, with proper shelter, feed and water, and regular exercise.”

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