The number of animal cruelty complaints in the Cardinia Shire has decreased since last year, however the “concerning” figures reveal the number of beaten, wounded and abandoned animals has risen.
A total of 284 animal cruelty reports were made to RSPCA Victoria in 2019-20, a decrease from 351 reports in 2018-19.
From Cardinia’s total number, 169 complaints were in relation to animals being left with insufficient food, water or shelter; 97 complaints about hygiene, grooming and housing conditions; 77 for sick and injured animals not receiving vet treatment, and 60 reports for underweight animals.
A further 33 calls were made to the RSPCA regarding concerns about animals being beaten or wounded, while 26 complaints were made about abandoned animals across the Shire.
Last year, the RSPCA received 20 complaints relating to concerns about animals being beaten or wounded, and were made aware of 18 instances of abandoned animals.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said other types of cruelty reports were made in the Cardinia Shire, but the nature of those incidents have not yet been made publicly available. She added that one reported incident could often include more than one concern.
Nearby, the City of Casey recorded a whopping 581 complaints, the highest of any local government area in the state.
RSPCA Victoria CEO Dr Liz Walker said she was “disappointed and concerned” about the welfare of Victorian animals.
“I am disheartened to see the overwhelming issue continues to be neglect, indicating many animals in Victoria are not receiving the most basic standard of care, such as sufficient food, water and shelter,” she said.
“It is heartbreaking to know so many animals continue to suffer across our state due to a lack of basic care and these statistics clearly illustrate the need for our Inspectorate’s important work.”
In 2019-20, RSPCA Victoria Inspectors laid 120 charges against 44 people, issued 492 compliance notices and finalised 51 prosecutions.
At the end of the financial year, 62 cases were still before the courts.
Welfare concerns for dogs, cats and horses continued to make up the majority of the 10,745 cruelty reports, with 6723 relating to dogs and puppies alone.
The RSPCA is preparing for a spike in animal welfare concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when the economic impacts become evident.
Dr Walker urged the community to report any animal cruelty and neglect concerns to the RSPCA.
“Unfortunately we know that cruelty continues and that Victoria’s animals need us to continue our work to end animal cruelty, so I encourage people to continue reporting to our Inspectorate,” she said.
“Without the caring Victorians who take animal welfare seriously and make the time to report cruelty to our Inspectorate, many animals in need would go without the care and attention they deserve.”
Cardinia Shire Council animal cruelty complaints – source: RSPCA
2019-20: 284 cruelty reports, 13th in state
- Instances of animals with insufficient food, water or shelter: 169
- Concerns about hygiene, grooming and housing conditions: 97
- Reports of underweight animals: 60
- Sick and injured animals not receiving veterinary treatment: 77
- Concerns about animals being beaten or wounded: 33
- Instances of abandoned animals: 26
2018-19: 351 cruelty reports, 9th in state
- Instances of animals with insufficient food, water or shelter: 232
- Concerns about hygiene, grooming and housing conditions: 109
- Reports of underweight animals: 109
- Sick and injured animals not receiving veterinary treatment: 88
- Concerns about animals being beaten or wounded: 20
- Instances of abandoned animals: 18