Financial crisis hits pet owners

Financial crisis hits pet owners

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Rhani was found starving, RSPCA WA reported her owner has been prosecuted.

The cost-of-living crisis has been biting down hard on local pet owners.

RSPCA WA has reported that both Gosnells and Armadale are again two of the cruellest regions in Perth.

While reports of animal cruelty in Gosnells have decreased in the past year, the city is still ranked the fifth worst local government area for pet and animal welfare concerns.

Armadale sits just underneath in sixth place, and reports of animal cruelty have increased by five percent over the past year.

The vast majority of those reports involved dogs and puppies.

RSPCA WA Chief Executive Ben Cave said it was clear the cost-of-living crisis had been a key theme over the past 12 months.

“Reports about owners failing to seek vet care spiked by 18 percent last financial year, compared to 2021/22. Meanwhile, reports of animals without enough food or water were up 22 percent,” he said.

“On the surface these reports might seem less serious than violent acts of cruelty. But the sad reality is, the animals in these cases have often suffered day in, day out for weeks or months. We understand owners fall on hard financial times, but ignoring your pet’s pain or hunger is not a solution, it’s animal cruelty.”

Another statistical change of note is a 32 percent jump in abandonment reports.

Mr Cave said RSPCA WA had ramped up events to help struggling pet owners.

A Community Action Day is taking place today (Thursday, August 3) at Frye Park Pavilion in Kelmscott, with free food and flea/tick treatments available for cats and dogs, and free check-ups and microchipping for pooches.

The event runs between 1 and 3pm.

“In hotspots where 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.

“With the rising cost of living hitting WA families hard, we’re worried neglect of those basic needs is only going to increase. If you’re no longer able to care for your animals to the standard they deserve you must reach out for help sooner rather than later.”

In encouraging news, RSPCA WA reported that instances of unnecessary harm, malicious beating or wounding, and animals left in hot cars had gone down over the past year.