Urgent need for regional RSPCA inspector

Alicia PereraPilbara News
RSPCA WA chief executive David van Ooran with SAFE Karratha founder Sue Hedley and Karratha Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Tim Montgomery.
Camera IconRSPCA WA chief executive David van Ooran with SAFE Karratha founder Sue Hedley and Karratha Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Tim Montgomery. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

The Pilbara is likely to be a priority region to receive its own RSPCA WA inspector, the organisation’s chief executive has said after a district tour as part of a campaign to build the organisation’s coverage across the State.

RSPCA WA chief executive David van Ooran toured Karratha, Port Hedland, Newman and Tom Price over five days last week to seek stakeholder support and community funding towards potentially establishing a RSPCA inspector position in the region.

The visit coincides with the RSPCA’s 20for20 campaign, which asks people to donate $20 towards increasing the number of inspectors in WA from 11 to 20, especially in regional areas.

After meeting with local vets, councils, police and animal rescue groups, Mr van Ooran said there was a “desperate need” for an inspector’s services in the Pilbara.

“What we find is having an RSPCA presence in a region really provides the community with a dedicated touchstone solely and wholly on animal cruelty and neglect cases, and they know they’ve got someone to turn to who has the appropriate powers,” he said.

“Having said that, most of our work is education-based.

“There is a lot of naivety or just people not knowing about responsible pet ownership and how to care for animals.” He said the organisation anticipated an RSPCA inspector in the Pilbara would receive up to 500 reports of animal cruelty a year based on the results from introducing an inspector in Kalgoorlie-Boulder last year.

RSPCA WA inspectors are responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act in WA, including responding to and investigating animal cruelty reports and educating the general community on responsible pet ownership.

There are seven inspectors in the Perth metropolitan area and four regionally, in Geraldton, Bunbury, Albany and Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

To contribute to the 20for20 campaign, go to 20for20.com.au.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails