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Our sickening claim to fame: Victoria’s animal cruelty capital

September 5, 2023 7:39 am in by

Geelong and Wyndham have been named and shamed as the state’s worst animal cruelty hotspots, according to a new report by the RSPCA.

The animal welfare organisation responded to more than 10,000 reports of cruelty across Victoria over the last financial year and seized or took the surrender of 2,569 animals.

550 complaints were lodged in Greater Geelong, or almost 11 a week, making it the worst Local Government Area in the state for crimes against animals.

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Wyndham was fourth with 373.

More than 20 per cent of all complaints came from the top five municipalities

RSPCA Victoria’s Chief Inspector, Michael Stagg, said the high number of animal seizures put pressure on the organisation to find room and resources to care for them in a short space of time.

“When we prosecute cases of animal cruelty, our shelter teams may need to care for the animals involved as the court cases progress, sometimes lasting months or years, adding to the pressure already faced by our near-capacity shelters,” Mr Stagg said.

Modelling by the society predicts the number of animals coming into its care will pass 3,340 within four years – a 222% increase since 2017/18.

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Chief Inspector Stagg said the pandemic had played a role in the rising number of cases.

“Many people also became first-time pet owners during the pandemic and may need further information or support to help them understand how to care for their animals such as providing sanitary living conditions, grooming or preventative health measures,” he said.

“Cost of living pressures may be impacting people’s ability to care for their pets, whether it be their ability to provide suitable food or their ability to pay for necessary medical care
explained some of the factors contributing to this increase.”

The most common type of cruelty reported related to insufficient water, food, or shelter. Unsanitary living conditions, as well as infrequent or no visits from farriers or shearers, also featured heavil

Anyone with concerns for the welfare of an animal or suspicious animal sales is encouraged to contact RSPCA Victoria on 03 9224 2222 or submit a report at rspcavic.org/tip-off-form/ immediately.

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