Cruelty in Casey

Rosie the boxer recovered strongly after being rescued in an emaciated state by RSPCA inspectors.

Casey remains a hotspot for reported animal cruelty, according to RSPCA Victoria figures.

The municipality recorded 508 animal cruelty reports – the second highest in the state behind Greater Geelong.

However, against a rising statewide trend, reports were down from 531 the previous year.

On a per capita basis Casey is ranked 58th-highest. Cardinia ranked 26th and Greater Dandenong No.52.

RSPCA chief inspector Michael Stagg said he was concerned by the 20 per cent rise in animals seized or surrendered to the RSPCA inspectorate across Victoria.

He said cost of living pressures may be hindering people from providing food or medical care to their pets.

“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.”

The rising numbers were placing a strain on RSPCA’s “near capacity” shelters. The Inspectorate spent more than $9 million to care for rescue animals, legal costs and large-scale animal welfare operations in 2022-’23.

“In the last 12 months, our Inspectors have investigated more than 10,000 reports of animal cruelty and seized or took the surrender of 2,569 animals across the state,” chief inspector Stagg said.

“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.”

RSPCA Victoria forecasts the numbers of animals going into its care to reach more than 3340 by 2027 – more than triple the number in 2017-2018.

The most common type of cruelty report included insufficient food, water and shelter, as well as unsanitary living conditions.

Greater Dandenong recorded the sixth highest animal seizures and surrenders (62), ahead of Casey (43, ranked 11th) and Cardinia (27, ranked 27th).