REPORTS of animal cruelty on the Mornington Peninsula have dropped slightly in the past year, according to the RSPCA.
The RSPCA Victoria recently released its statistics for the 2022/2023 year, with data revealing there were 281 reports of cruelty in the shire compared to 311 the previous year, lifting the shire’s ranking from sixth worst to eleventh.
Statewide, the figures reflect the cost-of-living crisis, with a high number of animals surrendered or seized.
For the first time ever, this year’s release includes the number of animals coming into RSPCA Victoria’s care via the Inspectorate for each local government area.
Twenty five animals were seized or surrendered to the RSPCA on the Mornington Peninsula, ranking the shire twenty-ninth in the state.
Neighbouring municipalities of Frankston and Casey fared worse, with more than 300 reports of animal cruelty and 27 animals surrendered in Frankston in the past financial year. The number of cruelty reports for Casey soared to more than 500.
Speaking about the annual figures, RSPCA Victoria’s Chief Inspector, Michael Stagg, said the increases in most parts of the state was a worrying trend.
“In the past 12 months, our Inspectors have investigated more than 10,000 reports of animal cruelty and seized or took the surrender of 2569 animals across the state,” he said.
“During this time, we’ve also had several investigations resulting in large-scale seizures or surrenders of animals, forcing our teams 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.”
RSPCA Victoria forecasts the number of animals coming into its care via the inspectorate will reach more than 3340 by 2027 – a 222.7 per cent increase from 2017/18.
Stagg said some of the factors contributing to the increase included costs of pet food and medical care.
“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 most common type of cruelty report concerned insufficient water, food, or shelter. Husbandry concerns were also reported, including unsanitary living conditions and infrequent or no visits from farriers or shearers.
To make a report contact RSPCA Victoria on 9224 2222 or visit rspcavic.org/tip-off-form