Geelong ranked number one for animal cruelty

Picture: Supplied.

By Jena Carr

Greater Geelong has the highest number of animal cruelty reports in the state, according to recent data.

RSPCA Victoria’s 2023/24 Annual Animal Cruelty Data release listed Greater Geelong as number one in the Local Government Area Total Cruelty Reports, with 550 cases in 2022-23.

Geelong Animal Rescue (GAR) director Jordan Barker said the high number could be caused by many reasons, which included Geelong having more animals and pet owners each year.

“We can’t just look at the reporting stats and Geelong’s high number of animal cruelty cases reported if we don’t look at why it is happening,” she said.

“I think people care a bit more about what’s happening around them, so people are making more reports because they’re seeing unacceptable ownership.

“There are also more pets now which means that we’ve got a lot of new pet owners coming on board who potentially aren’t across their obligations on how to be good pet owners.”

Ms Barker said there was an “animal welfare crisis” that was currently happening with a lot of animals coming into an “already overloaded system”.

“We’re seeing a huge spike in surrender requests to our rescue group, and we don’t have the facility to take them on,” she said.

“We’re getting about 30 surrender requests a week from members of the public, which we can’t take, but we also can’t direct them to the pound because they can’t take them either.

“In Geelong, where there is the highest number of reports on animal cruelty cases, we have one pound that services a huge precinct, it’s not a very big facility and they have a long wait list.”

RSPCA chief inspector Michael Stagg said despite Greater Geelong being ranked number one in the state for animal cruelty reports, it was also ranked low for the number of animals seized or surrendered.

“The high rates of reports, combined with low rates of animals coming to the RSPCA, suggests residents are mindful of local animal welfare and are vigilant against possible incidents of cruelty,” he said.

“RSPCA Victoria investigated over ten thousand reports of animal cruelty in the last financial year, and we thank the local community for their support in our work to prevent cruelty to animals.”