RSPCA urges pet owners to report baitings

Despite a number of reports on social media of suspected dog baitings in Northam, the RSPCA WA has said they have only received two reports of incidents for 2019.

Last year the RSPCA received no reports of suspected pet poisonings and as of Wednesday, January 9 there had been two reports for this year to date.

A post on a Northam community Facebook page speculated that there had been up to 15 dogs who had been baited since the end of December 2018.

The RSPCA said the number of reports they have received did not reflect this claim.

2016 recorded the highest number of reports for suspected baiting in the Shire of Northam with three.

The Shire of Toodyay has had no reports in the past three years and the Shire of York has recorded one in that time.

The reports to the RSPCA have detailed multiple deceased dogs.

The RSPCA said the numbers shared with the Avon Valley and Wheatbelt Advocate reflect the number reports they have received but said that’s not to say more suspected pet poisonings didn’t occur.

An RSPCA WA spokesperson said they strongly encourage anyone with information about suspected pet poisonings to report it immediately to RSPCA’s Cruelty Hotline on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589).

“Where possible, RSPCA WA will post out letters in neighbourhoods where suspected poisonings have occurred, warning pet owners to take extra precautions, which could be lifesaving for an animal,” the spokesperson said.

“The more information RSPCA WA receives, the better equipped we are to catch those responsible and hold them to account.”

It is an offence, under section 19(1) of the Animal Welfare Act (2002), to intentionally or recklessly poison an animal.

Those found guilty face maximum penalties of a $50,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Some Northam residents have said online that they have received letters from the RSPCA informing them of an incident of poisoned animals in the surrounding area.

In the year to date there have been eight reports made to the RSPCA of suspected pet baitings in Western Australia. 

2017 recorded the highest number of reports in the state with 112 received.