Reporting Animal Cruelty at RSPCA NSW

Reporting Animal Cruelty at RSPCA NSW

RSPCA NSW has Australia’s biggest squad of law enforcement officers dedicated to policing offences against animals. Our Inspectors investigate more than 15,000 complaints every year. RSPCA NSW inspectors investigate complaints against all kinds of animals in all kinds of situations. The most common complaints are failure to provide adequate and proper food, shelter or veterinary treatment.


Have you ever witnessed animal cruelty? REPORT it today on 1300 278 3589 or online here. Many complaints are dealt with on the spot by educating owners of their responsibility, other cruelty cases are referred to the courts for prosecution. If you have witnessed animal cruelty online or on social media and do not have all the details, please contact our team on 1300 278 3589 so we can assist you further. It is important to note that we legally cannot take reports of animal via social media.

What is animal cruelty?

Animal cruelty can take many different forms. It includes animal neglect, overt and intentional acts of violence towards animals, or the failure to provide for the welfare of an animal under your control. In addition to this, it is important to remember animal cruelty is not restricted to cases involving physical harm. Causing animals psychological harm in the form of distress, torment or terror may also constitute animal cruelty.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1979) states that:

For the purposes of this Act, a reference to an act of cruelty committed upon an animal includes a reference to any act or omission as a consequence   of which the animal is unreasonably, unnecessarily or unjustifiably:

         (a) beaten, kicked, killed, wounded, pinioned, mutilated, maimed, abused, tormented, tortured, terrified or infuriated,

         (b) over-loaded, over-worked, over-driven, over-ridden or over-used

         (c) exposed to excessive heat or excessive cold

         (d) inflicted with pain.

State and territory animal welfare legislation prohibits all forms of animal cruelty and imposes obligations on all animal owners to provide for the welfare needs of their animals. Breaching animal welfare legislation is a crime. Serious cases can result in large fines and imprisonment.


 What can I do?

If you believe you have witnessed a case of animal cruelty, please report it immediately to RSPCA NSW by calling us on 1300 278 3589 or filling in the report online here.

Remember to not get physically involved. Stay safe and record as much information as possible. Make sure to include anything relevant that could help prove the offence, taking note of time, place, situation and location. If you can, also take down the description of the possible offender. If vehicles are involved, note down the model, number, colour and make. If you have been threatened in anyway or feel unsafe, contact your local police straight away.

 There are a few requirements needed to file a report.

  • You must have seen / witnessed act of cruelty or result of the act/s.
  • You must be at least 18 years old. If you are younger, you can talk to someone older and have them file a report.
  • You must leave personal details. Rest assured, these details are strictly confidential and never passed on. 


What can RSPCA NSW investigate?

RSPCA NSW is only legally able to prosecute infringements that directly contradict the Prevention to Cruelty Act 1979

We cannot investigate animal cruelty cases reported to us via social media. You must report it offically to us by phone on 1300 278 3589 or online here.

If you have seen something that doesn't seem right, report it or chat to our team on 1300 278 3589 who will be able to provide more information about  what we can and cannot investigate.


Want to learn more? Visit our website to find out more about our Inspectors.





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Guest Thursday, 17 August 2017

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  1. The initiative runs in New South Wales only from 24 February to 26 February 2017 inclusive.
  2. The initiative applies to all animals available for adoption at RSPCA NSW shelters, Care Centres and participating Petbarn Adoption Centres only. The initiative does not extend to RSPCA NSW animals offered for adoption through RSPCA Volunteer branches.
  3. Animals adopted during the initiative are subject to availability. Should all available animals be rehomed prior to the end of the initiative, the offer will no longer be honoured. No rainchecks are available.
  4. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  5. RSPCA NSW retains the right to refuse an adoption if it does not comply with standard operational processes.
  6. A maximum of two adoption animals may be adopted by any household.
  7. No animal will be placed on hold for any period. Adoption must be by personal attendance at one of the abovementioned facilities.
  8. Photographic personal identification must be presented at the time of adoption.
  9. A suitable carry cage must be used to transport birds, felines and small animals, including pocket pets, from the premises and during the journey home. If you do not have access to an appropriate carrier, you can purchase a carrier at the time of adopting your companion. Cardboard carriers are available to purchase for $10 from RSPCA shelters and Care Centres while stocks last.
  10. Suitable leads and harnesses must be used to transport canines from the premises. Canines must be appropriately restrained within the vehicle for the journey home. If you do not have access to an appropriate lead and harness, suitable equipment is available for purchase at the time of adoption while stocks last.
  11. Suitable transport for livestock and horses must be considered prior to adoption, and animals must be collected on the day of adoption.
  12. We understand that sometimes, despite your and RSPCA NSW’s best endeavours, your new pet doesn’t settle into your lifestyle. For this reason, you can return any animal to a RSPCA NSW shelter within 21 days from the time of collection to receive a replacement authorisation in accordance with our replacement policy, or a refund of the adoption fee paid. Please note: merchandise purchased cannot be returned as part of the replacement of an animal. Should a product be faulty, you can return that product, in its original condition, to the facility you purchased the merchandise from within seven (7) days and RSPCA NSW will replace that item.