RSPCA scouts base for northern post

Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser

Broome has been labelled the perfect spot for RSPCA representation in northern WA, after a recent visit by the animal welfare organisation to the Kimberley town.

RSPCA WA chief executive David van Ooran and chief inspector Amanda Swift travelled across Broome and Derby last fortnight to determine the best location to establish a presence in the West Kimberley and gauge the level of need.

They found Broome would be the most appropriate central point for an animal welfare inspector to be based, who would service the West Kimberley.

Mr van Ooran said the role of an inspector would include home visits and responding to complaints, as well as educating pet owners on correct practices.

Currently, the most northern RSPCA representation in WA is in Geraldton, nearly 2000km away. Mr van Ooran said there was a desperate need to establish a presence in Broome.

“There’s no need to sugar coat it, there are significant animal-related issues in the town,” he said. “The majority of cases are unintentional, which is why we need to educate locals.

“It is only very few cases that are intentional. We are aiming for an inspector to be placed in the town before the end of financial year, but also seeking donations and volunteers.

“There is an enormous opportunity to improve the lives of animals here if we all come together to make a difference.”

SAFE Broome president Wendy Roberts said the volunteer pet rescue organisation supported an RSPCA presence in Broome .

“If an inspector is in the region to respond to reports of neglect or cruelty then the long-term outcome for domestic animals will improve over time,” she said.

“They will provide educational programs to ensure pet owners have support on how to look after their pets. We look forward to collaboratively and respectfully working with RSPCA WA to improve the lives and health of our fur babies.”

It is understood Mr van Ooran and Ms Swift met the Shire of Broome on October 6 to request a small percentage of funding from the local government body.

Shire chief executive Sam Mastrolembo said that once a proposal was received, it would be considered in coming months.

“After meeting with RSPCA WA, we are now awaiting a formal proposal, which will then be presented to council for consideration,” he said.

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