Who to call

RSPCA Victoria Inspectors are authorised to investigate animal cruelty reports defined by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTAA) 1986. Find out when to contact RSPCA Victoria, and when your complaint should be directed elsewhere. The Inspectorate receives over 10,000 reports per year and is one of the key Victorian agencies that is authorised to investigate animal cruelty.

Some reports, such as those involving commercial agriculture, wildlife or stray animals are directed to other specialist agencies.  Knowing who to contact is the best way to ensure animals get the right help quickly and efficiently. 

If you think an animal’s life is at immediate risk, DO NOT make an online report. Call RSPCA Victoria now on (03) 9224-2222. Our call centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call 000

Dogs in hot cars

If you find a pet left in a hot car, call Victoria Police immediately on 000. Animals can die in as little as six minutes if left in a hot car. The Police are equipped to dispatch officers quickly, so are best placed to get to the scene in time.

Contact the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR)

Large numbers of livestock

For cruelty reports relating to more than 10 head of livestock and more than 50 poultry, contact the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR). Call the DJPR customer service centre on 136 186 or email aw.complaint@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Contact DJPR

Contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

Wildlife

If you have concerns about the welfare of wildlife, contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). Contact numbers vary by species, call the customer service centre on 136 186 or see their website for details.

Help for injured wildlifeReport wildlife cruelty

Contact your local council

Barking dogs

Constant barking does not break any laws under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTAA) 1986. If you have been unable to resolve the issue yourself, contact your local council to make a noise complaint.  

Stray or roaming animals

Contact your local council If you come across a stray or roaming pet. 

Find your local council

Contact RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate

Pets with insufficient food, water, or shelter

Failing to provide sufficient food, water or shelter to an animal is an offence. Please make a formal report with our Inspectorate by clicking here to report onlineIf you believe an animal’s life is at immediate risk, please call us now on (03) 9224-2222. Our call centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Report now

Underweight or emaciated animals

Our Inspectors are authorised to investigate where animals appear to be underweight or emaciated. Please make a formal report with our Inspectorate by clicking here to report onlineIf you believe an animal’s life is at immediate risk, please call us now on (03) 9224-2222. Our call centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can refer to Animal Welfare Victoria’s body condition charts for reference. 

Dogs – body condition chart | Cats – body condition chart | Horses – body condition chart 

Report now

Abandoned animals

RSPCA Victoria Inspectors are permitted to collect abandoned animals from a dwelling only, whereas local councils are responsible for stray or roaming animals. If you think there is an abandoned pet in a home or contained yard, please make a formal report with our Inspectorate by clicking here to report onlineIf you believe an animal’s life is at immediate risk, please call us now on (03) 9224-2222. Our call centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Report now

Sick or injured animals

If you have concerns for a sick or injured animal, please make a formal report with our Inspectorate by clicking here to report onlineIf you believe an animal’s life is at immediate risk, please call us now on (03) 9224-2222. Our call centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Report now

Puppy or kitten factories

RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate has a Major Investigations Team (MIT) that investigates suspected illegal and intensive breeding and selling of animals. If you suspect a breeder or seller is dodgy, tip off the MIT so they can investigate.

Report now

Puppies and kittens in pet shops

Victorian pet shops cannot sell puppies and kittens obtained from breeders. Pet shops may only source dogs over six months of age and cats over eight weeks of age from registered pounds, animal shelters or foster carers that are registered with their local council. If you suspect a pet shop is sourcing animals illegally, please make a formal report with our Inspectorate by clicking here to report it online. If you believe an animal’s life is at immediate risk, please call us now on (03) 9224-2222. Our call centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Report now

Livestock and poultry

The RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate investigates cruelty reports related to livestock when fewer than 10 animals are involved, or fewer than 50 poultry. If you are concerned about small numbers of livestock or poultry, please make a formal report with our Inspectorate by clicking here to report it online. If you believe an animal’s life is at immediate risk, please call us now on (03) 9224-2222. Our call centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Report now

Other issues

Lack of attention or enrichment

 RSPCA Victoria recommends that pet owners provide their pets with both physical and mental stimulation through exercise and play. However, enrichment is not a legal requirement under POCTAA, so our Inspectorate cannot investigate reports related to this. 

We work to educate owners about the benefits of enrichment activities, as well as the destructive behaviours that can develop through lack of enrichment. We find many people simply aren’t aware of the importance of enrichment, and this is something we are hoping to change.  

7 reasons why dog toys are so important

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7 enrichment ideas for your cat

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8 enrichment ideas for your dog

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Make your own Enrichment Toys

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Not found what you’re looking for? File a report with the Inspectorate. 

RSPCA Victoria and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR)

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is in place between RSPCA Victoria and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR). This MoU sets out RSPCA Victoria’s and DJPR’s agreement on a range of matters, including the type of animal welfare cases that RSPCA Victoria is responsible for investigating.

Read the MoU