RSPCA South West inspector Gemma Haines reflects on the highlights of 2021

Taylar AmoniniBusselton Dunsborough Times
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RSPCA South West inspector Genna Haines with Finn, Alaska and Baloo.
Camera IconRSPCA South West inspector Genna Haines with Finn, Alaska and Baloo. Credit: RSPCA/RegionalHUB

It’s been another year of ups and downs as we’ve all adjusted to the “new normal” and a world that has felt just a little bit smaller.

A recent study found 69 per cent of households now owned a pet — up from 61 per cent just two years ago.

Unfortunately, cruelty reports continued to flood in, with nearly 6000 jobs across WA so far this year, and we also heard some terrible stories of pet scammers taking advantage of surging demand.

But at the tail end of 2021, there are so many positives to be grateful for. So, to help wrap up the year on a high, here are some happy highlights from the South West in 2021.

South West RSPCA inspector Genna Haines

When it comes to happy tales from the year, I can’t go past Dusty and Millie.

These dogs were in a terrible state when I first saw them. Millie was so skinny I could count every one of her ribs, while Dusty had open wounds that his owner had tried to staple shut without pain relief. I took both dogs into care, and their owner was prosecuted for animal cruelty.

Both Dusty and Millie needed extensive medical and behavioural rehabilitation at RSPCA WA in Perth.

Millie was surrendered to us, so was able to be rehomed to a loving new family after around three months in care. Because Dusty was seized, he must remain with RSPCA WA until his case’s appeal period is over.

And I can’t go past mentioning the news announced in recent weeks that RSPCA’s Pets in Crisis program will be coming to the South West next year.

The free service provides temporary homes for pets whose owners are experiencing family and domestic violence. Pets are placed in a loving foster home while their owner seeks refuge of their own.

The program has so far helped almost 200 animals, and I’m keen to see the positive impact the initiative will have in our region.

Wishing you, and your two and four-legged family members a safe and happy break. I look forward to sharing more good news, pet information and welfare news with you in 2022.

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