RSPCA WA is encouraging pet owners to reach out if they’re struggling to care for their pet, following a record number of cruelty reports.

The charity is fielding roughly five calls a day about pets without adequate food or water, which is a five-year high and a 24 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Hannah Dreaver, Executive Manager Animal and Enforcement Operations at RSPCA WA, said they provide free pet food and health checks at various locations around WA.

“RSPCA WA is sympathetic to these struggles, and we always try to assist where we can but when an animal comes to us as little more than skin and bone it’s clear the owner has taken too long to acknowledge their financial situation is impacting on their ability to care for their pet.”

Dreaver said that if your dog is becoming underweight for any reason, it’s your responsibility to be proactive, seek vet care or advice, and ensure they’re getting enough nutrition.

“If you can’t afford this, reach out to friends, family, or rescue groups like RSPCA WA to discuss your options. It’s not fair to simply let your pet go hungry.”

Emaciated dogs often require a high level of care to prevent issues such as refeeding syndrome, which can be life-threatening.

“Some dogs require meals as frequently as every four hours during their initial treatment. Even once they’ve recovered physically, many exhibit behaviour issues such as resource guarding, which require additional time in care and training.

“Dogs who have been emaciated can also suffer long-term health problems as a result of their neglect–this is another reason pet owners must reach out sooner rather than later.”

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