Steve Coleman’s passion for investigation together with his love for animals combined when he became a RSPCA NSW inspector 30 years ago.

As CEO of RSPCA NSW, Coleman believes that by working together with the pet industry, solutions can be found to strengthen animal welfare.

Since controversially sitting down with a representative of a major pet retailer 10 years ago, a mutually beneficial relationship was created that has seen more than 47,000 animals get their forever home.

“At the time, this was very controversial. There was opposition and obstacles at the time (both internally and externally) but through perseverance and tenacity, we remained focused on the goal of changing the face of the pet industry,” explained Coleman.

This meeting, and the ensuing relationship, led to the industry partnering with more animal welfare groups and rescue organisations to assist with the heavy lifting of rehoming more animals and reducing the unnecessary euthanasia of healthy animals.

Coleman said his job is all about advancing animal welfare, and he hopes to continue that in the coming year by developing a new Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in NSW.

“Developing a sensible and practical new Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in NSW that is both evidence-based, contemporary and helps both industry, the public, and the regulators in finding the right balance between pet ownership and meeting the pet demand driven by the public.”

Recently featuring in Pet Industry News’ 30 Game Changers list, Coleman believes that organisations such as the RSPCA can work together with the pet industry in providing the best outcomes for animals.

“The impact I hope to leave on the industry is that in in partnership with the pet industry, we can work together and find solutions. It can start with a coffee catchup.”

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