RSPCA South Australia has been entrusted by Parliament to enforce animal welfare laws for more than 100 years.

In the 2013/2014 financial year, our Inspectors responded to over 4,700 reports of animal cruelty. Every matter is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated, without fear or favour. But as our name suggests, RSPCA South Australia is about preventing cruelty. That’s why we are also focused on community education.

Our Inspectors work with the community, to ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities, whether they are a commercial livestock corporation, a farmer or a domestic pet owner.

In addition to investigating cruelty reports, our Inspectors regularly attend sale yards, feedlots, rodeos, abattoirs, live export vessel loading and transport emergencies to ensure the welfare of the animals involved is paramount, and activities are compliant with the Animal Welfare Act.

RSPCA South Australia receives some funding from the State Government. This money is for the specific purpose of enforcing the Animal Welfare Act. Our Government funding provides nearly 50 per cent of the budget needed to run the Inspectorate division. The remainder of Inspectorate funding comes from community donations.

Receive Cruelty Report

RSPCA South Australia is notified of alleged acts of animal cruelty either via our 24 hour cruelty line (1300 4 777 22) or our Online Cruelty Report form.

Details Processed

The details supplied by the person who made the report are recorded. These details are crucial and required by law for future reference for our Inspectors. All details are kept confidential and are not passed on to the offender.

Job Dispatched

When the details have been collated they then become a ‘job’, which is then assigned to one of our Inspectors and given a priority depending on the urgency of the report and whether the animal is in imminent danger.


The RSPCA South Australia Inspector will visit the location of the alleged cruelty. Under the powers of the Animal Welfare Act, our Inspectors have the authority to enter premises upon the suspicion of an offence under the Act or to provide relief to an animal even if the owner is not present. The Inspector will then examine the animal based on the report as well as query the owner if they are present. From here the inspector will be able to determine the next appropriate actions.

Take Action

The appropriate action is determined by the condition of the animal and whether there is a breach of the Animal Welfare Act. Depending on the circumstances, the Inspector has a number of approaches they can take. They can educate the owner on putting steps in place to avoid this happening again, which includes follow up visits. Other courses of action include deliver an official warning to the owner, expiate the owner/offender as well the animal being seized.


If there is satisfactory evidence against a suspect which is thought to be significant enough to draw a conviction, then RSPCA South Australia will seek prosecution. Prosecuting offenders shows the community the abuse and neglect of an animal is not acceptable in modern day society.
When to call RSPCA South Australia?

If you witness or are made aware of an act of animal cruelty or neglect, then we urge you to call our 24 hour cruelty hotline on 1300 4 777 22. This number can also be used to contact our dedicated team of Rescue Officers, who can rescue injured, ill or trapped animals.

For other animal-related issues – such as those listed below – your local Council is the first point of call:

  • Stray animals including dogs and cats
  • An aggressively behaving animal in your area
  • Excessive barking or animal noise