RSPCA WA appoints former ranger Paul Acton new Mid West inspector

Staff reporterGeraldton Guardian
New RSPCA Mid West inspector Paul Acton with Pat the dog.
Camera IconNew RSPCA Mid West inspector Paul Acton with Pat the dog. Credit: RSPCA WA

Animals in the Mid West now have a new champion to help give them a voice and look after their wellbeing.

Former ranger Paul Acton has been appointed by the RSPCA as its new local inspector.

He has been a Mid West local for the past 15 years and said the new role was his “dream job”.

He is now permanently based in the Mid West after three months of training in Perth.

The inspector role is an important one, given last year RPSCA WA received more than 200 cruelty complaints from the City of Greater Geraldton area. The vast majority of those complaints can be resolved by working with the animals’ owners.

It will be up to Mr Acton to enforce the Animal Welfare Act 2002 by investigating reports received from the public about cruelty, neglect and abandonment and rescuing animals from emergency situations.

Mr Acton said he was looking forward to engaging with pet owners and the wider community.

He said enforcement had a role to play, but education was the key to creating change in animal welfare.

“Most of the reports RSPCA WA receives from the Mid West relate to neglect rather than intentional cruelty,” he said.

“This can be due to a lack of knowledge or financial pressures, and in most cases keeping animals and owners together is in the best interests of both.

“By giving people a better understanding of their animals, we can help break the cycle of neglect — benefitting not only that current animal but any future pets that family might own.”

Originally from the UK, Mr Acton will be based in Geraldton, where he’ll work closely with local rangers, rescue groups and WA Police.

“To be able to make a difference in the region I’ve called home for 15 years and speak up for animals, who are victims without a voice, will be amazing,” he said.

“I really hope the community can get behind me and keep reporting their concerns about pets and livestock in the area.”

In 2020-21, RPSCA’s 11 Inspectors covered nearly 270,000sqkm investigating 6637 reports of cruelty. Its regional inspectors are based in the Mid West, South West, Great Southern and Goldfields and it is currently recruiting for a full-time inspector in Broome.

Report animal cruelty 24/7 to 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or at rspcawa.org.au.

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