Animal Welfare League NSW is an approved charitable organisation which acts under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1979). This enables us to employ a team of inspectors who respond to reports of cruelty or neglect of animals and any concerns received in relation to the general welfare of animals.
To investigate a complaint, our animal welfare inspectors require reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence has occurred. For this reason, it is important that you provide your contact details so that we can ask for more information is required. Your contact details remain strictly confidential and are protected in accordance with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act. Animal Welfare League NSW can only accept complaints from persons aged 18 years or over.
Reasons you may need to make a report include:
If you feel that an animal is being neglected and
You are concerned for the welfare of the animal, or
You have witnessed an act of cruelty being committed
When contacting Animal Welfare League NSW to report animal cruelty, please provide as much information as possible. This may include:
What you have seen, witnessed or are concerned about
The address or location where the animal is being kept
Description of the animal
If known, details such as name and address of the person you think may be involved or responsible for the cruelty or neglect
Any other relevant details such as other witnesses, vehicle registration and description
The report is assessed by the AWL NSW Inspectorate, and where required, our team will make contact with the complainant for confirmation or further detail.
An Inspector is dispatched to take action. This could include attending the location of the reported concern and inspecting the animals in question. Our Inspectors will attempt to speak to the occupants to discuss the welfare concern.
The action taken depends on whether offences are determined under the legislation. Where possible, advice or a verbal caution may be issued. For more serious reports, our Inspectors may issue a fine or written instruction, or commence a prosecution (which may involve the seizure of animals). Our Inspectors will also do re-checks to ensure instructions have been complied with.
What can the AWL NSW Inspectorate assist with?
Some examples on when to contact our Inspectors for help include:
If there has been a deliberate act of violence or harm towards an animal
If an animal has been refused veterinary treatment
If an animal is not receiving adequate food or clean water
If an animal does not have appropriate shelter
If an animal has been abandoned
In addition to breaches of the Act, our Inspectorate also provide assistance in natural disasters and emergencies as well as conduct routine inspections on pet shops, zoos and other animal practices to ensure they comply with regulations.
What can’t the AWL NSW Inspectorate help with?
Our Animal Welfare Inspectors act on matters that involve animal cruelty or neglect and can only act within the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1979). Our Inspectors are unable to provide assistance on matters that should be referred to your local council. These include:
Barking dogs and nuisance complaints
Roaming and stray pets (unless the stray is injured)
Dangerous or restricted breeds, unless they are involved with a welfare concern