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Political & civils rights advocate, animal lover & state co-ordinator for the Australian Federation Party


RSPCA WA Overview and saving Marianna’s animals Protest at Parliament house 23 November 10 am.

The RSPCA in WA are in dire need of reform, until they can be trusted with public moneys and the powers awarded to them under the Animal welfare Act, they must be closed down and investigated through a full parliamentary inquiry.

The recent actions of the RSPCA in WA prove beyond all reasonable doubt that they are no longer worthy of public's support, this very brief overview explains why, and provides ideas on how we can move forward as animal lovers.

I will start with the case of Marianna, simply because it has created some urgency in relation to some 80 animals that are all that is left when over 130 were seized back in December 2012. 

The RSPCA WA have said the remaining animals are able to be released over the next 3 weeks, but even though we have several catteries and shelters with their hands up to take them, I am still battling the RSPCA to have them released, as their preference may lead to their deaths.

< I will add documents here, that prove the government knew the RSPCA were doing the wrong thing

I refuse to at this stage use the word “Euthanize” because these animals are not suffering, and if they are indeed that sick that they need to be put down, it is the result of the RSPCA, not the carer they were taken from.

No animal ought to suffer as a result of a battle between a carer and the RSPCA; animals should never be used as pawns in a game of power.In brief Marianna is a compassionate animal lover, retired, this lady spent over a decade some $200,000 plus on the rescue, treatment and rehabilitation of hundreds of animals, animals that without her intervention would not have survived.

The RSPCA visited her home in or around December 2012 and found one rabbit with blood on it, seizing it saying it looked like it had its penis bitten of, it had just been de-sexed.

Marianna immediately took steps to get the rabbit back, the RSPCA said all would be fine and asked her to clean up sections of her property, so she called in the hired help and with the assistance of Michael from the Animal Protection Society, moved all the animals to her second home next door and started cleaning up and renovating.

Just over a week later, while Marianna was out helping animals in need, the RSPCA broke into her property and started seizing all the animals, (I have seen videos of the raid) and yes there were some elderly and sick animals on site, those that were sick were under vet treatment.

The warrant used was for the wrong address and has been questioned as a tactic by DAFWA in FOI statements.

Marianna arrived home during the raid, she offered information about all the treatments and offered to supply all the current medications, the RSPCA refused to listen or take the medication with them.

Marianna’s Vets then phoned the RSPCA saying several were sick and asked if they could visit and support the animals, as many were their patients, the RSPCA refused.

From this stage RSPCA shelter records seem to indicate that they were overwhelmed by the intake and some of the animals were not checked or treated for several weeks, as a result some of the animals died, others were put down by the society.

On the day of the raid, the now chief inspector “Amanda Swift” had turned up with the media, so from that day on, an outcome that painted the RSPCA in a good light, was indeed essential.

Marianna lodged a complaint with the (SAT) State Administration Tribunal, who after several months all but ordered the RSPCA to return the animals, to avoid this the RSPCA laid last minute charges of animal credulity, for every animal, even though the majority were healthy and there had been no actions by Marianna that could have amounted to animal abuse, the prosecution was in the name of the RSPCA.

I will skip past the next 12 months to January over 13 months later, where the RSPCA had over that time used the usual tactic of continuing to adjourn to run their victim out of money, after 13 months the prosecution was deemed invalid and dropped and due to WA having a 2 year statute of limitations, new charges were laid amounting to 13 charges of animal abuse.

Marianna was never paid back for the costs that ought to have been awarded as a result of the 13 months wasted by the failed prosecution, I note the prosecution was in the name of the RSPCA as the respondent, and WA law does not allow private prosecutions. I note here that DAFWA were aware of this fact as well, and had the powers to stop it.

The RSPCA at this stage had wasted; get this, around 1 million dollars in supposed storage charges, vet and legal expenses on their first failed prosecution.

DAFWA by now were also having troubled, FOI documents in my hands showed they knew the RSPCA had made mistakes, that the prosecution was invalid as was the raid on Marianna’s home, also sighting that the RSPCA had killed animals that were healthy. They went on to show the new chief inspector was under investigation. (letter to DAFWA march 2014)

When questioned on the case, they said they would run an investigation after the case was over, leaving Marianna and her animals to battle the RSPCA’s legal team, a QC, two barristers and 2 instructing solicitors, all paid for by the state and public donations.

DAFWA also demanded that the RSPCA advise Marianna about the murder of HER animals, they chose to do this by attending her home on Xmas eve with photos of all the animals they had killed, rather than advising Marianna beforehand allowing independent vet checks as required at law, what does that say to you?

The RSPCA in both prosecutions simply refused to advise the state solicitor’s office or follow the departments procedural and prosecution guidelines, they even started to refuse answering questions asked by DAFWA and I hear those asked by the minister.

By late 2014, Marianna had exhausted her finances, all but losing one home over it, lawyers had already exhausted over $150,000 of her money, leaving her to struggle on the 60% of her pension, and the RSPCA by now had wasted around $1.6 million of donated public moneys.

(I will note here that for every $100 raised by the RSPCA in some cases only $12 makes it into their pockets, which means public donations to their campaign “Friends of the RSPCA” would have to have raised over 10 million just to cover the cost of this one failed interaction with a compassionate carer)

Along this journey I have been privy to many major issues worthy of public scrutiny, the ex-chief inspector, other RSPCA WA staff and inspectors, their ex-chief vet and prosecutors have all been in contact providing me with an array of information, that paints an abhorrent picture of how the RSPCA is being run and how their moneys were being spent.

The RSPCA have been ignoring the law, as if they were above it, they were refusing to adhere to the states prosecution and procedural guidelines, and were in fact using animals as a tool to extort money from innocent victims.

So let’s get back to the here and now and most importantly the animals.The RSPCA decided to offer Marianna a deal, the final terms of the deed are as usual to remain confidential, in the same way the RSPCA WA have been offering ex staff extra payments of $10,000 if they sign similar contracts to remain silent about what truly goes on, begging the question, what have they got to hide.

The deal between the RSPCA, their chief inspector Amanda Swift and Marianna is purported to include all charges being dropped, all costs to be written off by each party, and the animals to be released, this is where it becomes interesting.

The RSPCA WA have indicated that all the animals are now sick, and should be put down, even though their own shelter records show a majority of the animals were in good health, if any of us as shelter or sanctuary operators allow this to happen to animals, we would risk being charged, so how are the RSPCA exempt, something we as animal lovers must demand is changed.

It is of grave concern that an animal charity can be awarded powers of prosecution without any safe guards as to how they use them, even more so when those powers can be used on opposition shelters and rescuers.

I assisted Marianna to find homes for the animals, because she in the short term does not have the facility’s and finances to take them back, we found a cattery “Blu-Ice” to take them all, but the RSPA said NO, they wanted registered shelters.

I then contacted a couple of WA non kill shelters who also put their hands up to place the animals, the RSPCA then said no to all of those, so what it appears the RSPCA are saying; “ They don’t want the animals, but they also do not want them to have a chance at life”, and that is totally unacceptable.

At law these animals remain the property of Marianna, so she ought to have the final say, and if the new contract between the parties denies her this right, as animal lovers, it is up to us to fight for their right to live.

Over the next few days, as I believe is a part of the contract, Marianna’s vets will be attending the RSPCA shelter to inspect the condition of the animals, so she have some idea of how many are left and the health conditions of them.

How dare the government, the minister and DAFWA allow a compassionate animal lover to have gone through all of this, to have her life destroyed, her finances with it, and then allow the innocent animals to be killed, when good safe homes are available.I am calling for all shelter and rescue groups to back a protest rally to demand a government investigation into the RSPCA, and for the minister and the premier to step in and guarantee the lives of every one of her animals.

Consider this, the public’s donations received by the RSPCA in this case, have resulted in anywhere up to $5 million dollars being wasted on a prosecution where the animals involved have been killed or made sick by their own actions. When all they needed do is adhere to the law and community expectations and help Marianna, they could have offered support, issued orders of compliance or taken many up many other avenues where the best interest of the carer and the animals were of a primary concern.

Any damages claimed from cases like this would be worn by the state, every animal seized is on behalf of the state and every animal forfeitured is to the state, so the state is responsible to intervene.

This massive waste of public and tax payer dollars would have gone such a long way if it had been shared among the many capable rescue and shelter groups in WA, so just maybe it is time for the government to employ some equity in the way they support carers and shelters in the state of WA.

I will note here that one of the shelters that offered to take Marianna’s animals, on their own without substantial government funding of any kind has re-homed more animals than the RSPCA WA could achieve in the same time frame, especially as they have a massively lower kill rate.

I have several articles I will link to this email that further explain this case, I will then put together a brief of combined ideals from each shelter in WA and put that proposal to the government and the Department of agriculture at the proposed rally. (CLICK HERE)

A rally date of Sunday the 23rd of November at 10.00 am has been set, so we can use that day to demand the RSPCA hand Marianna’s animals over to non-kill shelters as is her wish, of course this is reliant on all of your support and the use of your Social networking sites to promote the rally.

I am happy to fly over from Adelaide at my own expense to speak at and MC the rally and hand the documents over to the media, the government and or DAFWA.

This is only one case of many (link to other RSPCA failed cases click here) that are making a mockery of animal welfare in the state of Western Australia, Brave Heart, Izzy and her babies, the list is long and arduous, in one case the RSPCA’s chief vet and staff demanded animals be returned to their owner, as they were healthy and the owner had done nothing wrong, the CEO overrode that and until this day years later, the owner has never seen them again, it is time to end this list once and for all.

I will make copies of all the leaked information, videos, audio and FOI documents, making them available upon my arrival.

Mark Aldridge

08 82847482 / 0403379500 [email protected]