RSPCA Australia

Do not donate.

Who are RSPCA Australia?

RSPCA Australia are an “independent, non-government, community-based charity providing animal care and protection services." They advocate on behalf of animals, operate animal care and adoption facilities, raise community awareness regarding the humane treatment of animals and work with government and industry to establish standards for animal care.

Note: RSPCA Australia is a federated organisation made up of the eight state and territory RSPCA Societies. This assessment is for RSPCA Australia only. The results of my assessment for RSPCA Australia may or may not be consistent with the results of State and Territory RSPCA Societies. Please contact us if you would like to see evaluations of any of the RSPCA Societies.

Why do they exist?

RSPCA Australia “believes that animals must be treated humanely.” 

What do they do?

RSPCA Australia establishes national policies and positions on animal welfare issues, and works with government and industry to ensure these issues are addressed.

As a group, RSPCA undertake the following work:

  • Animal Services: provide animal shelters across the country that act as rehabilitation and adoption centres for unwanted, stray and injured animals, and as holding facilities for animals that are the subject of pending legal action by RSPCA Inspectors.
  • Preventing Animal Cruelty: employment of animal welfare inspectors that respond to reports of animal mistreatment, enforce animal welfare law, investigate animal cruelty offences and educate animal owners on appropriate animal care.
  • Working with Farming Industries: engage with the farming industry’s peak bodies to develop animal welfare standards and to improve animal husbandry and management across the wider industry.
  • RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme: facilitate an independent accreditation scheme that approves animal products based on their animal welfare standards. RSPCA Australia approve layer hens, pigs, meat chickens, turkeys and farmed Atlantic salmon.

How do they earn their money?

Source: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Source: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission


How do they spend their money?

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    Source: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Source: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission


Should I donate to them?

RSPCA Australia is a legally registered charity with deductible gift recipient status. They describe their board, how they are governed and how they manage conflicts of interest. 

However, there are gaps in RSPCA Australia’s reporting that makes it difficult to understand how they are operated. For example, it is not clear how funds are distributed between them and their State societies. It is also not clear what they do as a National body or how they are managed on a day-to-day basis. RSPCA Australia also do not provide any information to demonstrate they are effective. While they list the different activities that RSPCA as a whole undertake, it is not clear what is under the remit of RSPCA Australia and what the State societies are responsible for. It is also unclear what their strategy is, what their results are, and how (or if) they evaluate their performance. 

After considering RSPCA Australia’s published information, we are unable to recommend donating to them. They do not present basic information that demonstrates they are trustworthy or effective. In order to offer a neutral recommendation, we need to see:

  • a clear description of what RSPCA Australia does and how they are operated;
  • details of the financial and operational arrangement between RSPCA Australia and their State and Territory Societies.

To reiterate, this is an assessment for RSPCA Australia only. Recommendations for RSPCA societies may be different. Please contact us if you would like an evaluation for a State or Territory RSPCA Society.  


We have investigated the finances, operations and results of RSPCA Australia and present our evaluation in a report that you can download now. This evaluation shows you how your donation is spent, who is running the organisation and whether there are any potential conflicts of interest. It also examines whether the charity can demonstrate that they are delivering meaningful results. Finally, it contains our recommendations for potential donors and the reasoning behind them.

Download our complete evaluation of RSPCA Australia below to find out if they're the charity for you.

RSPCA Australia

Find out whether RSPCA Australia is the charity for you. In this evaluation we describe what this charity does and why, what you should know about them, how your money is spent, who is running the organisation and whether they deliver results. Last of all, we recommend whether you should donate to them based on the findings of our analysis.

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