Confronting horrifically malnourished and abused animals and facing aggressive pet owners is all in a day's work for RSPCA officers.

The West Australian joined two of the animal welfare group's inspectors for a day on the road last week.

With just six inspectors across metropolitan Perth, they often travel alone - but on this day backup was required.

"There are times when we worry about our own safety and that's why we double up," RSPCA inspector Nat said.

The inspectors report to the RSPCA's Malaga headquarters about 9am on weekdays and Saturdays to organise their jobs.

Nat and partner Shaye explained that jobs were prioritised in order of importance, from critical to major to secondary.

"Critical jobs are the ones we need to go to immediately, majors we need to get to as soon as possible," Nat said.

This day had two major and four secondary jobs for the two inspectors - a relatively quiet day. We hit the road at 9.30am, heading to a vacant business in Beckenham in response to concerns about two guard dogs in a shed.

Although the inspectors could not get inside the premises, they contacted the security company and determined the dogs were well looked after.

We then drove to a Wattle Grove house, responding to reports of an underweight dog in the backyard.

A golden dog pokes his head through the fence, wagging his tail as inspectors approach.

No one is home, so the inspectors leave a note on the door and lower food and water to the dog.

Officers investigated reports of a malnourished dog in Balga. Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

The next job, a rural property in Wattle Grove, reportedly belongs to a fly-in, fly-out worker who leaves his dog at home when he goes to work.

We can only get within about 50m of the animal, which is behind fences and locked gates.

What looks like an American bulldog is in good shape, so inspectors leave a notice on the gates and we move on.

Our next two cases confirmed why the inspectors sometimes choose to travel together.

At a Huntingdale house, they confront a young man about allegations he deliberately veered into a cat, paralysing it.

He denies the allegations and after uttering a few colourful words, flips the bird at us.

"We cautioned him to get his side of the story, so we'll see if we want to take it any further once we have spoken to the other witnesses," Nat said.

The story of Greyson, a 10-week-old cat from Mirrabooka, is among the most heart-wrenching. The kitten was already at the RSPCA after having its eye gouged out by one of its owners weeks earlier.

Officers take away two dogs. Picture: Mogen Johansen/The West Australian

This day, inspectors were going to the house to persuade the owner to sign over the cat to the RSPCA.

After verbal abuse and strong reluctance from the owner, the papers are signed.

Animals in the shelter are either signed over with the written permission of their owners or are seized by the RSPCA.

Others have been abandoned or are homeless.

If the animals are surrendered, they can be vaccinated, sterilised, microchipped and rehomed.

Animals seized without their owner's permission can end up being the subject of court cases.

"We don't take animals unless there is a reason to," Nat said.

"The cat was seized because it had an open eyeball. We asked (the owner) to get treatment but the eye was open, so our vets have cleaned it up and resealed it."

At a home in Balga, a severely underweight dog paces the backyard. With no sign of its owner, the inspectors feed the animal and leave a notice.

The dog's owners surrendered the animal the next day.

By 2pm, we were on to our last job, this one in the northern suburbs. There had been allegations of dogs being abused by their owner.

After long negotiations, two dogs were surrendered to the RSPCA.

Of the 6000 jobs attended by RSPCA inspectors last year, 22 resulted in court cases. All were successfully prosecuted.

RSPCA executive manager community engagement Maree Daniels said it received about 60 calls a day.

On any given day up to 300 animals are housed in RSPCA's shelter. In the past 12 months, 1000 animals were rehomed or reclaimed.

The West Australian

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