About Ruby Benjamin

Ruby Benjamin was born in Collingwood in 1911, the oldest of six children. Her father was gassed in the trenches during World War I and was unable to ever work again.

As a child Ruby was always bringing home animals in distress. Despite the financial constraints on the family, she would always find a way to help any animal in need.

Ruby was married in 1931 to Frank Apted and son Douglas was born the following year. Doug still retains an active role in the Foundation.

By the time Ruby arrived in Western Australia, in 1974, she had already devoted many years to animal welfare earning life membership of the RSPCA in New South Wales. The RSPCA President said that Ruby's departure was a sad loss for the people and animals of NSW. Of course her arrival was Western Australia's gain.

She was horrified to find there were no animal refuges in Perth so she set about forming the Swan Animal Haven. Ruby first persuaded the council to provide land on a peppercorn lease, then arranged for a two bedroom caretaker's residence, office block, surgery block kennels and dog runs to be built and completely fitted out. All at no cost to the Haven.

Ex RSPCA (WA) President Eric Ball stated "When I joined the RSPCA Ruby was its backbone." he said, "She had a passion for animal care and was a most delightful lady. She brewed all that up into creating a foundation of her own." That foundation was the Ruby Benjamin Foundation Inc. In 21 years she guided it to continuing success and subsidised nearly 10,000 sterilisations with the co-operation of vets from Geraldton to Esperance. This led to fewer unwanted pups and strays roaming the streets.

Ruby was 74 when she started the Foundation and was still active until her death in August 2006, aged 95. She was recognised with citizenship awards from State, Federal and Local Governments, including the 2001 Premier's Australia Day Award. in 2002 Ruby was made a life member of the RSPCA (WA). In her last couple of days her prime concern was finding someone to take care of her dog. She was that sort of person.