Dog thefts spark renewed RSPCA calls

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

RECENT dog thefts and the bashing of another has led to renewed calls for an RSPCA officer stationed in Gladstone.Jennifer McGuire was disgusted after her dog Hogan was beaten to within an inch of its life with a hammer late last year.

But now she has become a resource for others who face similar occurrences.

'People have started calling me and asking what they should do with a dog they found or whatever,' she said.

'I really think we need an RSPCA here.'

Mrs McGuire said she had reported the case to Gladstone Police who already had 'a very full plate.'

Other dog thefts in the area have also been reported to Gladstone police.

Gladstone Police Sergeant Paul Ruge said they were regularly called by people about animal abuse claims.

'We regularly get complaints that are more along the lines as would be investigated by an RSPCA officer,' Sgt Ruge said.

Sgt Ruge said many of the calls were about people who were on holidays and had not left adequate shelter or food for their pets.

There is an organisation of local volunteers called Friends of the RSPCA, but it does not have authority to investigate claims.

RSPCA executive officer Mark Townend said the cost was the main barrier to establishing an officer in the area.



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