Family's pet slain
By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au
FOR seven-year-old Brooke Goodwin, her pet cat, Puss Puss, was not only a play mate but a good friend.
Until last Thursday, when Brooke's mum, Sarah, found Puss Puss dead on the front lawn after someone had deliberately slit its throat.
'I went out to check the letterbox on Thursday and noticed the cat lying there ? she looked a bit damp but was in a sleeping position ? so I called her and when she didn't move I got closer and realised it wasn't water that had made her wet,' she said.
Sarah said she quickly took her children, Brooke, 7, and Max, 3, inside before ringing her partner to tell him what had happened.
She said she then contacted police who confirmed it appeared the cat had been killed by someone, and asked her if she knew anyone who may have done it.
'It's such a sick, low act, that I wouldn't like to think I know anyone who would do that,' Sarah said.
She said Puss Puss had been a family pet for about eight years and was just a 'big, fat, old cat'.
RSPCA Central Queensland Regional Inspector Shayne Towers-Hammond said it was a 'callous' and 'pathetic' attack on an innocent animal.
'I have to say, unfortunately nothing surprises me anymore, but it just goes to show the gutless way people go on, to leave someone's pet outside their home knowing they will find it like that, it just shows the lack of morality and what a callous action it is,' he said.
MR Towers-Hammond said some people had a long-time hatred of cats, but that was not a reason to treat them that way.
'People found doing this can now spend up to two years in prison or get up to a $75,000 fine as the most severe penalty ... previously it was only a maximum $1500 fine,' he said.
Mr Towers-Hammond said public awareness about animal cruelty had increased during recent years, making people more likely to report acts of cruelty to police or the RSPCA.
'It's quite disturbing because there are an average of 11,000 to 12,000 complaints (of animal abuse) each year, and about 1000 of those are from the central region,' he said.
Mr Towers-Hammond said people should phone the RSPCA hotline on 1300 852 188 or the Rockhampton office on 4921 3339 to report incidents of animal cruelty.