Rate of dumped pets rises
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
Fifteen hundred Gladstone pets were put down last year because of the negligence of local animal owners.
Joe Ward, who has been the senior local law officer at the Gladstone Pound for the past nine years, witnesses first-hand the plight of the animals.
'It is rough, but unfortunately you have to be realistic,' Mr Ward said about having to put down more than 1000 animals each year.
Last year Mr Ward saw 842 dogs and 877 cats come through the pound.
Of those, 638 dogs and 860 cats had to be destroyed.
There were also 71 dogs and 41 cats put down after being dumped in the Calliope Shire area, indicating an alarming trend in local animal care. The worst trend was in relation to cats. Nearly 200 more cats needed to be put down last year than in 2003.
Of the cats housed by the pound, only two per cent were collected by owners. The rest were destroyed.
Mr Ward blamed the irresponsibility of owners for the rise, saying many of the animals the pound was forced to destroy were simply dumped.
'Most of the animals are just not wanted and dumped here ? not picked up by us (the council),' Mr Ward said.
Mr Ward said if all local animals were de-sexed most of the animal dumping would stop.
'It's really frustrating the number of animals that need to be put down, that never should have been here in the first place,' Mr Ward said.
'If people just want them for pets then they should have them de-sexed and just enjoy them as pets.'