Warn­ings for pet own­ers

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Kar­ratha an­i­mal care or­gan­i­sa­tions are urg­ing cat and dog own­ers to be care­ful after five pet deaths from an­i­mal at­tacks and heat­stroke in the hol­i­day pe­riod.

Three adopted SAFE cats were killed by un­re­strained dogs within the space of three days last week, while Kar­ratha Vet­eri­nary Hos­pi­tal said two dogs died of heat­stroke be­tween Christ­mas and New Year’s Eve.

SAFE Kar­ratha founder Sue Hed­ley said ba­sic pre­cau­tions went a long way to pre­vent­ing an­i­mal at­tacks and keep­ing cats and dogs safe.

“(Most of these in­ci­dents) could have been avoided by re­spon­si­ble pet own­er­ship — for the cats to be kept in­side and the dogs to be kept re­strained on a lead, and we wouldn’t have this dev­as­tat­ing sit­u­a­tion,” she said.

Ms Hed­ley said harsh penal­ties ap­plied to dogs that were un­re­strained in pub­lic and cats should al­ways be kept in­side or in se­cure out­door en­clo­sures where they could play risk-free.

“We say to (cat own­ers) there’s so many risks — there’s other cats, there’s snakes, there’s dogs, there’s peo­ple, there’s cars ... and even the cli­mate im­pact. And then of course the im­pact on the wildlife, as they are nat­u­rally prey-driven,” she said.

Kar­ratha Vet­eri­nary Hos­pi­tal vet­eri­nar­ian Emily Yakhmi said roam­ing dogs and dog at­tacks were a “huge con­cern” in the City of Kar­ratha area.

“If it’s not cats be­ing brought in mauled by dogs, it’s dogs at­tack­ing other dogs, it’s dogs be­ing hit by cars,” she said.

Dr Yakhmi said even healthy dogs were vul­ner­a­ble to heat­stroke in Pil­bara sum­mer tem­per­a­tures and could be af­fected after a short pe­riod of ex­er­cise in the heat.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

SAFE Kar­ratha founder Sue Hed­ley, with SAFE cat Shayla, and Kar­ratha Vet­eri­nary Hos­pi­tal vet Emily Yakhmi, with her dog In­die, are call­ing for more re­spon­si­ble pet own­er­ship.

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