Animal cruelty rate alarm

Erin Pearson
GEELONG pet owners are amongst the worst in the state with more than 700 reports of animal cruelty in the south-west region last year.
The RSPCA Inspectorate received a total of 10,644 reports of cruelty last year with 736 from the Geelong area.
RSPCA senior inspector Daniel Bode said the Geelong region, covering Geelong to Portland, had been highlighted recently with reports of chook and duck killings in Geelong.
Mr Bode said although the RSPCA had not yet received reports to investigate the incidents, dogs and horses more than any other animals were those abused across the region.
“We don’t know the extent of what’s occurred because we haven’t received any reports yet but sometimes foxes behead birds for fun,” he said.
“Across the state though dogs tend to be the highest animal base reported, followed by horses.”
City of Greater Geelong acting manager of health and local laws, Shane Scriggins said 145 dog attacks had been reported to council between April 2010 and January 2011.
But Mr Scriggins stressed not all dog attacks were reported to council.
“CoGG’s records show that since April last year there has been one dog attack that resulted in a bite to a person considered serious, and 13 dog attacks on other animals considered to be in the serious category,” he said.
In 2007 five chickens were removed from their hutch and decapitated at Torquay Primary School.
In 2008 a Lara man’s illegal snare trap killed his neighbour’s Maltese terrier.
In July 2010, 25 dogs were rescued from a Meredith puppy farm after their owner could no longer care for them.
While on a school camp in September last year, Torquay high school students beat a kangaroo to death.
And earlier this month a Bell Park family and Norlane family woke to find their backyard pet chickens beheaded.
RSPCA investigate inappropriate human interference such as acts of beating, lack of treatment, lack of food and water and inappropriate shelters.
Persons concerned about animals involved in an act of animal cruelty should contact RSPCA on 9224 2222.
Persons convicted of animal cruelty face fines of up to $28,000 and up to two years in prison.