A SUNSHINE Coast man wants tougher penalties for people not disposing of fishing tackle properly.
Bli Bli's Graham Osborne got slapped with a $3600 vet's bill after his dog ate a hook and fishing line last month.
The six-year-old labrador cross golden retriever gave an almighty cough after gobbling up what he thought was just grass at Muller Park, Bli Bli on March 15.
"Riley had just been for a swim and we were just walking along and he was eating grass, then he coughed, and then I saw three or four metres of line hanging out of his mouth," he said.
"I cut most of it off and then brought him home and rung the vet."
After waiting three hours at a Mooloolaba veterinary clinic, only to find out they could not assist him, Mr Osborne took his dog to Sunshine Coast Pet E.R. in Tanawha.
"We own a small business, Go Do Home Services, and $3600 is not the sort of money we had hanging around," Mr Osborne told the Daily.
"We had to use our tax money.
"February 15 was also our wedding anniversary, so it stuffed up our plans for the day."
Mr Osborne was told by the vet the longer he left the fishing line and hook in his dog the worse the outcome will be.
"He had to be operated on," Mr Osborne said.
"This cost a lot of money to remove, so I am on to the council at the moment to get some disposal bins put in and maybe signs to encourage people to dispose of (fishing line properly).
"I do not want someone else to go through the cost and heartache we did, or if a kid gets it in their foot.
"If I can save one person from going through this again, we have achieved something.
"Our local vet said it had happened to another family previously, but they couldn't afford to pay the money, so they had to wait for the fishing line to pass.
"I don't think it is proper fishermen leaving the hooks and line, it's amateur fishermen."
Mr Osborne said people need to remember the popular quote: "Don't destroy what you came to enjoy".
A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said all anglers were encouraged to dispose of their fishing tackle responsibly, for the safety of humans, animals and sea creatures.
Sunshine Coast Council, with the assistance of funding from the Federal Government's Caring for our Country grant program, has installed special fishing line recycling bins at key locations on the Sunshine Coast.
Twenty-three fishing line bins have been placed at boat ramps, near fish-cleaning tables and at popular fishing spots on the Coast and are maintained under contract by Remondis, including one at Muller Park.
"People are urged to use the bins to dispose of any unwanted fishing line and tackle to reduce the amount of line finding its way into the environment," the spokesman said.