Loose dog leads to online 'harassment'
THE decision to hand over a neighbourhood dog to the council after it repeatedly entered his yard has led to serious consequences for Gympie business owner Rema Pooley.
Fed up with six weeks of having to shoo the animal away from his own dog, the final straw came after he returned home from a 12- hour day at work.
"My dog had come into season and I was having to get up every few hours to chase this dog away,” he said.
"And then I come home from work, around seven or so, and I found them locked together.”
Mr Pooley said he then attempted to contact the owners of the animal, whereupon the conversation allegedly became heated.
"So I said I'm not going to have this any more, I'm sending him to the pound,” he said.
With the dog still on his property, Mr Pooley called the council to collect the animal, where it was eventually picked up.
One of the owners of the animal took to a Gympie- oriented Facebook page, frustrated with the incident and the distress it caused the owner's children.
Mr Pooley was named directly in the post, but the posting of his business card has led to further consequences as well.
"I mean fair enough if it was just my personal account,” he said.
"But when you're putting up a screenshot of my business card and my address it's a step too far.
"I've got young kids of my own, and the last thing I need is people driving past my house and carrying on like idiots.”
The post has seen Mr Pooley's Facebook and phone account flooded with harassment from strangers.
"I've had numerous people in-box me over Facebook, carrying on that I've stolen a dog and that I still have the dog,” he said.
"The post was only pulled down after being up for about 36 hours. I've had people calling me as well.”
Mr Pooley insists everything he did when handling the animal was within the guidelines.
Under local law for the Gympie Regional Council, a seized animal can be delivered to local authorities for impounding.
With the dog now back with its family, Mr Pooley is frustrated with how the situation spiralled out of control.
"I do feel for the kids, I really do,” he said.
"But once I got accused of stealing the dog, it's just not on.”
As a pet owner himself, he said there needs to be greater responsibility around town.
"If you own an animal you have an obligation to be able to get them out, look after them and keep them where they're supposed to be.”