Gympie’s animal cruelty shame
HUNDREDS of pet and stock owners in the Gympie region are neglecting or abusing their animals.
While Gympie's animal cruelty record is not as bad as it looks on paper, it is not good either, the RSPCA said.
Complaints of animal cruelty made in 2014 included 147 from Gympie, 20 from Glenwood, 14 from Cooloola Cove, 25 from Curra, 11 from East Deep Creek and 15 from the Southside.
This compares to 115 from Bundaberg.
In total, more than 420 complaints were made about animal cruelty or neglect in and around the Gympie region last year.
About 75% of those were so serious they needed direct intervention from the RSPCA.
Julia Steley has been the RSPCA inspector for Gympie, the Cooloola Coast and the Sunshine Coast for the past nine years.
"There are certainly more complaints generated in the Gympie area and at least half of my prosecutions come from Gympie," she said.
About half the complaints relate to stock animals, and half to household pets.
Her response to a complaint can go one of four ways:
- The complaint can turn out to require absolutely no intervention from the RSPCA at all.
- It could require some advice.
- There could definitely be something wrong in the way the animal was being treated but the problem was being addressed.
- Or there could be a case of outright cruelty or neglect which needs serious intervention and prosecution through the court system.
"A quarter of the complaints I receive do not need intervention. Three quarters need intervention of some sort.
"A lot of the jobs I attend are for when something has specifically happened to an animal, such as a car accident, and the owner does not seek treatment because they usually can't afford it and the animal suffers.
"Then there are prolonged conditions, such as skin conditions, where owners can't afford to treat the animal but if they had gone to the vet in the first place things would not have been so expensive.
"Some people don't realise it's wrong, but most try and lie - and it's the animals who suffer."
As of August last year, animal abusers can be sentenced to up to seven years in jail under the Animal Care and Protection Act.
Anyone who thinks an animal is suffering, or being neglected or abused can contact the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL.
Animal complaints made to the RSPCA:
Amamoor area - 9
Chatsworth - 6
Cooloola Cove - 14
Cooroiba - 6
Cootharaba - 6
Curra - 25
East Deep Ck - 11
Glenwood - 20
Goomboorian - 5
Goomeri - 5
Gunalda - 6
Gympie - 147
Imbil - 6
Kenilworth - 10
Kilkivan - 14
Kybong - 7
Lower Wonga - 3
Pie Creek - 7
Pomona - 12
Rainbow Beach - 5
Southside - 15
Veteran - 8