Animal cruelty complaints required backup during COVID-19
ANIMAL cruelty cases have seen a slight increase in the Sunshine Coast throughout COVID-19 in comparison to last year.
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said the number of cruelty complaints for the period of February 1 to June 1 was 335, compared with 324 last year.
He labelled the increase as "surprising".
"People have been at home more, so you wouldn't think this would have happened," he said.
"In some cases, the cruelty complaints have been related to domestic violence towards the animals.
"The DV cases have definitely increased with the lockdown."
With 76 cruelty complaints made on the Sunshine Coast for the month of May, cases involving poor conditions of animals ranked the highest at 25.
Amount of jobs received involving:
• Abandonment: 11
• Insufficient food and water: 18
• Poor condition: 25
• Tethered/confined: 15
• Living conditions: 11
• No treatment: 17
Mr Beatty said a second inspector for the Sunshine Coast and broader area had been hired six months ago, due to the increasing workload.
"There are a number of different issues that our inspectors have to look into - general neglect, failure to take animal to vet etc - and it's definitely getting busier up there," he said.
In 2019, Nambour had more complaints than any other Coast area, with 48 reports to the RSPCA last year.
The suburbs with the second-highest number of complaints were Beerwah and Buderim, both with 32 complaints each.
In what Mr Beattie described as a "huge breakthrough" for the animal charity, a Maroochydore man was jailed in July last year after being found guilty of being involved in a dog-fighting ring.
The father of three faced a raft of charges including dog fighting and depriving dogs of basic means of survival after adult dogs and two litters of puppies were seized from a Mt Cotton property.
The RSPCA urges community members to call the 1300 ANIMAL number if they notice any animals being treated cruelly or neglected.