Wild dogs in and near towns prompt Gympie council warning
WILD dogs are ever present in the Gympie region and while the number of sightings in urban areas is low, Gympie Regional Council has reminded all pet owners to take responsibility for their pets to ensure they are safe.
Cr Mark McDonald said the council took regular measures to manage wild dog populations as part of its commitment to environmental protection, but more could be achieved by working together.
"We are aware of wild dogs' presence around our farming and agricultural land and we regularly work with residents in these areas to manage populations, but recent sightings of wild dogs in some of our urban areas can't be ignored," said Cr McDonald.
"We want to keep the community's furry friends safe and these latest sightings in Cooloola Cove are a reminder that we all need to be more diligent.
"Wild dogs are opportunistic; removing those things that draw wild dogs into our urban areas plays a key role in managing their populations."
Cr McDonald said that the draw cards for wild dogs are access to food and access to other dogs, either for mating purposes or to mark territory and dominate.
Through its monitoring, Council has identified roaming domestic dogs in the Cooloola Cove areas interacting with wild dogs.
"Once wild dogs start to interact with our pet dogs, they become more familiar and that's when we see increases in the number of dog attacks," said Cr McDonald.
"And no one wants to see that; to many people their pets are family which is why their safety is important to us."
Cr McDonald said that the community can help by ensuring that their pets are safe and secure in backyards and not roaming during the day or night.
Cr McDonald also reminded owners, if walking in bushland, to keep their dog on a lead.
"And never feed or allow food to be accessible to wild dogs," said Cr McDonald.
"We do not want to see reports of someone's fur baby being hurt - or even killed - by these wild dogs."
As well as seeking the community's support, Council is taking action in relation to these recent sightings with increased ranger patrols in affected areas of Cooloola Cove in early July in the lead up to a wild dog humane trapping program from mid-July.
Residents in the affected areas will be informed over the coming weeks.
"The best remedy for this is to mitigate the risk," said Cr McDonald.