Mercury, Tasmania; MERYL NAIDOO | December 29, 2011
HIGH numbers of stray dogs from across Hobart are being reported to the RSPCA.
RSPCA Tasmania yesterday criticised local councils after being inundated with calls about stray dogs in the Glenorchy, Kingborough and Huon Valley areas.
“Council closures during the holiday period have left the RSPCA to deal with all the strays in Southern Tasmania,” RSPCA Tasmania chief Ben Sturges said.
“Councils have gone missing for a week and their dog rangers aren’t doing their work. This is poor form, saying they will only deal with animal emergencies when stray dogs are the council’s responsibility.”
Mr Sturges called the offices of some councils closed over this period, with calls going to a call centre.
“The caller is informed that a stray dog is not an emergency and is advised to call the RSPCA,” he said.
“We do not have the resources to handle the problem.
“We simply cannot cope with picking up council work on our very limited non-government funding at any time, but especially right now.”
Many stray dogs are handed in to the RSPCA during holiday season, often lacking identification such as a microchip or ID tag.
RSPCA’s Hobart shelter at Mornington had at least 10 stray dog calls yesterday alone.
“We have one animal rescue vehicle in Hobart and it’s being used to pick up stray dogs which isn’t the purpose of it. We do not have the capacity to handle all the stray-dog work in southern Tasmania,” Mr Sturges said.
To avoid losing their pets, Mr Sturges said dog owners should keep them restrained.