Raising awareness that allowing dog’s off-leash in wildlife sensitive areas, is also a form of animal cruelty

April is Animal Cruelty Prevention Month

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and we are urging supporters across the world to support the fight against animal cruelty.

This post is dedicated to the efforts of animal lovers and carers everywhere that spend time and their own resources saving all animals from cruelty and danger.

What is animal cruelty?

Acts of violence towards animals, animal neglect and even psychological harm are all forms of animal cruelty.

We wish to raise awareness that allowing dog’s off-leash in wildlife sensitive areas, is also a form of animal cruelty — and we hope that you'll join in!

Dogs are a major disturbance to breeding and feeding birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. If an incubating bird is disturbed sufficiently often, the developing young may be placed at jeopardy. Possible consequences included mortality, or reduced chick size affecting reproductive potential and predation of eggs or chicks.

It is almost impossible for owners of off-leash dogs to locate their dog faeces.

There are good environmental reasons why dog owners should remove their dog faeces.  If left on the ground, bacteria, viruses and other microbes--will usually end up in the water table. A heavy rainstorm can easily carry dog waste into streams and rivers and wildlife can become infected with adenovirus, parvovirus, giardia, coccidian, roundworm, and tapeworm.  This can have a serious impact on the health of the ecosystem.

Off leash dogs chase and attack our kangaroos and wallabies.  When under extreme stress they develop Myopathy.  The animal does not have to be injured to develop Myopathy (disintegration of the muscle fibres)

From within 24 hours up to a few weeks after the incident, the wallaby or kangaroo will show stiffness and paralysis mainly in the hindquarters, progressing to complete paralysis, it will also salivate excessively, death will occur within 2-14 days after the stressful incident.
Usually we will not see an animal in this state, as it will go somewhere quiet and out of sight to die. It is natural for us to think that if the dog did not catch the wallaby, no harm has been done, the dog had a good run, the wallaby got away. As you have just read, the kangaroo may have gotten away, but it did not escape a painful and slow death.

It is very unfortunate that this situation takes place on a regular basis, as it is avoidable by keeping your dog on a leash when walking through bushland and parklands.

Responsible dog ownership may be considered to be compliance with leash laws, and removal of faeces and recognising that as a dog owner he has responsibilities for the safety of native wildlife.  There is no good reason why dogs should not be allowed off-lead in bushland areas and reserves.

Responsible pet ownership will allow everyone to enjoy the presence of native birds and wildlife in our surroundings. 

Recent story of a 5 joeys attacked and killed in their own back yard highlights again the importance of keeping your dogs secure at all times.