A local dog owner has discovered dog treats laced with fish hooks in his own backyard and has warned the local community to search their own property for the dangerous treats.
James Roberts, who lives on Lewis Luxton Avenue in Gordon, took to Facebook to share his harrowing account of finding the treats earlier this week.
“We have found dog treats containing fish hooks in our backyard around our gate and garbage bins,” Mr Roberts posted on Facebook. “Some sick bastard is going around with dog treats containing fish hooks and throwing them over fences with people who have dogs.
“I just can’t believe how awful and truly sick some people can be to do something so bloody cruel and nasty to innocent animals.
“If you have a dog please be cautious and alert of your dog at all times and be aware of your surroundings and check out the areas in which your dog moves around in case they have possibly thrown the bait over.”
The news was shared widely across social media, with many Canberrans expressing their disdain and anger at the act.
RSPCA ACT chief Michelle Robertson said the incident is yet another example of appalling and senseless behaviour targeted at hurting an animal.
“Every week, we see animals at the RSPCA ACT who have either been let down or hurt by humans,” she told Region Media. “Fish hooks can become embedded in a pet’s mouth, food pipe or stomach and can cause extreme pain.
“If anyone suspects their pets may have swallowed or ingested a baited item, we encourage you to get in contact with your vet as soon as possible.”
Ms Robertson said RSPCA ACT has investigated a number of incidents of ‘baiting’ dogs, cats and possums this financial year and warned of the effect such actions have on the animal and the perpetrator themselves.
“Of course, our hope is that people would stop being cruel to animals altogether, but until such time, we remind the community that it is an offence to deliberately or recklessly poison a domestic or native animal, punishable by fines over $5000 and imprisonment for up to one year.”
Canberra and Queanbeyan Dog Watch, who shared the original post on their page, said the group had heard of a few similar cases before and said the group was created five years ago as a proactive response to reports of baiting.
A Transport Canberra and City Services spokesperson said Domestic Animal Services did not have information relating to further incidents of baiting in Gordon and urged concerned residents to contact ACT Policing.
Following the Facebook post, the spokesperson said Transport Canberra and City Services has advised the RSPCA and ACT Policing of the incident.