Warnings for pet owners

Alicia PereraPilbara News
SAFE Karratha founder Sue Hedley, with SAFE cat Shayla, and Karratha Veterinary Hospital vet Emily Yakhmi, with her dog Indie, are calling for more responsible pet ownership.
Camera IconSAFE Karratha founder Sue Hedley, with SAFE cat Shayla, and Karratha Veterinary Hospital vet Emily Yakhmi, with her dog Indie, are calling for more responsible pet ownership. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Karratha animal care organisations are urging cat and dog owners to be careful after five pet deaths from animal attacks and heatstroke in the holiday period.

Three adopted SAFE cats were killed by unrestrained dogs within the space of three days last week, while Karratha Veterinary Hospital said two dogs died of heatstroke between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

SAFE Karratha founder Sue Hedley said basic precautions went a long way to preventing animal attacks and keeping cats and dogs safe.

“(Most of these incidents) could have been avoided by responsible pet ownership — for the cats to be kept inside and the dogs to be kept restrained on a lead, and we wouldn’t have this devastating situation,” she said.

Ms Hedley said harsh penalties applied to dogs that were unrestrained in public and cats should always be kept inside or in secure outdoor enclosures where they could play risk-free.

“We say to (cat owners) there’s so many risks — there’s other cats, there’s snakes, there’s dogs, there’s people, there’s cars ... and even the climate impact. And then of course the impact on the wildlife, as they are naturally prey-driven,” she said.

Karratha Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Emily Yakhmi said roaming dogs and dog attacks were a “huge concern” in the City of Karratha area.

“If it’s not cats being brought in mauled by dogs, it’s dogs attacking other dogs, it’s dogs being hit by cars,” she said.

Dr Yakhmi said even healthy dogs were vulnerable to heatstroke in Pilbara summer temperatures and could be affected after a short period of exercise in the heat.

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