Isaac Regional Council rangers Esther Olney and David Couse.
Isaac Regional Council rangers Esther Olney and David Couse.

Paws-itive program to educate pet owners

CENTRAL Queensland residents are being urged to take some Paws-itive Blueprint advice to spare pets from rough treatment over the summer holidays.

The four-legged family members who may be left behind while owners go on holiday or, worse still, abandoned entirely as unwanted are something to be mindful over the festive season.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said it is a sad reality to a happy season that the region continues to see a spike in the number of roaming or abandoned dogs and cats over the Christmas and New Year period.

“Owning a pet is not a novelty, it is an enormously important responsibility for the life of that animal both financially and emotionally,” Mayor Baker, chair of the Domestic Dog Advisory Committee, said.

“Many of the dogs we pick up over the holidays are because an owner has lost interest, and no one has stepped in and took the time to provide training and care.

“Dogs need outdoor exercise every single day, and a huge investment is needed to train a puppy.

“Council unleashed its Paws-itive Blueprint for Responsible Pet Ownership in July this year with three characters – Mary Puppins, Sherlock Bones and Bark Vader – assisting in reminding residents of their obligations, community safety and animal welfare.

“We want to all Isaac pet owners to be responsible pet owners, which includes microchipping, registering and desexing your animal.”

Division 7 Councillor Jane Pickels said if you were considering buying a puppy or kitten as a furry Christmas gift, think long and hard about the decision.

“Many people who receive animals as gifts find that they’re unable to make the lifelong commitment to caring for their new animal companion, no matter how much they’d like to make it work,” the Middlemount-based Councillor said.

“Animals deserve the best lives possible but being given as a gift can make that outcome less likely.

“If you think you are ready for a puppy then that’s OK. It’s better to know beforehand and what to prepare for and don’t forget to consider what you need to prepare before bringing your new pet home.

“Council continues to run the Paws from the Pound program from Moranbah and Middlemount.

“Sometimes dogs are unclaimed or abandoned by their owners and Council strives very hard to find them a new home.

“We’ve got an exceptional success rate. If adopting a dog is on your radar call 1300 ISAACS and our friendly staff will be able to prepare and assist you.”

Residents can visit their local Council office to find out more about the Paws-itive Blueprint.