Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 14-01-2014 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, January 14 2014 - 3
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Dogs stray when folks away
RSPCA acting chief executive Jane Gregor with a puppy left at home by its owners for the holiday period.
Picture: Elesa Kurtz
pet dogs fill
'With thousands of
Canberrans away on
holidays, dozens of dogs
left in the part-time care of
friends and neighbours are
being driven to escape from
Domestic Animal Services
licensing and compliance
KENNELS at the RSPCA and ACT
Domestic Animal Services are fill-
ing up as owners take holidays and
leave their dogs at home.
The government is calling on
Canberra dog owners to ensure
their pets are well looked after for
the rest of the holiday period.
Domestic Animal Services
licensing and compliance manager
Michael Brice said December to
January was one of their busiest
He said their 50-dog shelter was
almost at capacity.
"With thousands of Canberrans
away on holidays, dozens of dogs
left in the part-time care of friends
and neighbours are being driven to
escape from home,'' Mr Brice said.
"Unfortunately, sometimes the
kid across the road looking after
your pet just isn't doing a good
enough job ... so it will go in
search of company, food, or water.
"Dogs can take advantage of very
small weaknesses in fences or gates
-- even something like a crack can
be enough for a determined dog to
The situation was even worse at
Acting chief executive Jane
Gregor said they had about 60 dogs
for just 50 kennels and were
working with DAS to find solu-
"It is juggling animals around at
the moment,'' Ms Gregor said. "If
you have been looking after a dog
for a friend make sure it is in the
She said although there hadn't
been a greater increase in the
number of dogs coming in they had
seen that people were slower to
reclaim their pet.
However, she said dog escapes
can go unnoticed if the animal is
only given food and water and not
really checked on.
"If someone goes away and they
leave a friend or relative to look
after the dog it is a good idea to let
the neighbours know that is hap-
pening because that's when we get
calls with people saying the dog has
been left alone,'' Ms Gregor said.
The number of escaped dogs
over the Christmas period was
almost 50 per cent lower than the
same period in 2011-12.
However, Mr Brice said there
was still a lot of room for improve-
ment. He said owners needed to
ensure pets were given regular
exercise, attention, food and shelter
when they were left at home alone.
He said registration and micro-
chipping meant pets could be
returned if they escaped.
Rescuing food for people in need.
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