RSPCA Issues Plea After Dog Seizures
A spate of disturbing dog seizures in Queensland has forced the RSPCA to issue a public call to report directly to them about any animal in need of help.
Inspectors have seized one dog and five pups in Cairns, another two dogs in Toowoomba and one in Brisbane inside a week.
All the animals were emaciated.
"Sadly we are often forced to take in animals that have been severely neglected but these recent cases have been particularly disturbing," RSPCA Queensland chief inspector Daniel Young said in a statement.
"We're not sure what's going on but it's a state wide issue."
The society says failure to provide adequate food, water or shelter to animals carries a maximum term of imprisonment of one year and a fine of over $30,000.
The RSPCA says anyone who sees an animal that needs help should report it rather than post it to social media.
Only one complaint is needed to investigate concerns and social media posts encouraging "mass reporting" can do more harm than good.
"In a recent case, someone who wasn't the original complainant, published photos and the address of a person we were already investigating," Mr Young said.
"Because of this the person fled the property with the animal and we're now trying to track them down."
Mr Young said social media "lynch mobs" can have a major impact on penalties handed down in court with magistrates reducing the penalty due to embarrassment and harassment the accused has suffered in the public arena.