AMID a number of reports of dog baiting in Katherine, police are urging residents to remain vigilant and report any suspected instances of baiting.
Last week, social media in Katherine came alive with a number of unconfirmed reports of deliberate dog baiting.
Large pieces of meat were reportedly discovered in the yards of two residences with dogs, and it remains unknown whether or not the meat contained poison.
The penalties for deliberately baiting dogs are hefty and carry a maximum penalty of a $22,000 fine and two years in jail.
Police confirmed to the Katherine Times on Monday that the last reported instance of dog baiting was on June 25, when three dogs at a residence in Katherine consumed animal bait.
Two of the dogs died, while the third received treatment and survived.
Katherine Veterinary Clinic’s Veterinarian Dr Sam McMahon, who has been at the practice for more than two decades, said she had encountered a number of baitings over the years.
“The most common things used in the past to bait dogs have been strychnine or 1080,” Dr McMahon said.
“Fortunately, we haven’t had any suspect cases recently or anyone report directly to us here, but when it does happen, it’s obviously a very distressing thing.”
Dr McMahon said the access to those particular poisons was tightly restricted, and it was essential to test any suspected baits.
“We always urge pet owners to ring the vet if they find something suspicious, and to act quickly.
Katherine Town Council’s dog noise strategy echoed Dr McMahon’s sentiments that there were a raft of ways to address problems, such as barking or roaming the streets, without poisoning animals.
“Mostly problem barking is related to stress and anxiety caused by being separating from their owner,” Dr McMahon said.
She singled out behaviour training, medication, barking collars and pheromone collars as effective methods for owners to consider.