Scottish SPCA: ‘Pandemic or not, control your dog’, charity warns amid rise in wildlife attacks
The Scottish SPCA recently issued a warning over sheep-worrying and is now concerned wild creatures are being harmed by dogs.
With more walkers using rural routes during the coronavirus pandemic, inspectors for the society have had to deal with reports of animals such as deer and foxes being fatally injured.
The charity is advising people to keep their dogs on leads at all times during the Covid-19 crisis to avoid potential incidents and reduce unnecessary pressure on services.
“Pandemic or not, people should not let their dog off-lead if they cannot control them,” said
Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Amy Stirton.
“I have now attended two deer in as many weeks which have been brought down by dogs.
“These deer often get away, but not before sustaining fatal injuries.
“This means we have to then try to find them so we can put them to sleep and prevent further suffering.
“Sometimes the deer end up in hard to reach places, meaning I need to call on another rescue officer or inspector to help me.
“This uses up vital resources at a time when we are already stretched to our limit by this pandemic.”
She also warned pet-owners against trying to rescue injured or abandoned wildlife themselves.
“I have also attended incidents of fox cubs which have been lifted by dogs in parks,” she said.
“The owners then mistakenly take the cub home before calling us. We would never recommend moving an animal unless it was in immediate danger.
“If your dog has moved a fox cub, leave it where it is and phone our helpline immediately.
“We appreciate people are trying to help. However, once so much time has elapsed, and as often the caller does not know exactly where the cub came from, we have to take it to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre at Fishcross to be cared for.”
She also pointed out that the charity would be unable to help search for missing dogs if they run off during the current crisis
She added: “Dog warden services are suspended due to coronavirus and we do not have the resources to search for missing animals.”
Members of the public with animal welfare concerns can contact Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline on 03000 999 999.
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