Council seizes 29 ‘campaign’ dogs

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Unchained: Vets are checking the health of unregistered dogs being kept on a property at Blind Bight after they were seized by Casey Council. Picture: Oscars Law

Unchained: Vets are checking the health of unregistered dogs being kept on a property at Blind Bight after they were seized by Casey Council. Picture: Oscars Law

TWENTY nine dogs have been seized from a property owner at Blind Bight for contravening a local law that limits the number of animals allowed to be kept without a permit.

Troy Scoble was found guilty at the Dandenong Magistrates Court in late June 2016, of keeping too many animals on his property and failing to meet basic registration requirements.

“Council is in regular contact with the owner of the dogs, who are being vet-checked and will be cared for until a decision on their future is made,” Casey mayor Cr Sam Aziz said.

“Council acted as swiftly as it could within the bounds of the law and in the best interests of the dogs.

Dogs being kept at the property featured as part of the 2 July federal election campaign of Animal Justice Party candidate for Flinders, Ben Wild, who attracted 4.2 per cent of votes. The seat was retained by Liberal Greg Hunt (51.6 per cent of votes).

Mr Wild distributed images of dogs chained to kennels to illustrate the need for a federal office of animal welfare.

He said the department should stand apart from the agriculture department and be in a position to strengthen the powers of animal welfare organisations, including the RSPCA.

”This case began in February this year when Oscar’s Law broke the news of up to 40 dogs being held on small chains, in muddy bushland out the back of Mr Scoble’s property in Blind Bight,” Mr Wild said last week.

“Since this time there have been a number of campaigns to save the dogs, with police, the RSPCA and the council visiting the property on numerous occasions.

“In the end it was a council by-law that eventually got these dogs out of there.”

Mr Wild said that the seizure of the dogs was “truly a tremendous outcome … we are only part way there”.

During the election campaign Mr Wild had nearly 16,000 signatures on a petition asking for any level of government to come to the aid of the dogs.

“After all the community outrage and concern, it was a simple council by-law regarding registration that saved these dogs. Once again this highlights the absolute gulf developing between community expectations regarding animal welfare and the actual laws that govern them,” he said.

“But it’s not over yet for these poor animals – with months of rehabilitation expected ahead.

“These dogs have endured both physical and psychological trauma over this last year and will take some serious rehabilitation before they can be re-homed.

“But in the end this is exactly what we have hooped for since the plight was brought to our attention.”

Mr Wild said he was grateful that the City of Casey had had “the foresight to develop stronger by-laws on animal”.

First published in the Frankston Times – 8 August 2016

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