Seven puppies were discovered by a fisherman beside a Bowen river last month. Image: Supplied.
Seven puppies were discovered by a fisherman beside a Bowen river last month. Image: Supplied.

Heartless owners dump seven puppies near river

SEVEN puppies were found dumped in Bowen last month, making it the third abandoned litter in the town since February.

The puppies were spotted by a fisherman on a riverbank in Bowen after they wandered out of the scrub.

The litter was taken to the Whitsunday Regional Council pound before being transported to the RSPCA in Mackay.

The Rhodesian ridgebacks are reportedly doing well after a few weeks of rest and recovery and all seven will be available for adoption in Mackay soon.

Helping Hands Animal Rescue Bowen co-founder Kirsty Short said it was disappointing that a third litter had been dumped.

Earlier this year, a litter was found in a fertiliser bag at Euri Creek, covered in scabs and looking like "a bag of bones".

Just one week later, another five puppies were found at the Don River in what animal rescuers described as the "worst state they've ever seen an animal".

RESCUE: Five puppies who were dumped at Euri Creek earlier this year have since been rehomed. Photo: Anna Wall
RESCUE: Five puppies who were dumped at Euri Creek earlier this year have since been rehomed. Photo: Anna Wall

On both occasions, Ms Short helped nurse the puppies back to health.

She encouraged residents who were struggling to look after their pets to reach out for help, saying they should not be embarrassed about passing animals on to the shelter.

"Our biggest thing we tell people is that there's no shame in just asking for help," she said.

"Everyone gets these animals that are cute and cuddly and as (the pets) grow up they get these behaviours and (owners) don't know what to do with them … they think they have bitten off more than they can chew.

"I would feel more ashamed to go and dump them in a river or down a dirt road. I'd feel worse doing that then turning them in to the rescue."

Ms Short said since the puppies were dumped earlier in the year, the shelter had received five separate surrendered litters, all of which had been rehomed.

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Since January this year, Helping Hands volunteers have desexed, vaccinated and rehomed 68 puppies and about 52 cats.

"It is a lot of animals but we're grateful we were there to help them because if we weren't, where would those animals be now?" Ms Short said.

RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said desexing animals was key in reducing the overpopulation of pets.

Mr Beatty encouraged residents to take part in RSPCA's Operation; Wanted desexing campaign where 157 vets across the state have offered 20 per cent discounts on their normal desexing fees.

"There is a massive pet overpopulation all over Queensland and of course Australia," he said.

"Over 50,000 animals come into our care every year and the vast majority of the domestic animals have not been desexed. We've got to get the message out there."


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