Boof rescued from life on chain gang
Thursday, January 14, 2010
© The Cairns Post
THE RSPCA is hunting the owner of a bullmastiff-cross who allegedly left the dog to die in summer heat with a 30kg chain wrapped around its neck after beating it with a steel bar, punching it and trying to break its legs.
Neighbours say two-year-old Boof was also kicked and stomped on by its Mareeba owner during two days of torture before they called authorities.
Neighbour Gordon Shelton said that after he saw the dog being "jumped on" he waited until the owner went to work, retrieved the animal and called the RSPCA.
"I witnessed the next door neighbour beating the dog with steel or a metal pole. He was laying into him fairly well," he said.
"The next morning I heard the dog howling and saw him physically punching the dog and he had one leg crossed over the other and he was pulling at them trying to break them.
"Once the dog was on the ground he started stomping on it very badly and at that stage I yelled ‘Cut it out’.
Animal cruelty inspectors arrived shortly after and found a large industrial chain around the dog’s neck which was tied to two concrete building blocks, weighing 50kg in total.
The dog was struggling to stand during 31C heat.
RSPCA Far Northern regional inspector Cameron Buswell believed the man had fled Queensland and said Boof would have died if left in his condition.
"It was a death sentence … the temperatures on that day were around 27C and 31C and a dog would perish after a few hours," he said.
"Its organs would shut down and it would have been a slow miserable death." The RSPCA has now publicly released information on the case in a desperate bid for information on the man’s whereabouts.
The man is also wanted by police for questioning in relation to another matter.
The RSPCA wants to slap four charges of cruelty and duty of care breaches on the man, believed to be aged 30, after they seized the dog.
If found he could face up to $130,000 in fines or up to three years in jail.
The man was last seen last week but sources close to him say he is now believed to be in South Australia, having left his job at a local chicken processing plant.
Boof was the 14th Far Northern cruelty case or complaint made to the RSPCA already this year.
It’s a horror start to the year for the Tablelands Regional Council area, after having to put down about 20 cats and dogs a month in 2009 for disease or injury from
Boof has been recovering at the Cairns RSPCA shelter at Stratford and has become one of the refuge’s favourite residents.
"He’s a very nice-natured dog and everyone at the shelter is falling in love with him," Mr Buswell said.
Boof can’t be adopted yet, but carers hope to find him a home in the next few months.