Devastated Coast dog owner warns of beach dangers
A COAST foster carer is warning pet owners after two of her dogs were poisoned and severely injured after eating leftover debris from fishermen.
Lara Blackbeard had to carry her unresponsive border collie, kelpie-cross foster dog off the beach after he swallowed a fishing hook on Wednesday.
Little Luca was the newest addition to the Blackbeard family, who had taken the pup down to the off-leash area at Bokarina beach for a play.
She said she knew something was wrong when Luca's spine began to curve and he refused to move.
"I was devastated," she said.
"He has gone through so much in his young life. We just got him ... he was ready for adoption."
Luca was rushed to the Kawana Waters Greencross Vet clinic where emergency surgery was performed.
But it's not the first time one of Mrs Blackbeard's pups have been sick following a walk at the same beach.
"Fishermen often discard the remains on the beach - either the bait or the carcass of fish, and one of my other dogs ate it and he was desperately, desperately ill.
"I just wish people would be more responsible and cognitive that they are at an off-leash dog beach."
The vet bill is now at $3000 and Best Friends Rescue are unable to fund it, volunteer Rachel Sharrocks said.
"This week we have already had four dogs rushed into emergency services and we cannot afford another," she said.
"On the Coast, we have seen dogs who have eaten rancid fish, or bait on hooks left behind at dog beaches by fishermen and it has made them very sick.
"It's time to educate the public and make them aware of these dangers."
Kawana Waters Greencross veterinarian Joanna Law performed the surgery on Luca and said the injury was common on the Coast.
"It's normally when people walk their dogs on off-leash beaches in the afternoons. It's a reminder not to leave our fishing rods, bait and hooks where dogs can access them. Unfortu- nately, it can be deadly."
Head to the Best Friends Animal Community Facebook page to donate to Luca's surgery.