'Sick mind' targets dogs by hiding thumbtacks in food

UPDATE: Even the RSPCA has not heard of anything like it.

As reported earlier by the QT, an extreme example of vandalism and animal cruelty has occurred over the weekend at the Augustine Heights Dog Park where hundreds of thumb tacks have been found laced with dog food.

RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty said the actions of the culprit, or culprits, suggested a sickness of the mind.

"I've not heard of anything like it," Mr Beatty said. "You get dogs that are poisoned with baits being put down but not with thumb tacks.

"That is a really sick mind for somebody to do that.

"You've got to worry about that person, or persons, psychologically."

Mr Beattie said offenders found guilty of 'serious animal cruelty' faced a maximum of seven years imprisonment under the Queensland Criminal Code.

He distinguished that from the maximum of three years in prison for straight out 'animal cruelty'.

"Under the Animal Care and Protection Act and the criminal code animal cruelty has a maximum of three years imprisonment although you never see that," he said. "The longest anyone has been sentenced for is three months, and they did a month.

"The previous (LNP) government brought in a maximum of seven years in prison for serious animal cruelty under the criminal code after two young guys bashed two alpacas to death in Caboolture.

"It is only the police that can prosecute under that."

The RSPCA can prosecute for 'animal cruelty' but not 'serious animal cruelty'.

Mr Beatty said the more stringent penalty for serious animal cruelty was brought in after the alpaca incident when "there was such public outrage when (the offenders) basically walked free".

Mr Beatty said he hoped the police found the offenders.

"There will be community outrage about this as well," he said. The dog park at Augustine Heights was closed by the council while the tacks were removed.

It has now re-opened and dog owners can utilise it again.


Hundreds of laced tacks spread across Ipswich off-leash dog park

EARLIER: Police are searching for the perpetrators of a shocking act of vandalism which has seen hundreds of thumb tacks laced with dog food scattered throughout an Ipswich off-leash dog park.

The act of animal cruelty took place over the weekend in the well frequented Augustine Heights Dog Park near Springfield.

Acting Mayor Paul Tully was at his Augustine Heights home on Sunday afternoon when he was visited by a couple who own a dog and had been to the park.

"They had helped clean up the park themselves and had recovered over 100 thumb tacks," he said.

"The couple said that pieces of dried dog food were spread around with the thumb tacks."

Cr Tully described the action by the culprits involved in the vandalism was "absolutely disgraceful".

"Resorting to this sort of tactic against defenceless animals would be abhorrent to every decent person in Australia," he said.

"It is absolutely appalling that something like this could happen in suburbia.

"A dog that swallowed these thumb tacks could have an excruciating and painful death."


Cr Paul Tully at the Augustine Heights park where the vandalism took place.
Cr Paul Tully at the Augustine Heights park where the vandalism took place. Contributed

Ipswich City Council has offered a reward of up to $5000 for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible

The park, which is utilised by dozens of dogs daily, has been closed and will be until the thumb tacks are removed with a council officer and residents on hand on Sunday afternoon to clean up the mess.

More than 250 tacks which were strategically placed have been recovered.

Council officers will continue the cleanup this morning.

Cr Tully has also called on the courts to throw the book at the offenders who he described as after what he described as "the sickest people in Australia with a total lack of any morals".

He said it was "the most-disgusting and shameful" attack on innocent he had witnessed in his 38 years in local government.  

"If anyone knows who is responsible they should report them to the police to prevent this ever happening again." 

"Too often (the courts) treat these sorts of human animals with kid gloves tapping them on the wrist with a feather and sending them on their way.

"Serious jail sentences should be imposed on these disgusting individuals to act as a deterrent to others in the future."

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