The RSPCA in Queensland has called for calm amid online hysteria over a string of alleged dog baiting incidents as they fear social media will help trigger copycat attempts.
Fears have been growing in and around Brisbane after yet another suspected dog baiting attempt was shared to Facebook that claimed a poisoned sausage was flung into a backyard.
A hot dog stuffed with an unidentified white filling was discovered by a two-year-old girl in the backyard of a Redcliffe home in Moreton Bay over the weekend, according to a post which has been widely shared in the area.
Photos of the sausage shows a smiley face drawn with a marker pen on the end.
The incident comes less than two weeks after two dogs died from suspected dog baiting at Waterfront Park at Newstead and New Farm in Brisbane, with police investigating the matters.
However RSPCA Queensland’s Michael Beatty told Yahoo News Australia that the dogs’ causes of deaths are so far inconclusive and while such claims of bait found across Brisbane and neighbouring areas were alarming, they need to be substantiated.
“There’s no evidence that there is actual bait being found,” Mr Beatty said.
“We’re getting more and more reports but there’s nothing concrete. Everyone is going berserk.
“To the best of our knowledge there’s been no actual bait found in anything.”
Mr Beatty said they had received no information about the baited sausage in Redcliffe.
Facebook could spark copycat attempts, RSPCA says
He said that while all reports would be taken seriously, he fears social media is creating a copycat environment where it has become difficult to substantiate what is and isn’t a genuine threat.
Mr Beatty highlighted one report of baiting they’d received where the digested food in question turned out to be kibble.
“It’s a bit worrying that buying into all this so called baiting you actually are going to get people who do copycat baitings in the same way that happened with the strawberries for example.”
“By fanning the flames you are encouraging the idiots.”
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