A frightening warning about a popular kind of dog leash has been issued amid fears it could cause serious injury or even death to pets and people if not used sensibly.
Leads with retractable lines have sparked fierce debate online due to the length of the skinny rope, and its easy ability to become tangled, smack someone in the face, burn or strangle someone.
A post to Dogs in the Park NSW’s Facebook page alerted dog owners to the severity of the issue, stating accidents could result in “cord burns, lacerations, and even finger amputations”.
Several examples of how terrible injuries had occurred as a result of retractable leads were offered, including dogs being able to run onto the street, charge up to people or dogs uninvited, or dart in front of cyclists or rollerbladers.
Leigh Kahlert, who runs an animal rescue shelter in North Brisbane, was one of many to have witnessed first-hand the devastating effect of pet owners using retractable leads irresponsibly.
A small shitzu who was way ahead of its owner on the other end of its retractable lead, approached Ms Kahlert’s rottweiler who was inside her property behind 1.8-metre fence.
The tiny “fluff ball” wriggled half its body through the fence and faced the full wrath of the much bigger dog’s jaw, then required expensive emergency veterinary care.
Ms Khalert said the man walking the small dog was to blame, as he “wasn’t even holding his dog back” because his dog was on a long retractable lead.
She said the incident, which happened two weeks before Christmas last year, totally ruined her festive season because she was forced to pay for a pricey upgrade on her fence to keep smaller dogs out.
The owner of the small dog filed a complaint with the council, which gave Ms Khalert two weeks to install shade cloth along the full length of her property or face harsh penalties.
“I’ve always hated those leads and if anyone donates them to the shelter, we have to throw them away,” Ms Khalert told Yahoo News.
“They’re so bloody dangerous, nobody has any control. Our dogs never go anywhere without a short, thick lead.”
She said anyone who owned a retractable lead should dispose of it immediately and invest in a good quality, solid length lead instead.
“Dump them, get rid of them they’re just dangerous,” she said.
“I’ve heard people get them tangled around their necks and legs, and a lady’s finger also got severed.”
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