Together with local film and TV actor Myles Pollard, responsible pet owners have saved lives this week by committing to keep their pets contained or inside for the inaugural Pets Night In.
The event was held on 11 April to coincide with National Pet Day. GeoCatch and Pets Night In Ambassador Myles Pollard encouraged pet owners to make a pledge to keep their cats and dogs inside for a 12 hour window.
A total of 89 pets were tucked up inside, safe from the risk of motor vehicle incidents, poisoning, cat and dog fights, transmission of disease, neighbourly disputes over nuisance pets, vet bills and from getting lost.
GeoCatch Officer Nicole Lincoln says a significant number of wildlife have also been protected from harm during the small 12-hour window, which demonstrates how easy it can be to look after our wildlife beyond Pets Night In.
“If these pet owners continue to keep their pets inside, we can save an estimated 9,570 native animals annually. Image what could be achieved with further pet owners on board!” said Nicole.
More than 1,600 cats are registered within the City of Busselton, so there is a lot of potential to save wildlife from death or injury by keeping them contained. GeoCatch Chair Felicity Bradshaw says on average one roaming cat can kill up to 110 native animals a year.
“Like cats, dogs can also cause harm to wildlife due to their curiosity and predatory instincts, particularly at night when possums are active,” said Felicity.
GeoCatch, along with leading animal welfare groups RSPCA and SAFE Busselton, advocate for 24-hour containment of dogs and cats. Pets’ Night In has captured a wider audience to encourage and support the community to transition and change their behaviour.
GeoCatch will keep the pledge page open for those still wishing to pledge beyond Pets Night In. Pet owners can pledge anytime online and there are plenty of resources available online to support pet owners keep their pets contained:
GeoCatch Pets Away Possums Play campaign
South West Catchments Council Responsible Pet Pawrent
GeoCatch hopes to grow this event annually and encourages any organisation or catchment group to be involved.
This event was strongly supported and made possible through partnerships with Myles Pollard, Busselton Vet Hospital, GeoVet (Busselton & Capel), Heritage Vet Hospital, Vasse Vets, City of Busselton, RSPCA and SAFE Busselton and supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, in partnership with South West Catchments Council.