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UPDATE: RSPCA abandon search for dog with tape on muzzle

 RSPCA Inspector Laurie Stageman.
RSPCA Inspector Laurie Stageman. Sharyn O'Neill ROK271011sdog4

UPDATE MONDAY: A LENGTHY search for a skeletal dog muzzled with tape west of Aratula has been abandoned.

After 12 days of searching, laying a trap and calling on members of the public to help, the RSPCA announced today the search had ended unsuccessfully.

The dog, believed to be a German Shepherd Kelpie cross, was spotted a number of times 8 kilometres west of Aratula on the Cunningham Highway.

"Thanks to a number of volunteers who assisted Inspector Laurie Stageman a large area was covered and baited traps were checked regularly," RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty said.

"The last confirmed sighting was last Tuesday when the tape appeared to have moved down the dog's muzzle.

"Inspector Laurie and the RSPCA team would like to thank the community and concerned followers that offered to help and provided information.

"A search of this nature could not have endured for the 12 days without their generous support."

The RSPCA said it appeared likely that either the dog managed to remove the tape or it had passed away.

Mr Beatty urged anyone with new information to contact the RSPCA 1300 ANIMAL (264 625).

RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty.
RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty. David Nielsen

WEDNESDAY: THE RSPCA is yet to find a dog seen wandering on the Cunningham Hwy at Aratula more than week ago.

Their trapping efforts are continuing.

MONDAY: A search for a dog with its mouth taped shut wandering near Cunningham's Gap is moving into the eighth day after it was spotted early Monday morning.

RSPCA inspectors are trapping for the dog after they were unable to locate it via a foot search.

Spokesperson Michael Beatty said the tape seen around the dog's mouth last Monday must have come loose for it to still be alive.

Mr Beatty said food placed outside the trap had been taken but the trap was otherwise undisturbed.

"The whole thing is really weird," he said.

Anyone with information on the dog or about the dogs owners should contact 1300 ANIMAL.

UPDATE, SUNDAY 4PM:

A DOG muzzled with tape has been seen alive once again this morning, defying expectations of the RSPCA.

The animal welfare group have been trying to locate the German Shepherd Kelpie cross for days with no success.

Their hope was renewed this morning when a couple reported seeing a dog with tape around its mouth near Cunningham's Gap.

RSPCA metro inspector Laurie Stageman said they described it as "skin and bones".

"I got up to 38 degrees out there over the weekend so I am surprised it's still alive," he said.

"There must be gap in the tape where it can pant and drink a small amount of water.

"I've moved the trap to where the dog was last spotted. The only way we're going to get this dog is by catching it in a trap."

Anyone with information on the dog or about the dogs owners should contact 1300 ANIMAL.

The dog was last seen with duct tape around its mouth. Photo: File
The dog was last seen with duct tape around its mouth. Photo: File INM

UPDATE 1.34PM WEDNESDAY:

A TRAP will be set as a last resort to try and lure a skeletal dog whose mouth has been taped shut.

RSPCA metro inspector Laurie Stageman plans to set the dog trap later this afternoon in an effort to catch and treat the German Shepherd Kelpie cross which was first seen wandering on the Cunningham Hwy on Monday.

The dog was spotted on Tuesday afternoon which renewed the animal welfare organisation's hopes of finding it.

With the extreme heat predicted to last until Sunday, Mr Stageman said time was of the essence.

"It would be very scared, I really feel for it. It dying of dehydration or starving to death is our biggest concern," he said.

"The dog is only coming out at certain times. There have been three sightings and one was at 3.30am so the trap is our last resort. "

The trap will be set in Cunningham's Gap where the dog was last seen.

"It's like a big cage with a trip door that will close when the dog grabs the bait," the RSPCA inspector said.

"We have members of the public monitoring the trap while I can't be there so it won't be in for too long."

Mr Stageman thanked all those who had helped search for the dog.

"I've had two women from the Gold Coast, a man from North Brisbane and locals help with the search and about 200 truckies are also keeping an eye out," he said.

"Members of the public have really stepped up."

His advice for anyone who spotted the dog was to avoid eye contact, take as many photos as possible and to try and get it to come to them using soft tones.

Anyone with information on the dog or about the dogs owners should contact 1300 ANIMAL.

Wednesday 11.45AM: There is renewed hope for a skinny German Shepherd wandering the Cunningham Hwy with its mouth taped shut after a member of the public spotted it late yesterday.

The dog was first seen on the highway on Monday and was last seen about 500 metres away on Tuesday afternoon.

Inspectors are continuing their search.

Search for dog with mouth taped shut in third day

EARLIER: A SKINNY German Shepherd spotted wandering the Cunningham Hwy with its mouth taped shut is still on the loose three days after it was first spotted.

RSPCA inspectors are returning to the search bushland along the highway at Aratuala for the second day today in hopes to find the dog.

RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty said large search parties were discouraged from looking for the dog and scaring it further into bushland.

He said people wishing to help could to do so by keeping on the lookout as they drove past.

"The trouble is the dog is already timid and unless it comes back out onto the road again the chances of finding it are remote," Mr Beatty said.

"Feel free to drive by but we don't want large numbers that could spook the dog further."

Mr Beatty said soaring temperatures yesterday and later in the week meant the chances of the dog surviving were reduced.

"If it isn't able to get down water it's not going to be able to survive," he said.

"Obviously in this heat please make certain dogs in back yards, on utes and in cars have access to shade and water."

Anyone with information on the dog or about the dogs owners should contact 1300 ANIMAL.

Topics:  aratula cunningham hwy editors picks rspca


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