‘She’s all I have’: Man terrified for dog as foxes prowl
JAMES Fischer is terrified of what may happen to his dog, who he describes as "all he has", if she is attacked by foxes.
Mr Fischer's six-year-old mini fox terrier Min lives with him in Barney Point, with foxes not proving a problem when they first moved to Gladstone in December 2019.
"I arrived in Gladstone in December and around February this year I had seen them around, but I sort of didn't worry about them because they are only looking for food," he said.
"Then over a period of time I saw three or four of them, one night they kept on barking and the neighbours were complaining and there were f---ing foxes in my yard.
"I went outside to let my dog do a wee and here she is chasing them and barking, here I am in the nude inside while foxes are trying to get my dog outside!"
Mr Fischer, who is on a disability pension, said he ended up ringing council and complaining for 10 weeks, to which they replied they have not got any traps to catch the foxes.
"I rang them the other day and said 'look, the problem is getting worse here', the foxes are feral and there is plenty here and they will eat my dog.
"I asked 'when the foxes eat my dog, what are you going to do?'."
Council's response to Mr Fischer's continual concern was to send a worker with one trap, which they could not set in a public area.
"I said if you leave it in my place, the only thing you are going to catch is my dog," he said.
Mr Fischer sobbed as he said Min was the only thing that he has in his life.
"I don't want her torn apart," he said.
"It really, really gives me so much anxiety that no one is worried about these foxes who are going to kill my dog, man."
Mr Fischer said the only way this saga would come to an end was when council got rid of the foxes.
Gladstone regional Mayor Matt Burnett said council assisted landholders through various means including trap hire, baiting (where appropriate) and advice.
"All landholders have a General Biosecurity Obligation to control pest animals on their land," Cr Burnett said.
In response to Mr Fischer's claims regarding a trap shortage in the Gladstone region, Cr Burnett said GRC had four cage traps for built up areas.
"With other traps for use in rural areas only," he said.
"Four traps for built-up areas has met historical demand."
Cr Burnett recommended residents removed food scraps from their yard as foxes were looking for easy access to food, especially with how dry it has been.
"Because food is harder to come by, foxes are going closer to homes at the moment," he said.
"Foxes can travel long distances in the space of a day, so we rely on landholders to report sightings and set their own traps or request hire of our traps.
"If traps cannot be set in their own yard, it's suggested to ask your neighbours if they are having any issues and willing to get a trap in their yard."
Cr Burnett said feral animals needed to be controlled, not protected and council did not have any variation of a feral animal protection scheme.
"Landholders are asked to have the traps in their yard and monitor them, traps in open spaces are not successful as they are out in the open and not secure," he said.
Cr Burnett recommended landholders visit two useful links including www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/feral-animals-1 and www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/downloads/file/2642/pest-management-brochure.