The Role of Technology in Ensuring High-Quality Veterinary CareDecember 21, 2023
As lovers of creatures, great and small, the staff at Rossmore Veterinary Hospital believe it’s essential not only to take care of our pets but also to protect and respect our local wildlife, ecosystems, and natural environment.
Because we’re committed to promoting harmony between pets, owners and the local environment, we’ve developed this handy guide to keeping wild and domesticated animals safe and healthy. In it, we discuss why the Rossmore area is so critical regarding wildlife management, how to keep pets safe outdoors, how to encourage wildlife into your backyard, and what to do should you ever need to perform a wildlife rescue.
Why Nature and Wildlife Conservation is Crucial for Our Area
Bordered by creeks and bushland, and with much of our suburb made up of farms and large residential blocks, Rossmore is home to a large amount of wildlife that probably goes largely unnoticed as we go about our day-to-day lives.
However, a growing amount of development in the area is leading to a loss of habitat for many of our native creatures, and we are likely to come into contact with more animals more often as they move closer to built-up residential areas.
Protecting wildlife habitat and understanding how the poor management of domestic animals impacts the environment is key as our local area continues to evolve.
Safe Outdoor Practices for Pets
In NSW, the law requires that you have a dog on a leash and under your control when in a public place. Keeping your dog on a lead while outside your home keeps your pets safe from scared or alarmed animals, such as kangaroos, lizards or snakes, and also keeps local wildlife from harm.
You and your pet may come into contact with native animals even when walking on a lead. Therefore, it’s a good idea to train them how to respond to wildlife encounters, such as teaching a dog to ‘leave it’.
While the same law doesn’t apply to cats, they should be kept inside as much as possible, especially at night, and provided with outdoor enclosures to keep them from roaming. Believe it or not, cats can also be trained to walk on leads! However, there are a number of factors you should consider before walking a cat on a leash.
Cats are responsible for attacking one billion mammals each year in Australia. Cats have led to the extinction of several native species in Australia and left many others endangered. Cats are such a huge problem for native wildlife that some Australian councils have imposed 24-hour cat curfews. Camden Council has not yet taken this step. However, it does offer a ‘stray cat paper collar’ to address the problem of nuisance cats in Rossmore and surrounds.
You can find more information about being a responsible pet owner and protecting wildlife here.
Creating Wildlife-Friendly Spaces
It’s not just pets that can be companions — welcoming wildlife into our backyards is good for our mental health. Follow these tips to keep everyone safe.
- Avoid using hazardous chemicals inside and outside your home, especially on plants and lawns. They aren’t suitable for pets or wildlife.
- Avoid planting invasive plants that can easily escape into the greater environment and overtake native habitats. Check that any new plants are not toxic to pets.
- Make your home a wildlife sanctuary by creating biodiversity with plants native to your area and replicating habitat. This can offer natural sources of food for wildlife and attract beneficial insects.
- Provide reliable fresh water sources for native animals, especially on hot summer days.
- Increase biodiversity by reducing the size of your lawn. Your pets won’t mind.
- Plant more trees for shade so your pets can be outside but still get out of the sun when needed.
- Install bat houses, bird nesting sites, ponds for native frogs and bee hotels to encourage wildlife to visit you.
- Build an outdoor cat run that’s full of enriching activities and native plants that are safe for them so that they can enjoy the sunshine, too.
- Install possum boxes in your backyard so they don’t become a problem in your shed or home. Give them escape routes that are safe from your cat.
Recognising and Responding to Wildlife Distress
Some signs that a wild animal may be injured include:
- An animal that does not flee when approached is probably injured or in distress.
- Tree-dwellers, such as koalas, on the ground.
- Nocturnal animals that are about during the daytime.
- A bird or animal that’s panting, confused, or off balance is likely to be injured.
What to do if you find an injured animal
- Be aware that injured animals will be frightened if you attempt to approach them. They may scratch bite, or injure themselves further, trying to escape you. If it’s safe, gently wrap the injured animal in a towel and place them in a large cardboard box in a safe, quiet, cool spot until you can get help for them.
- Never touch an injured or heat-stressed flying fox or microbat, as they can carry bacteria and viruses that are very harmful to humans.
- Offer them water from a bowl only. Never attempt to tip or pour water into an animal’s mouth, as you could harm them.
- Never submerge an animal in water or place it in a wet towel if you think it’s suffering from heat stress. This can kill them by causing their bodies to go into shock.
- Call a NSW wildlife carer or Rossmore Veterinary Hospital on 02 9606 6984 for assistance.
All Animals Deserve Care and Protection
Veterinary services will not usually charge you to treat injured wildlife, so don’t hesitate to help an animal in distress if you can. However, one of the most effective ways to keep local wildlife safe is to be a responsible pet owner.
By working together, we can keep our community a safe and beautiful place that all can enjoy.