Laws could encourage cruelty: vet

Subiaco veterinarian Greg Wilkinson with patient Billie and nurse Caitlyn Nicholson with the hospital's resident cat Calvin. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d409617
Subiaco veterinarian Greg Wilkinson with patient Billie and nurse Caitlyn Nicholson with the hospital's resident cat Calvin. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d409617

‘I think it’s sensible that councils have some kind of cat control, but I worry that encouraging people to call and dob in a cat who isn’t wearing a collar could rationalise hatred against cats,’ Dr Wilkinson said.

‘It opens up avenues for malicious action when a poor old cat might be just wandering past his neighbour’s garden.

‘We have a cat in recovery right now who I suspect has been kicked in the face, which is sadly not uncommon. This legislation may give those kinds of people the justification they want that cats are destructive and should be locked up and controlled.’

The self-confessed ‘Subi tragic’ said he grew up in Subiaco, played for the Subiaco Lions in his youth and has run the clinic (which opened in the 1960s) for more than 26 years.

‘I have seen generations of local families and their pets and am privileged to get a real window into people’s lives,’ Dr Wilkinson said.

‘I’ll be driving around and see a dog on the Rokeby Road and think: ‘Oh yeah, he’s walking a bit better now’ or grab a sandwich at lunch and get talking with someone about their cat. It’s just the nature of the job.’

Dr Wilkinson said deciding whether he was more of a dog or cat person was as impossible as choosing his favourite child.

‘No matter what kind of animal, pet ownership is just so important,’ he said.

‘The first thing I do when I get home, and my sons do the same, is say hello to the dog.

‘Give him an ear rub and have a good old chat.’