Unleashed dog savages therapy alpaca while owner films attack

Genevieve Jacobs 14 March 2019 114

Nils Lantzke with two of his trained therapy alpacas. Photo: Supplied.

“I’ve had so much to do with death,” says Alpaca Therapy founder Nils Lantzke, his voice choking with tears, “Mimosa had helped so many other people but there was nothing I could do for her.”

Last night an unleashed dog savaged Mimosa the therapy alpaca, breaking both her front legs, biting them to the bone and injuring the terrified animal so badly that she had to be euthanised. Nils says the most shocking thing is that while the attack was taking place the dog’s owner filmed it on his phone.

Nils and a friend were walking Mimosa and fellow therapy alpaca Hercules on the bike path adjacent to Baldwin Drive in Giralang at about 6.45 pm when they saw a man approaching with an unleashed dog described as “a black Staffy”. Nils and the alpacas moved onto the grass to avoid the dog but the owner approached despite being asked to keep clear.

“The dog launched into Hercules first. He’s still a young one and he went into classic attack mode on his hind legs with his front legs folded up. I was yelling at the bloke but he wouldn’t do anything, he had his phone out.

“I had a stick and was whacking the dog, and then the dog went for Mimosa who is a tiny little thing. My friend Catherine had to let go of the lead or she would have been pulled to the ground herself.”

The badly injured animal ran away and but nearby residents helped Nils to track her down. “She’d tried to get home. She was lying on the grass at the end of our street in terrible pain. There was a lot of blood. I got a blanket to cover her because of the shock while we sat with her and called the vet.

“You know, I’ve been visiting the hospice with the alpacas for 12 years. I have seen so many people dying. but I sat there next to Mimosa crying because she has helped so many other people but I couldn’t do anything for her.”

Mimosa’s injuries were devastating and she was euthanised last night. This morning, Nils and his wife took her to a friend’s farm where she’ll be buried, leaving rosebuds with her body.

“She was like my daughter and Hercules is my adopted son. I bought her six years ago and she was wild as anything. I suggested to the owner that if I trained her for therapy work, she’d be more saleable, but after I’d worked with her I didn’t want her to go to another home. So I put her on layby and bought her as a Christmas present to myself.

“She did all that work at the hospice and in the hospital’s Mental Health Unit. There are young women in there who have been through dreadful stuff, and they don’t talk when they come in. They’d take Mimosa for a walk and she’d start them talking.

“She worked with autistic kids and a girl with epilepsy who had grand mal seizures and couldn’t be left alone. Mimosa would physically support her and protect the girl with her body when she had to sit down.”

Nils says that Hercules has been badly frightened by the attack and slept near the gate last night, hoping Mimosa would come home and crying out for her.

Nils will search for another young female alpaca whom he can train as a therapy animal and companion for Hercules. But the attack won’t stop his therapy work. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years now including 12 at the hospice. It’s a roadblock, but it won’t finish me.”

At 66, he’s devoted to helping others although he concedes he’d sometimes like some help with walking the animals and caring for them. Nils says he is “eternally grateful” for the support and care the community has shown him.

“I was really angry last night, but anger doesn’t get you anywhere in a case like this, it’s a wasted emotion. I was hurting enough already and to be honest, I feel empty with the shock. I just hope his dog doesn’t hurt or kill somebody else.”

Alpaca Therapy has appealed for anyone with information, including anyone who sees the video of the attack, to let them know or contact Domestic Animal Services.

Alpaca Therapy can be reached via Facebook.

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108 Responses to Unleashed dog savages therapy alpaca while owner films attack
Christine Ooi Christine Ooi 1:44 pm 13 Mar 19

R. I. P. beautiful. Not the dog's fault...incarcerate the owner/s.

Hayley Nicholls Hayley Nicholls 1:44 pm 13 Mar 19

I'm so sad to read this. Poor girl. She sounds like such a beautiful soul.

Janet Pumpa Janet Pumpa 1:51 pm 13 Mar 19

Once this breed of dog kills it will again, destroy the dog and jail the owner !

Bethany Williams Bethany Williams 1:58 pm 13 Mar 19

This is incredibly upsetting.

Glynis Quinlan Glynis Quinlan 2:00 pm 13 Mar 19

So incredibly sad! I’m so glad though that the therapy work will continue as it obviously does so much good.

Amanda Adams Amanda Adams 2:09 pm 13 Mar 19

Who ever owns the dogs ,is a real worry to any children that live in the neighbourhood,needs serious investigation sad😢😢😢😥😥

Shelley Brill Shelley Brill 2:11 pm 13 Mar 19

This person clearly has no conscience and must be found, I hope the police are working on this

Anna Francesca Clancy Anna Francesca Clancy 2:27 pm 13 Mar 19

That is disgusting, sadistic behaviour by the dog owner! What a sicko. He should be charged and not allowed to keep animals at all.

Steven Lloyd Steven Lloyd 2:33 pm 13 Mar 19

Let's help this guy out and share and catch the ass hope who did this as he needs to answer for this.

Sherri Anne Sherri Anne 3:15 pm 13 Mar 19

This breaks my heart. RIP Mimosa.

Anne Orman Anne Orman 3:36 pm 13 Mar 19

This breaks my heart!! Sorry for your loss Nils!

Caren Florance Caren Florance 3:38 pm 13 Mar 19

I’m sure the arsehole thought that he was making a cool internet video. I hope they find him.

Whitney Richardson Whitney Richardson 3:54 pm 13 Mar 19

RIP Mimosa. Absolutely horrific and could have been prevented if the turd of a dog owner had the dog on a leash.

Kwee-Lian Lim Kwee-Lian Lim 4:03 pm 13 Mar 19


Shirley Hadfield Shirley Hadfield 4:08 pm 13 Mar 19

This man will be identified. Hopefully police can use the video this disgusting person filmed of the attack to charge him with animal cruelty. This lowlife is unfit to have any animal in his care.

Sarah Kentwell Sarah Kentwell 4:23 pm 13 Mar 19

I truly hope the staffy isn’t put down but the owner should be punished

    Matthew Pez Matthew Pez 6:39 pm 13 Mar 19

    It's brutal but the dog might commit further maulings, you're right.

    Sarah Kentwell Sarah Kentwell 7:09 pm 13 Mar 19

    It’s tragic what happened to Mimosa, please don’t get me wrong. It’s terrible. But I believe the dog deserves a second chance, with a different human.

    Sarah Kentwell Sarah Kentwell 2:14 pm 14 Mar 19

    Ian McLeod I assume by "attack dogs" you mean staffies and pit bulls, yeah? I had two staffies and they were the most gentle creatures. I don't believe these breeds are inherently bad. I agree the owner is as irresponsible as a drunk driver. The fact that he didn't try to intervene makes me sick and I agree he needs to be punished, harshly. But I also don't want to get into an argument as I don't even know you so can we just leave it and agree to disagree?

Beata Georgina Wilder Beata Georgina Wilder 4:29 pm 13 Mar 19

RIP Mimosa xx

Lyn Bailey Lyn Bailey 4:30 pm 13 Mar 19

That is utterly disgusting. How can anyone let their dog attack another animal & then film it is beyond me. I hope the police find the dog & it's owner before you or a member of the public do. Sounds like the owner of the dog wants a savage dog. Next time could be a child.

RIP beautiful Mimosa 😪😪

Jennifer Gumm Jennifer Gumm 4:34 pm 13 Mar 19

Hope they find the **sehole! What a low act! 😡😡 So sorry 😪😭

Rebecca Parker Rebecca Parker 4:51 pm 13 Mar 19

Just awful....

    Aidan Chaston Aidan Chaston 9:01 pm 13 Mar 19

    Rebecca Parker unfortunately I saw the aftermath. So sad

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