Warning: This article includes images that may cause distress to some readers.
Sophy Hart’s traumatised seven-year-old greyhound Charlie is nursing a wound that required at least 10 stitches after being attacked in her Scullin street by a male, tan pit-bull type animal running free in the neighbourhood.
Sophy, Charlie and her two other dogs, small white Maltese terrier types, only got as far as two doors down in Kauper Street on their morning walk last Thursday (1 February) about 10 am before the collared and tagged tan dog ran across the street and went for Charlie.
“They were all in a ball in a mess. I was yelling at them to stop. Once they stopped, my dogs’ leads was tangled in the other dog’s feet so I unhooked Charlie’s lead so he could get away,” the 28-year-Australian Protective Service officer said.
“He ran back home and cowered up at the front door. He went home and the other dog followed. He was trying to get inside the yard and have another go.”
Back inside the house, Sophy was shocked to see a gaping 10-15 centimetre wound on her greyhound’s right side.
Realising he needed immediate veterinary attention, she prepared to leave but the attacker was still outside.
So she called the police who then called Domestic Animal Services (DAS) on her behalf. Knowing she would require proof, Sophy went round to the side of the house to take photographs of the animal, who met her at the gate.
Sophy then waited for DAS to show up but with Charlie shaking and panting. She was worried about him going into shock.
When the attacker disappeared she took the opportunity to get him to the vet, where he was admitted for the day and underwent surgery.
When she rang DAS at midday, she was relieved to find that the attacker had been seized after someone else had reported it.
On her return to the vet that afternoon, Sophy learned that another dog had been brought in with an attack wound and after cross-checking photos, confirmed that the culprit was the same tan dog.
But this time the owners had been able to tie up the attacker so DAS could collect it.
It appears this dog was a serial offender with six dogs reportedly attacked in the Scullin area.
“Why does it attack other dogs and why is it running free?” Sophy asked.
The initial vet’s appointment cost Sophy $850 and there will be follow-up appointments during the recovery process but she is more worried about the trauma and its ongoing effects on Charlie.
“He’s been attacked a few times, which isn’t fair on him, mainly because he’s a larger dog and other dogs see him as a threat,” she said. “He gets quite scared of other dogs he hasn’t met before now and stays close for protection.”
DAS said investigations were ongoing.
The Legislative Assembly passed new dangerous dog laws last November in the wake of the death of a Watson woman.