As part of her early morning routine, Libby Oakes-Ash takes her small dog Charlie for a walk, but after a traumatic experience that left her small pup with several puncture wounds, she now carries a large pipe in her hand.
Last Friday morning (11 October), Libby was walking Charlie, a cross between a Maltese and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, down Dawes Street in Kingston. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw an off-lead German Shephard across the road, with the owner 30 metres in front of it.
“Being a dog owner, you always watch the dogs that are off-lead so I kept my eye on him but he seemed to not mind us,” Libby shared with Region Media. “Suddenly, the dog lifted its head and within a second it came bolting across the road.”
Despite Libby’s best efforts, the German Shephard grabbed Charlie, puncturing him just behind his front legs. Then it began ragdolling Charlie.
“I was screaming for help and Charlie was also making this high-pitch scream,” Libby said. “It was horrifying and I didn’t know what to do. I feared for Charlie’s and my life, it was that terrifying.”
Somehow, Charlie managed to escape and bolted back home. As Libby chased him home, she saw out of the corner of her eye that the owner had managed to pin the German Shephard to the ground by laying on him.
“Charlie was trembling, crying and with blood on him,” she shared. “He wouldn’t let me touch him till we got inside. We took him down to the vet to treat him for his couple of deep puncture wounds. The vet said he was really lucky because German Shephards can rip the guts out of small dogs.”
Libby said Domestic Animal Services responded promptly to her call for help, patrolling the area over the weekend but the owner has still not been found. In an attempt to find the person responsible, Libby posted her experience on Facebook, which received an immediate response.
“One lady contacted me, saying that the same German Shephard attacked her dog a few months ago as she walking down the same street with a baby in the pram,” Libby said. “Another person saw the owner walking the dog off-leash on Friday afternoon, just hours after it attacked Charlie. I have been told it has attacked in the past so now I am worried about what it may do next.”
Libby walked Charlie again this morning with a metal pipe in her hand, scared and terrified that she will bump into the dog.
“I haven’t slept well, suffering flashbacks to my pup being thrown around like a ragdoll,” she said. “My early morning walks which I loved are now making me feel ill. My dog was lucky but the next one might not be, so I am telling my story because I want to make sure it doesn’t attack again.”
Domestic Animal Services said its investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“Domestic Animal Services received a report of a dog being attacked by another dog in the Kingston area on the morning of Friday 11 October. DAS attended the scene and spoke with the owner of the attacked dog,” DAS said in a statement.
“DAS is currently working with the community to locate the attacking dog and its owner.”
Canberra Liberals Nicole Lawder said the Barr Government has failed to protect Canberrans and their beloved pets from vicious dog attacks for years.
“Witnessing your pet be savagely attacked by an off-leash dog is a deeply traumatising event,” Ms Lawder said. “I really feel for this resident and her pet, and anyone else who has gone through a similar situation.
“The Barr Government has demonstrated an incapacity to enforce ACT laws and has repeatedly failed to support rangers who work hard to manage these stressful situations. If Labor and the Greens really cared about our family pets, they would better support our rangers, and enforce dog management laws.”