A FAMILY’S beloved pet has been mauled by two ferocious dogs in Echuca who couldn’t be controlled on a lead.
And according to a Facebook post about the attack, which has been shared more than 50 times, it is not a one-off incident but rather a common occurrence around the Echuca and Tongala areas.
While on holidays in Echuca, Kim Di Mieri and her daughters, aged four and two, were walking their 10-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier Oscar along the footpath on Anstruther St, beside Echuca Primary School, about 3.30pm on Friday when they were set upon by two black dogs she believed to be a rottweiler and pitbull.
‘‘A woman was walking from the other direction and her two dogs were barking and scrapping with each other and it looked like she was having trouble controlling them, so I held Oscar very close to me,’’ Mrs Di Mieri said.
‘‘The woman went right out onto the street to give us a wide berth and just as we walked past she was struggling to hold them and they dragged her over to us and latched onto Oscar.
‘‘In the attack, the three of them bumped into the pram where my two-year-old daughter was, which was quite frightening.
‘‘I remember screaming and they eventually let go.
‘‘My four-year-old was hysterical by this point.’’
Mrs Di Mieri said Oscar was badly injured in the attack and when she realised he couldn’t walk, she told the woman that Oscar had been hurt and would need to see a vet.
‘‘She just said ‘Your dog attacked my dogs’ and walked away. I couldn’t believe it.
‘‘I told her I wanted her details but she just took off.
‘‘I wanted to go after her, but I had to carry a 25kg dog and get my daughters home — one of whom was on a scooter crying and the other in a pram wanting to get out, so I couldn’t run after her.’’
Mrs Di Mieri said the bite mark on Oscar was about 3.5cm deep (see pictures right) and required a trip to the vet, which cost her $300.
‘‘I called the police but they said they couldn’t do anything because I had no evidence,’’ she said.
She did make a report to the ranger, who is investigating the attack.
Campaspe Shire regulatory and community services general manager Paul McKenzie said although council staff had been provided with a statement and a description of the dogs, it had no details of where the dogs might live and the owner’s name, and no witnesses were present.
‘‘The person walking the now injured dog is not a resident of Echuca and was visiting family. All factors make it very difficult to take further action particularly as we cannot identify an owner,’’ he said.
‘‘Dog owners are reminded of their responsibility to ensure their dogs are under control in public places.’’
Despite numerous complaints of dog attacks and dogs roaming the streets, Mr McKenzie said reports of them were not on the increase.
‘‘Reports of uncontrolled dogs can be made to council, with each report to be investigated and infringement notices issued where appropriate,’’ he said.
‘‘If necessary, dogs will be impounded and legal action taken.’’
Mrs Di Mieri said she would like to see the dogs who attacked Oscar muzzled and treated as dangerous.
‘‘If it had been a little dog, they would have killed it,’’ she said.
‘‘I don’t want this to happen again to anyone’s dog or, worse still, a child.
‘‘If my daughter had tried to intervene, I don’t know what would have happened. They were really ferocious.’’
She also said the dogs’ owner needed to be held responsible and fined.
‘‘She had no regard for her dogs’ actions,’’ she said.
The woman is described as aged in her 50s with grey hair, which was pulled back in a ponytail. She was last seen heading west over the Campaspe River footbridge.
‘‘I just want to make sure residents are aware of this and make sure this doesn’t happen again,’’ Mrs Di Mieri said.