Shepparton woman’s pooch dog-napped by council

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Concerned for the safety and wellbeing of her beloved pet, Shepparton woman Lynne Lea is pleading with Greater Shepparton City Council to return her canine companion. 

On Monday morning, Ms Lea came home after finishing her nursing night shift at Goulburn Valley Health. 

Upon her arrival, she let her two German wirehaired pointers, Cheka and Chanel, into the backyard of her Cornwall St property. 

Accidentally falling asleep with the dogs outside, she awoke to a call from the Greater Shepparton City Council community ranger service saying they had taken one of the dogs after an alleged incident involving a cat in the neighbourhood. 

"They told me we've got your dog and you can't have it back," Ms Lea said.

Ms Lea said the dog was her nine-month-old puppy, Chanel, the daughter of her three-year-old dog, Cheka. 

Nine-month-old German wirehaired pointer Chanel.

Distressed and desperate to have the dog returned to her care, Ms Lea visited the council offices the next day with a written letter asking to see her dog.

She also enlisted the help of a local vet who recently prescribed antibiotics for Chanel, but to no avail.

"I don't know where they are keeping her and I'm worried she will be fretting," she said. 

"The vet gave me a letter, but the council told me to give them the antibiotics and they would give them to her.

"I just wanted to make sure she is okay."

Having moved into the property in March after her father's death, Ms Lea said feral cats had been an issue in the area for quite some time because of an abandoned property over the back fence on Hampshire Cres. 

"My dad reported the conditions of the property as well as the cats, the mice and the smell," she said. 

"I had to stop the cats from coming over and tormenting my dogs, so I spent a lot of money making the fence higher.

"The cats are living in the back shed and under the house."

The abandoned property in which the alleged cats involved in the incident live. 

Unsure about the circumstances surrounding her dog's capture, Ms Lea once again approached council yesterday and attended a meeting with staff members involved in the incident. 

"It's been four days and I've got nothing," she said. 

"They're not focusing on the fact that these are feral cats that have been killing all the native birds, they are focusing on the dog.

"I just want my dog back."

Greater Shepparton City Council manager citizen services Laurienne Winbanks said "the dog was seized due to it being at large”.

“An investigation is taking place into an alleged attack," she said.

“The dog may be returned pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Chanel's mum three-year-old Cheka misses her daughter. 

Ms Lea has shared her plea via social media, which has helped provide her with useful information and support from across the country. 

"They are even setting up a Go Fund Me page to help with top lawyer fees," she said. 

Ms Lea said she will continue to fight for her puppy's freedom and hopes the nearby property will be cleaned up and the cats moved on. 

"I'm fighting hard to get my fur baby back," she said.

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