NARELLE Gale still struggles to relate the story of her beloved cat Pixie’s tragic death at the hands of stray dogs last week.
“It’s so hard, I’ve had her for 12 years and they really do become part of your family,” Narrelle says.
“I’m just glad Petey (her other cat) got away, but he’s lost his little friend now.” Narelle was at work when two dogs from a nearby Tuncurry residence escaped their yard and attacked Pixie and Petey in the front yard of Narelle’s home.
“They would’ve been out there sunning themselves like they always do.”
A neighbour heard the commotion and ran out to chase the dogs off but it was too late for Pixie who suffered fatal injuries. When Pixie was taken to a nearby veterinary hospital it was discovered that another cat had been killed nearby and that council rangers were already looking for the offending dogs.
The two Staffordshire Terriers were identified and euthanized this week.
“I feel sorry for the owners of the dogs as well,” Narelle said.
“Their owners are probably suffering as much as we are - lost pets they love as well. It could have been a young child, I just hope this can serve as a warning to people to be extra careful in looking after their pets. You see a lot of dogs just running around hopefully something like this will make people think.”
The Great Lakes Advocate reported a similar case in April after two dogs gained entry to the yard of an elderly Forster couple and attacked their pet cockatiels.
“We have had a few of these cases this year. Thankfully they haven’t involved young children or anything like that but there is some concern,” council’s manager of waste health and regulatory services John Cavanagh said.
“There seems to have been some escalation of these types of incidents, not just in the Great Lakes , but across the state. The timing is interesting as council only recently adopted its first Companion Animal Management Plan and as part of that plan we reviewed our dog attack procedures, but a lot of it comes down to the individual owners. They need to keep their dog enclosed, on a lead when they’re out and all those things.” Mr Cavanagh also reminded people of the penalties involved in this type of incident including a $550 on the spot fine, and a possible $1100 per animal. “Owners could be liable for substantially larger penalties should individuals pursue matters in court. In this instance, after extensive consultation with council rangers and the dog owners, the two offending dogs have been euthanized with the owners to cover all the costs involved. Due to their cooperation with rangers and in agreeing to euthanize the dogs they will not be liable for any further penalties.”