Fatal mauling ‘preventable’

Holly the greyhound just before her life support was turned off.

A SPEARWOOD couple say they are “devastated” after their greyhound Holly was killed by another dog on March 13 while being walked by a volunteer – an attack they believe might have been preventable. 

Don and Jean Heather said Holly was being led by Pets of Older Person’s volunteer Ljubica Petrovic at a local park when a mixed breed dog ran across the road from an unenclosed property and attacked. 

The dog dragged both Holly and Ms Petrovic across the road until a passerby was able to pull Holly free – apparently relying on a liberal use of his tradie steel-cap boots. 

Mr Heather said the dog “tore [Holly’s] chest out.” 

Holly underwent several surgeries over 10-days but was unfortunately euthanised last weekend. 

Mr Heather say there was just “not enough flesh to sew together”.

Ms Petrovic and the tradie reported the attack to Cockburn council immediately, but Mr Heather said he and his wife weren’t contacted by Cockburn rangers as they hadn’t filed the complaint.

When they did speak to staff, they weren’t told the offending dog had been involved in an attack on a kelpie three weeks earlier.

Mr Heather has since spoken to the owner of the kelpie and says he’s angry the council didn’t do enough at the time, believing a stronger response could have prevented Holly’s attack. The owner was issued a fine.

Mr Heather, a retired fisherman who now runs a home-based gourmet seafood service, said the council needed to “lift their game” as it seemed it was only media attention that got some action.

The council has now declared the offending dog “dangerous” and it will be required to wear an identifiable collar and a muzzle in public. 

In a statement the council said it would also prosecute the owner, who may face penalties up $10,000. 

“The courts may impose a destruction order and award legal cost,” the statement reads.

The council said it had “done all it can within the legal powers provided by state law”.

Mr and Mrs Heather face an estimated $22,000 in veterinary bills, but POOPS coordinator Robyn Knox  has set up a gofundme campaign which has already raised $19,657. 

POOPS is hosting a walk in Holly’s memory at Manning Park on April 18 from 10am, where a representative from the council will plant a tree. 

POOPS media liaison Priscilla Lynch said they’d also be remembering the service’s other pets who’d died over the years.

“This is an awful thing to have happened,” she said of Holly’s death.

“It’s a volunteer, animal or pet lover’s worst nightmare really, but right now we feel we need to rally round each other and not let how she died overshadow how she lived!” 

Mr Heather said the couple found “great comfort” in the outpouring of community support, particularly as their other dog Shortly had died a couple of weeks ago.

by JESSICA STEELE

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