Beloved family pets 'torn to pieces'
A CANNON Valley resident is calling for action on dingoes after her partner's miniature fox terrier was found mauled to death on her birthday.
Paula Hovey said she noticed a significant increase in the presence of what she believed to be dingoes around her home during the dry spell, about September-October.
Her partner, Trevor Neill, had a 10-year-old terrier, Barry, who got agitated when the dingoes were close.
On December 1, Barry went missing, but Ms Hovey had refused to believe the worst.
"Barry went missing which is not like him. He's lived here for 10 years and never strayed,” she said.
December 3 was Ms Hovey's birthday.
She searched the street again, hopeful her "shadow” would appear, waiting for her as he always did.
Ms Hovey returned home to find Mr Neill digging Barry's grave.
"They (the animals) had lured him out, dragged him up the back and torn him to shreds. He was there for two days in the heat before we found him,” she said.
"He was at your feet 24/7. He had an addiction to his ball. The other day I started crying changing a toilet roll because I could never go by myself. He'd be always standing there waiting for me.
"It was the saddest birthday I think I've ever had. In some ways I wish we hadn't found him.”
It was a similar story for Paluma Rd resident Mark Johnson who lost his Maltese Shih Tzu, Chicago, 12, to dingoes on December 23.
Mr Johnson was out of town when the woman who was looking after Chicago called to tell him he had gone missing.
He was found later that day, torn to pieces.
"We thought he might have passed from old age, but to be taken by dingoes... it's not a nice way to go,” Mr Johnson said.
"I've seen plenty of dingoes myself, standing by the side of the road. They're certainly not scared of you.”
Ms Hovey said dingoes came up to her front door in packs of three or four on a regular basis and were a growing concern to her and her neighbours.
Whitsunday Regional Council provided her with a trap, but she said more needed to be done to keep people and their pets safe.
"I'm not saying we should go on a rampage, but we need to look at relocating them before they harm a child or a person,” Ms Hovey said.
"I'm starting to feel unsafe. Sometimes when I get home from work, they're at the front door.
"I get we live in a rural, residential area, but we have to keep safe somehow.”
Mr Johnson agreed something needed to be done.
"There's no management of it, not that I know of, anyway. I'm not blaming the council. It's not their fault dingoes are there. But maybe they should do a bit more for the residential areas,” he said.
"It sort of seems that (dingoes) are a protected species or so I've been told. But they're quite happy to come in and rip our dogs apart.”