Pet owners urged to take greater caution
TWO fatal dog attacks against family pets have occurred in the Whitsundays in the past three weeks.
Regatta Waters resident Katie Gascoyne and her children Khloe, two, and Lachlan, four, are grieving the death of their much-loved seven-year-old dog, Henry.
The family was walking Henry to a nearby lake when he pulled free from his collar.
Henry was approached by two dogs understood to be great dane or mastiff breeds and was viciously attacked.
Unable to fight off the dogs, Katie screamed for help and ran her children home for their safety.
Neighbours helped fight off the aggressive dogs but Henry died shortly after being taken to the vet.
Katie described Henry as a member of the family and said he had a great temperament.
"He was a really friendly dog. He was the ring bearer at my wedding and had his own bed in our bedroom,” she said.
"Everyone in the area knew Henry and always stopped to pet him.”
The dogs involved in the attack were identified and euthanised.
A separate incident occurred at Conway, where two dogs described as a "brindle cross similar to a boxer with a white chest” and a "black dog that was smaller with a white chest” ran into a resident's property and killed a pet cat.
Anyone with knowledge of the two dogs is asked to contact the council.
Adam Folkers, acting manager of health and environment at Whitsunday Regional Council, said penalties could apply for failing to secure aggressive dogs.
"Council action may issue an infringement notice to the dog owners involved for any breach of local law,” he said.
Mr Folkers said the usual penalty was $243 per breach, but more severe penalties could apply if the owner encouraged their dog to attack.
He said there had been five cases of dog attacks resulting in the death of another animal in the past 18months.
Whitsunday Regional Council is running an approved inspection program for three months from October10 to ensure residents are complying with registration regulations.
In light of Henry's death, Katie thought this was a good idea.
"The council should definitely be checking what dogs are registered in which area and to make sure that dogs like these (great danes and mastiffs) are properly secured,” she said.
If you have any knowledge of a dog attack, report it to the council at once.