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Council policy concern after dog attack

Saturday, 2nd December, 2017

Kate Norris’ dog’s Storm and Pippa are at the vets after being attacked by two stray animals on Thursday. Kate Norris’ dog’s Storm and Pippa are at the vets after being attacked by two stray animals on Thursday.

By Emily Roberts

A local woman is concerned about Council’s companion animal policy after her dogs were mauled by two strays.

Lane Lane resident Kate Norris received a shocking call during the week to say her pets had been attacked.

Storm, a seven-month-old Boxer and Pippa, a seven-year-old terrier mix, were savaged in their yard Thursday afternoon by two stray Staffordshire terriers.

“At 3.24pm on Thursday, my neighbour called Council to ask if they could come and get these two stray dogs,” Kate said.

“My neighbour was told they couldn’t send out one ranger if the dogs weren’t restrained.

“At that point they were just in the lane and they weren’t being aggressive.

“Then about 4pm they entered our yard and pushed their way through a mesh part of the fence. Then they attacked our dogs.

“I was leaving work and picking my children up from school.

“If it had been half an hour later, my children would have been in the backyard playing as well.”

Kate said one of her neighbours heard the commotion and tried to distract the strays.

“They called the police who attended really quickly. The same neighbour that called Council called them again and a ranger attended after police.”

The neighbour called Kate to tell her to get home quickly.

“I raced home and I saw the police taking out the two strays. 

“My dogs are both alive, but I’m not sure if they will be ok. 

“They were severely mauled. They will require weeks and weeks of treatment.”

Kate said she would like to know Council’s policy on sending out rangers for stray animals.

“I want clarification on the policy,” she said. “We’ve done the right thing and our pets were in our yard and these strays have forced their way in.

“What would have happened if our kids were in the yard?

“If the rangers had picked the dogs up the first time, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Kate said over six months ago, she saw two different stray dogs kill and maul a cat.

“The dogs were playing with it and I called the rangers to let them know about two dangerous dogs. As it was on the weekend, the ranger said ‘we deserve to have a weekend too’ and they wouldn’t come out unless the dogs attacked.

“They knew these dogs were dangerous and they still did nothing.

“What if they don’t do anything and a dog kills a child?”

Kate said she has kept the worst of the story from her children.

“My children don’t know what’s happened. I told them some naughty dogs hurt our dogs, the police took the naughty dogs away and that our dogs are in hospital.

“I want to protect them.

“My dogs are not aggressive, I trust my children with them. They have always been lovely to the kids.”

Kate thanked the police for their quick response.

“The police were really excellent and quick on the scene.”

A Council spokesman said it’s not the rangers’ job to pick up stray animals.

“The Companion Animals Act doesn’t actually require Council to collect stray animals, but our Rangers do it anyway to try and improve public safety.

“They are extremely dedicated, but the reality is they simply cannot attend to every stray dog roaming the streets.

“Council will carry out an investigation of the incident and the events surrounding it, as we do with every attack.

“But we must again stress that the only way to prevent dog attacks is for locals to take responsibility for their animals, keep them off streets, and ensure their yards are secure.”

It is believed the dogs were surrendered and will be euthanised.

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