Safety concerns rising after multiple dog attacks in region

CANINE CARE: How comfortable do you feel around dogs in Cootamundra? Do you think people know how to deal with stray animals?
CANINE CARE: How comfortable do you feel around dogs in Cootamundra? Do you think people know how to deal with stray animals?

A string of violent dog-related incidents over the weekend has prompted safety concerns among pet-owners and residents in the region.

Three separate accounts of dog attacks were reported to local police between Friday and Sunday, the most disturbing of which involved a rogue rottweiller mauling a 60-year-old woman.

According to police reports, the woman spotted the dog at an outdoor picnic area about 6.15pm on Saturday, August 6, and began to pat it before the dog unexpectedly attacked, biting her forearm and upper arm.

The woman was taken to Cootamundra hospital for treatment and the dog was later apprehended by the council ranger prior to impounding.

“The dog will likely be declared a dangerous dog and the owner will be fined,” council ranger Nathan Campbell said.

“I’ve never come across it before but he will stay impounded until I’m satisfied that he can safely return to his owner.”

In another incident on Saturday morning, a nine-year-old toy poodle was killed by a kelpie-x-boxer after the latter broke free from its chain and (cut) and attacked, killing the smaller dog almost instantly. 

Cootamundra LAC commander Matt Packham said the incident occured during a routine morning walk.

“An elderly lady (the owner) was out walking with her dog when she saw the offending dog break free from a chain, jump off a ute and charge straight for her dog,” he said.

“The dog was taken to Murray Street Vet where the owner was advised that the dog’s chest had been crushed.”

The owner has since come forward and claimed responsibility, however, questions are being raised over the safety of dogs and canine awareness in the region.

Council spokesman Glen McAtear said strategies were being considered and efforts continue to be made with regards to pet control and awareness.

“We’ve recently run free microchipping sessions and one of the things we’re considering in the future is looking at education hubs with schools and shows," Mr McAtear said.

“We’re also planning on organising the fellow we had at last year’s Wattle Show to come down and talk about animal awareness.”

A third incident out at Stockinbingal in which five sheep were killed has also been attributed to stray dogs.

Police investigations are ongoing and any information is welcome.