BALLARAT police rescued a dog trapped inside a car yesterday afternoon, prompting calls from a canine behaviour expert for Ballarat dog owners to take their pet guardianship role seriously.
The calls come amid heartbreak for a Ballarat family, who buried their fox terrier on Christmas Day after it was mauled to death by two unrestrained dogs at Magpie.
The fox terrier’s owner, who asked not to be identified, was walking the small dog near Yarrowee River at Magpie with her nine year old son when the attack occurred just after 5pm on Sunday.
Two unidentified dogs, who the victims have described as “bull-mastiff-type” dogs, approached the little fox terrier and began mauling it as it was playing in the water.
The smaller dog’s owner jumped into the river to try and get the larger dogs to release her pet, but sustained several dog bites to her hands.
She said an unidentified man arrived on scene shortly after the dogs attacked and helped move them off her terrier, but it was too late. Her nine year old son watched the entire incident from a distance.
Yesterday, several police arrived to remove a trapped dog from a locked vehicle in Sturt Street just after 12pm.
Melbourne-based Canine Behaviourist Brad Griggs told The Courier both instances, while very different, could have been prevented by dog owners taking greater responsibility.
“Even when not fatal, canine heat stroke can have permanent side effects including brain damage, blindness and kidney problems,” he said.
“Responsible canine guardians just won’t take the chance... the very young, the sick and elderly dogs are particularly at risk.”
With regard to un-restrained dogs, Mr Griggs said dog owners needed to have constant direct supervision when in public areas with their pets.
“They need to have the ability to intervene immediately and effectively and to have effective control over their dog at all times,” he said.
“Canine guardians need to consider the fulfilment of the dog’s physical and mental requirements and need to ensure appropriate containment.”