THERE had been no complaints made about a dog shot dead by a police officer in Wendouree yesterday.
Ballarat City Council confirmed there were no records of incidents involving the bull mastiff, shot after two members attended a Wendouree West property at 8.55am yesterday morning to make inquiries in regards to an investigation.
Ballarat North Sergeant Nathan Gardiner said the police officers went through the front gate and were halfway up the driveway when the dog allegedly ran out the front door in a “threatening manner”.
“A police member was forced to take protective action and fire one shot,” Sergeant Gardiner said.
“The member was fearful of being attacked.
“Police are conducting an investigation into the circumstances in accordance with Victoria Police policy and reasonable force provisions.”
Sergeant Gardiner said that offers were made to move the dog’s body out of sight, but were declined.
A blood stain indicated the dog was halfway down the driveway when it was shot.
Jessica Williams, who lives across the road, was walking out of her front door to take her young children to school about 8.58am when the shooting occurred.
“I saw the coppers walk up and the dog hadn’t even left the yard,” Ms Williams said.
“They didn’t say ‘put the dog away’ or anything. We just heard a bang and then we saw the dog just lying on the ground.”
Owner Caroline Elliott has mental health issues and said she was dependent on six-year-old ‘Bruiser’ for company.
“I got nothing now, he was everything to me,” a teary Ms Elliott said.
“I can’t understand, in the whole time he has been here he has never bitten anyone. They shot him in my own driveway.”
Renee Fraser, who is the partner of Ms Elliott’s son Craig, said Bruiser was registered and had never been aggressive in the past.
“It’s wrong. They just shot him,” Ms Fraser said.
Ms Elliott’s daughter Nyleakah said she and her father, who has recently had a heart attack, were left to move Bruiser from the driveway to the front garden and cover him with a blanket to avoid further upset to her mother and children in the house.
“Everyone in this street knows our dog. That’s got to say something,” she said, pointing to the crowd who had gathered outside their house to mourn Bruiser.
“He was so docile. There was no reason to kill him.”
Nyleakah held grave concerns for her mother’s welfare.
“When my mum feels like killing herself, Bruiser isn’t going to be there for her.”
When police returned to the house, both Ms Fraser and Ms Elliott demanded answers as to why Bruiser had been shot.
When police said Bruiser had attacked a member, Ms Fraser said: “You can protect them but we’ve got a dead dog.”
Nyleakah said her father had asked police why Bruiser had been shot and was told: “It scared me”.
“Bruiser had to have been turned away to be shot like that and when I felt his body, he wasn’t tense at all,” she said.
“He’s never attacked anyone. He’d lick you to death first.
“He growls and barks and that, but that’s all he would do.”
Lifeline: 13 11 14