A CRESWICK woman is pleading for greater community vigilance after returning home to find her two small pet dogs mauled to death in her backyard on Saturday night.
The woman made the horror find after returning home and opening the gates when a large French mastiff rushed at her. She was unsure how the dog got into her yard, which is surrounded by tall Colorbond fencing.
One of her Jack Russells had been left disemboweled. The other had its throat ripped.
The woman described the scene to The Courier as "like a lion" had torn through her yard.
Left devastated, the woman said she did not feel safe in her home and was concerned about dogs left to roam the neighbourhood.
What if that had been a kid in the yard or in a playground?
"You can't go out and come home to find your dogs torn...what if that had been a kid in the yard or in a playground," the woman said.
Hepburn Shire mayor Don Henderson called for greater preventative measures to dog attacks and said this needed a whole-community approach.
Cr Henderson said penalties were stiff for the owners of dogs who attacked and the Shire conducted door-knock checks on known menacing dogs. But Cr Henderson said such actions were too reactive and often too late, like for the Creswick woman and her Jack Russells.
"We all need to make sure fences are secure and make sure our dogs are secure. We need to promote responsible pet ownership across the shire," Cr Henderson said. "If you see a savage dog, report it - it's usually not the first time a dog has been like that."
Cr Henderson said unregistered dogs was an ongoing issue and made it harder for the Shire to track potentially vicious dogs.
Goldfields Vet Barb Henderson, who cared for the Jack Russells, said such incidents were not common - but not uncommon either. Dr Henderson said people who had hunting dogs, like a mastiff, had to be particularly careful in keeping their pets secure.
"There are some lovely hunting dogs and good owners but it's the bad ones who make it hard for good people and dogs," Dr Henderson said.
The Courier understands police and a Shire ranger are investigating the incident.
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