A dog attack that killed a pony and injured a horse in the early hours of yesterday morning has left a Brown Street family reeling.
Paul Brown said he was woken up about 4am by dogs barking, which he first thought were the family’s own dogs.
He said he got a torch and went to check but found nothing. He then heard a bang and a kick from out the back near the horse stables and went to check that out.
“Normally when I go up back by the stables the little pony puts her head through the fence and whinnies, but she didn’t and when I got up closer I could see her on the ground covered in blood, and that’s when I knew the dogs had been at her,” Mr Brown said.
“I got my son up and he got in his car and went out and saw dogs across the road.
“There was one large white dog, which looked like a big hound, and it had blood all over it, and the other was possibly a brindle staffy. It was hard to tell that early in the morning.
“He chased them back to a residence in Schlapp Street, and my son spoke to someone at the gate but was ignored. The man just pulled the gate shut and went inside.”
He said the last time his horses had been injured by dogs was nearly 10 years ago, when the ones he kept for the trots were attacked. Those dogs were found and surrendered, but it was a trial for the family to go through it all again.
The Browns have called the police and council rangers, but now have to deal with getting treatment for the horse which suffered several lacerations to its neck and belly, as well as removing the body of the dead pony.
Mr Brown said his daughters are heartbroken, especially eight-year-old Aaliyah, who owned the pony.
“Aaliyah’s had the pony two years now and is only just getting used to riding it,” he said.
“She kissed it goodnight and put it away in its stable on Tuesday night so when she heard what happened this morning she was heartbroken.
“She’s gone with her sister to Mildura today to see her Nanna to get her away. Her elder sister owns the horse and the both of them are devastated. Aaliyah cried the entire trip to Mildura.”
The attack comes five months after a similar mauling in the same area.
In that attack, two dogs entered a riding academy at the end of Brookfield Avenue and mauled a number of alpacas and horses.
Both dogs were surrendered to council but only one was put down while the other was released back to its owner on request.
A council ranger at the Brown’s home yesterday morning said keeping animals contained is the only way to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen.
“Check your boundaries and your gates, make sure they can’t get out,” the ranger said.
“We’ll make some inquiries and see if we can locate the dogs.
“The responsible people will keep their dogs in; it’s the irresponsible ones that cause this sort of thing.”
If a dog attacks a person or animal it should be reported to council or to the police if it occurs outside of council hours. Dog owners are liable if their dog attacks a person or animal and can face fines, the seizure of their animals, and in some cases, jail.