Coast families' anger after pets mauled, killed
A WOMAN, whose pet was killed in a vicious dog attack, says a Sunshine Coast Council crackdown that saw two dog owners fined $10,000 does not go far enough.
Lou O'Brien's four-year-old maltese shih tzu, Elkie, was tragically mauled to death just outside their Caloundra home back in 2016.
The case had been in and out of court but as the offending dog's owner had consistently pled not guilty, there had been no verdict or closure for the O'Brien family.
The matter will appear back in court this June, but Mrs O'Brien said she was sceptical there would be a final result.
"Elkie was the world to us and we absolutely loved her," she said.
"It happened just one week before Christmas in 2016 and it was just devastating for our family," Mrs O'Brien said.
"When the dog's owner went to court he pleaded not guilty even though there were witnesses."
Mrs O'Brien said what was particularly frustrating for her was the lack of communication from the council since first reporting the attack to them.
"I don't think the council is cracking down on it at all," she said.
"They have done nothing to help us and the only reason it was taken to court was because we followed it up ourselves."
The same dog that killed Elkie was reported to have attacked another dog on Christmas day last year.
Mrs O'Brien said she was devastated to hear of the second attack, saying it could have been prevented.
"The dog is now on the dangerous dog list and has to be kept in a cage within the owner's yard," she said.
"But that's no life for a dog. Something should have been done about it in the first instance and it could have stopped it from nearly killing another dog."
Fellow Coast resident and owner of the second dog that was attacked, Julie Bishop said she felt 'completely unsupported' by the council.
"The day after my dog was attacked the council should have regulated the attacking dog but they didn't," she said.
"It's been really frustrating because I haven't heard anything from the council. I had one call about eight weeks ago from them and they basically said they were putting a report through but couldn't do much about it."
Mrs Bishop's dog, Ruby, received over 30 stitches to her head as a result of the attack and although she has recovered, the whole family has been left scarred by the incident.
"We are thinking of moving because we are not happy here. I just feel unsafe knowing that dog is still there."
Mrs O'Brien said she just hoped the recent fines of $10,000 was a step in the right direction when it came to managing irresponsible pet owners so that no other family had to experience what they had.
"They (the council) say their hands are tied but there has to be something better," she said.
"There is a fine line between not wanting it to be over-policed but if a dog is attacked and killed something should be done about it."
The Daily contacted the council for comment but it was not received by deadline.