Dogs seized after alpacas mauled

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Treasured memories: Sharon Richardson, below, with her alpacas Lui and Juno before they were killed by a roaming dog. Pictures: Supplied

TWO dogs seized over the mauling and killing of two pet alpacas at Fingal last week will have their fate decided by a magistrates’ court.

Mornington Peninsula Shire’s environment protection manager John Rankine said investigations were continuing into the incident Sunday 1 September when a “pit bull terrier or bull terrier dog” was seen mauling the alpacas at a Harmony Road property.

“Officers are busy with the investigation collating evidence for prosecution in court,” Mr Rankine said.

“The decision about euthanasia is pending on this evidence and the court decision. Until such time the dogs will remain impounded.”

Two shire rangers called to the property found the loved pets so badly injured that they had to be put down. The rangers drove around looking for the most aggressive of the dogs which was seen heading towards Moonah Links golf course.

Owners of the pet alpacas Sharon Richardson, who runs Harmony B&B in Placadena Road with her husband Jeremy, said she heard knocking at her kitchen door in the afternoon and opened it to find her distraught neighbour coming to report the shocking news.

“My neighbour heard squealing and raced over to see a large Staffie-type dog attacking our alpacas,” she said.

“He gathered stones from our pond to ward off the dog but it left off the alpacas and came after him. He had to jump the fence to get away from it.”

Ms Richardson said she raced to the yard to find both alpacas in agony, one with the “side of its face ripped off” and the other with its bottom jaw savaged.

The offending dog had run off towards properties backing onto Moonah Links Golf Course.

A vet from Main Ridge came quickly but could do nothing to save the animals, which had to be put down.

“They were beautiful family pets,” Ms Richardson said of Lui and Juno. “We have had them since they were babies and they were a huge part of our life here at the B&B.

“They were not just left to roam out in the paddock. They were a huge part of the experience here with the guests enjoying their company.”

Ms Richardson said she has “serious concerns” about the dog attacking again – particularly children.

“I didn’t see the dog, but I am told it is a large tan Staffie-type with a white chest and a big collar. It was roaming with a smaller dog.”

Ms Richardson said she “feels so empty” after her loss. “First thing every morning I’d go down to the gate and [Lui and Juno] would be waiting for me and I’d give them some hay,” she said. “Now there’s no one waiting for me because of that bastard dog.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 10 September 2019

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