Friends mourn dog at­tack vic­tim

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

SHOCKED friends and col­leagues have paid trib­ute to dog at­tack vic­tim Sue Lopi­cich.

Ms Lopi­cich had been a child care ed­u­ca­tor at Willetton Child Care As­so­ci­a­tion for the past seven years and was much loved by chil­dren, par­ents and staff.

She was mauled to death this week by her pet bull mas­tiff at home.

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Marie Quinn said Ms Lopi­cich, a mother of three adult chil­dren, was “just a won­der­ful lady, very car­ing to­wards the staff”.

“We are just all very up­set, Mrs Quinn said.

“There are 17 staff here, we are all very close. Ms Lopi­cich left work on Mon­day happy with the day she had spent with the chil­dren and went home to do more car­ing, this time for her muchloved dogs at the ken­nel she owned in South­ern River.”

Mrs Quinn also re­vealed the cir­cum­stances in which Ms Lopi­cich was dis­cov­ered.

She said a staff mem­ber had vis­ited Ms Lopi­cich at her home on Au­gust 1 af­ter she had failed to turn up at work that day.

On dis­cov­er­ing Ms Lopi­cich in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion, emer­gency ser­vices were called.

“We are do­ing all we can to pro­vide sup­port and coun­selling to the staff who are all deeply af­fected by this sud­den tragedy,” Mrs Quinn said.

Cen­tres act­ing direc­tor and Ms Lopi­cich’s friend Jac­qui Smith said chil­dren, par­ents and staff at the cen­tre heard about Ms Lopi­cich’s shock­ing death last Thurs­day.

“We are all up­set and sad. She was a lovely per­son and the chil­dren just flocked around her when she was here,” Miss Smith said.

Miss Smith said re­ports on so­cial me­dia crit­i­cal of Ms Lopi­cich hous­ing dan­ger­ous dogs were up­set­ting.

She said her friend ar­ranged for dog be­haviourists to visit her home to try to change prob­lem­atic be­hav­iours, as many of the an­i­mals res­cued had been abused by former own­ers.

Long-time friend of Ms Lopi­cich, Sh­eryl Bodger, said their fam­i­lies’ friend­ship went back 50 years. She said her friend had al­ways wanted to open a dog ken­nel and just over three years ago had es­tab­lished Barko's Board­ing Ken­nel.

City of Can­ning Deputy Mayor Lind­say Hol­land said Ms Lopi­cich was a much-loved per­son.

“She en­joyed her work im­mensely she will be re­ally missed,” he said.

The dog has been put down.

Sue Lopi­cich with one of her res­cued dogs.

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