DEV­AS­TA­TION AS FAM­ILY PETS FALL VIC­TIM TO HOR­RIFIC DOG AT­TACK.

Warwick Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Jonno Colfs

SAV­AGE dogs have wreaked havoc in Warwick, with one fam­ily pet killed and five oth­ers ripped open and lucky to be alive.

Tam­mie Con­roy looked out on her par­ents’ back pad­dock on In­ver­leigh Rd on Sun­day morn­ing and no­ticed some­thing was wrong, very wrong.

Af­ter a closer look, five of their stud dor­per ewes had been mauled in a fright­en­ing night-time at­tack.

One lamb was miss­ing. Ms Con­roy’s mum, Bron­nie Reid, said the fam­ily was hor­ri­fied their pets had gone through such an or­deal.

“We were so shocked and re­ally sad about it all at first,” she said.

“These were the an­i­mals we’re the clos­est to, they are pets and it’s hor­ri­ble.

“I guess we’re lucky we only lost one. We’ve been here 10 years and this has never hap­pened be­fore and now we’re liv­ing with the fear it might hap­pen again.”

About 15 sheep and one ram were in the large pad­dock, which is net­ted on three sides.

Also on the prop­erty, not 100 me­tres away, is a small feed­lot with more than 150 lambs.

Upon closer in­spec­tion, dog tracks were found at the fence at the far end of the pad­dock.

“They were huge too,” Ms Con­roy said.

“Mas­sive paw prints and judg­ing by the tracks in the area, I sus­pect there were prob­a­bly two dogs.

“And the bite marks on the an­i­mals, a very big dog has done this.”

Mrs Reid said some peo­ple had pointed the blame at wild dogs.

“I grew up at Karara and we had is­sues with din­goes out there,” she said.

“Din­goes kill, they don’t wound and leave.

“This looks like a bit of a game to some do­mes­ti­cated dogs, some­body’s pets.

“It’s re­ally sad, be­cause some­one out there prob­a­bly has a pretty good idea their dog or dogs have been up to no good – they’d have blood all over them and pos­si­bly brought a lamb home with them or saw my Face­book post about the at­tacks.”

Ms Con­roy said the ewes were at­tacked in ways that showed their at­tack­ers weren’t killing for food.

“Usu­ally a dingo or wild dog will go for the stom­ach, it’s the eas­i­est part to get at,” she said.

“Our ewes have bites on the neck, rump, ud­der and back.

“It’s prob­a­bly a chase or game that’s turned nasty.

“There’s no doubt the ewes would have all be­ing try­ing to pro­tect their lambs and the ram is limp­ing as well – he wasn’t bit­ten but must have fought back.”

The ewes are now all in pens close to the house, but the worst in­jured, a ewe named Cassie, who also lost one of her lambs, is in the house yard re­cu­per­at­ing.

“Her ud­der has been torn apart,” Ms Con­roy said.

“She can’t feed her other lamb – we’re hav­ing to bot­tle­feed it.

“All the in­jured sheep are re­quir­ing twice-daily an­tibi­otics and dress­ings to keep the flies away.

“It’s a real shame.” Ms Con­way said she wor­ried how much worse it could have been.

“Re­cently we sold a few lambs for $160 a head, if we’d lost just 10 from the feed­lot, it’s a lot of money,” she said.

“Not to men­tion the amount of an­i­mals and pets in the area here – be­tween us and all our neigh­bours there are dozens of cows, calves, chooks, horses, foals and goats.”

Mrs Reid said she wanted dog own­ers to take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“Know where your dogs are,” she said.

“Keep them se­cured at night and make sure they’re not get­ting out.

“I un­der­stand that dogs will be dogs and mis­takes hap­pen but please be care­ful – these an­i­mals are our pets and see­ing their stress and pain is just hor­ri­ble.”

PHOTO: JONNO COLFS

SHOCK AT­TACK: Tam­mie Con­roy with Cassie, the pet ewe that suf­fered maul­ing to her body and ud­der in a vi­cious dog at­tack.

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