Dog owner talks about moment of attack

Readers too scared to walk pets after terrifying attacks

RESTRICTIONS on dangerous dog breeds had Ipswich talking yesterday after Eastern Heights dog owner Grace Preston told her story in the QT on how an American bulldog killed her maltese shitzu with one bite.

Mrs Preston was out walking her seven-year-old dog Lucy when it was grabbed in a vice like death grip.

With four neighbours running to Mrs Preston's aid and children in the quiet suburban street witnessing the attack last week, the incident shocked the neighbourhood.

Neighbours and friends of the Prestons have filled their dining table with bouquets and sympathy cards since the incident last week and the family flew in from interstate over the weekend to bury their pet Lucy and created an elaborate memorial to the family dog in their garden.

QT readers yesterday showed their support and sympathy for the Preston family and shared stories of their encounters with aggressive dogs.

Vicki Heathcote told of her silky terrier being killed by an aggressive dog 22 years ago.

"Because my dog wasn't on a lead we couldn't do anything about it. The dog that did it was supposed to be behind a fenced yard but it never was and it kept killing other animals," she said.

Nichole Steadman said she had stopped walking around her neighbourhood because there were too many dogs being walked off leash or not secure in their yards.

"I've been chased and pinned against a fence by animals being walked off leash with their owners trying to tell me the dog won't hurt me but all I can hear is barking and growling," she said. "It's sad that people are so irresponsible."

Gillian Middleton said she also had to stop walking her spaniels because of the aggressive dogs in the neighbourhood.

"They'd rush at the gates and fences and I was terrified one would get out," she said.

Karen Patchin said she did not feel safe walking her moodle and it was not fair to owners of small dogs.

"I am so, so sorry this lady had to lose a fur family member that way. It is truly horrible. As an owner of a gorgeous little moodle I too have to look out for big dogs and I am always on alert walking my baby. I get really uncomfortable. If I see a big dog I cross the road or turn around and go back home."

"I rarely walk my dogs because of this," Julie Voigt added. "It feels like you're being harassed whilst out walking."

Other readers leapt to the defence of bigger dogs.

American bulldog owner Donna Warwick said her dog was great around kids and other dogs but she was careful to keep it under control.

"I have an american bulldog who sleeps with a chihuahua and is great with kids but I would never let her be able to get out of our yard without being on a lead for fear of this happening to someone else's fur baby," she said.

"You just never know. It is the owner's responsibility to protect their own and others."

Steve and Maddie Woolley said it was not the dog breed but the owner to blame for aggressive behaviour.

"It's the way they're trained and brought up," the Woolleys said.

"It's sad when one gets put down due to attack. They don't just bite for no reason. RIP to both dogs.

"If only your fencing was more secure."

Debbie Mac said while it was a sad story, it was still about responsible pet ownership.

"This dog was not registered and no, that wouldn't have stopped this, however ownership means responsibility," she said.

Laura Beaumont said "Big dogs matter too".

"RIP to the poor victims, the small dog and the bulldog who didn't have adequate training and knew no better.

"The dog could have been surrendered to the RSPCA for retraining instead of being 'destroyed' as the council likes to put it. Disgusting. Throw the owners in prison, don't put down the beautiful animal."


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