Family mourns pet cat mauled by dogs
A GYMPIE mother is consoling her two children after the family's pet kitten was snatched and mauled to death by a pair of dogs last week.
Sherylee Holt has the attack at the family's Monkland home last Wednesday seared into her memory.
The kitten, a 10-week-old Russian blue called Sabor, was a gift for Ms Holt's autistic 16-year-old teenage son, Raymond.
At the time of the attack, Ms Holt's two-year-old daughter Zeva was out on the family's balcony playing with the kitten.
The two dogs preyed on the vulnerable kitten with little warning.
"The dogs came up my stairs and on to the balcony," Ms Holt said.
"They grabbed Sabor from my front door where he was playing with my two-year-old daughter."
Ms Holt was only a few metres away on the other side of the front door.
The two dogs involved in attack, Ms Holt said, were roaming the neighbourhood at the time.
She said one was a white male bull mastiff crossed with a great Dane, about eight months, and the second a female brindle staffy.
Ms Holt heard a "horrendous scream" from the kitten when the dogs attacked.
"Sabor was so small he was unaware of everything else," she said.
"We also have two dogs so Sabor was comfortable with dogs and probably didn't think much about it at first."
As one dog grabbed Sabor, the second joined in, leading to a tug-of-war while Ms Holt dragged her daughter inside while her son froze.
Ms Holt's grandmother, Eva, a woman barely more than five foot and in her early 70s, also witnessed the attack and tried to scare the two dogs into dropping the helpless kitten.
"My Nan was so angry but one of the dogs growled at her and I was worried for her safety, so I stood between her and the dog," Ms Holt said.
Ms Holt said the brindle dog picked up the kitten and ran off towards a big park behind their Monkland house.
A woman who witnessed the attack followed and was able to retrieve the kitten and hand the mauled animal to Raymond.
"I saw Sabor's limp little body and Raymond's arms were covered in blood," Ms Holt said.
"Thank you to my other neighbours for getting him back off the dog," the mother-of-two said.
While Sabor's death has been a cruel blow for the family, Ms Holt is grateful things were not worse.
The dog's attention on the kitten meant her two-year-old daughter was spared.
"The only peace I got out of this was my daughter was not harmed," Ms Holt said.
The horrible incident has the Gympie mother warning others.
"Please, if you own a pet, can you give them a pat or cuddle and think of my family," Ms Holt said.
"Keep your babies safe. Rest in peace Sabor, you will be truly missed."
Council was notified last Thursday of the incident and the dogs have since been surrendered for destruction with no further action to be taken.
GYMPIE pet owners are reminded of their obligations are under Gympie Regional Council by-laws.
"Pets are to be kept in a safe, healthy and nuisance free manner that protects the environment and wellbeing of the community," council's animal management section of its website says.
Dog owners need to identify, restrain and consider others. Council's advice for pet owners includes:
Cats and dogs are to be microchipped and registered with council.
Livestock can also be microchipped.
Animals must be contained on the owner's property at all times.
Roaming animals (including stock) may be impounded.
Exercise pets on a leash
Talk with neighbours and encourage them to raise concerns directly.