Elaine McInnes has been left devastated by the loss.
Elaine McInnes has been left devastated by the loss.

Savage attack means ‘a loss for a lot of people’

AN entire community has been impacted by the savage attack on much-loved Poppy the chihuahua.

It's almost two weeks since she was snatched from her pram at the Woolgoolga Community Gardens by a large pit bull cross and couldn't be saved.

The loss has shattered 75-year-old Elaine McInnes and saddened the entire community.

"Just this morning a little boy came to visit with his mother to ask if I'd like to hold his little rabbit and he put it in my arms. Lots of very special things have happened, people have just been beautiful," Elaine said.

"When it first happened my daughter came up from Sydney to spend a week with me and both of our mobiles and the home phone were ringing constantly and there were people visiting with cards and flowers."

Veterinarian Dr Duan March, from Dolphin Marine Conservation Park, was also quick to offer support.

"He and his wife and three beautiful children made cup cakes and bought them around for me.

"Duane took me into the vet to say goodbye to Poppy and he did all the work ringing up and relaying to me what they meant by her injuries and things. He did all that for me."

Elaine at an RUOK? Fluro Friday event at Woolgoolga Beach The top of Poppy’s pram can just be seen to the right.
Elaine at an RUOK? Fluro Friday event at Woolgoolga Beach The top of Poppy’s pram can just be seen to the right.

Poppy and her 'mum' Elaine were tireless community workers visiting schools to talk about suicide prevention and spreading joy at several retirement homes and respite centres.

They were a familiar site around town, and at the regular R U OK? Fluro Friday events. Elaine used the pram to help Poppy keep up on her little legs.

"It's a loss not just to me but it's a loss for a lot of people."

Weighing just over 2 kilos, Poppy didn't stand a chance when she was snatched from her pram and mauled.

"I started screaming and jumped on top of it and tried to poke its eyes or mouth but it was too strong and just kept savaging her."

Delivering mini Christmas cakes to Woolgoolga Meals on Wheels.
Delivering mini Christmas cakes to Woolgoolga Meals on Wheels.

Bystanders were eventually able to restrain the dog but it was too late. Police were called and the dog later put down.

Poppy came into Elaine's life during a very difficult time.

"In 2009 I had a very bad year. My mum died in January, my dad in May and my husband in December. It was a very bad year and I was hesitant to have anything in case it died.

"Finally a friend took me to see this little puppy and the lady that had her was a very sad lady and I thought this poor little thing needs to be loved."

"She came to live with me on Remembrance Day five years ago - that's why she was called Poppy."

It's too soon for Elaine to consider a new companion.

"At the moment a little dog would feel my pain. I have to wait until I am feeling a bit better because I wouldn't want it to feel my stress. So I will just see how I go."



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