Woman's plea to pet-owners after dogs kill her alpacas
AN UPPER Corindi woman is pleading for pet-owners to take greater responsibility of their animals after three of her alpacas were killed by a neighbour's dogs.
Anna Galway, a retired high school teacher, has been left devastated by the recent deaths of two of the alpacas that drowned after being set upon by an American Staffordshire terrier and a Staffordshire terrier.
The dogs attacked the two alpacas, chasing them into a dam on the property where they eventually drowned.
The Staffordshire had already been declared dangerous and had on a previous occasion attacked the alpacas, killing one of them.
Following the most recent attack, the Staffordshire terrier was put down. The remaining dog has been legally declared as a dangerous dog.
"I'd had these alpacas for about ten years and they had never previously been attacked," Ms Galway said.
"I went over to the house next door to feed the cat, I'd only left the alpacas for around 20 minutes.
"When I got back I could tell something was wrong because some of the alpacas were panicking. So I went down to the dam and saw two of them in there dead, and the dogs were standing around the side.
"The first alpaca I saw, he was an absolutely darling. He was a natural pet, he'd cuddle up to me and follow me everywhere. I saw him in the dam and it looked like his backside had been mauled.
"But it's not their (the dogs) fault. They don't know any better."
Earlier this month the two owners of the dogs pleaded guilty to a string of charges including failing to comply with dangerous dog control requirements.
Magistrate J Gibson ordered the Staffordshire terrier be destroyed, and banned its owner from keeping a dog for life.
The pair were fined a total of $2,400.
Ms Galway said the dogs had also attempted to attack her horses. Her and her partner, who have lived on the property for almost 20 years, have now built a shed for the alpacas to take shelter during the night and when the pair are out.
"Everytime I hear a dog barking now I always freak out," Ms Galway said.
"Look after your dogs. These dogs had been roaming around, killing chooks and guinea fowl.
"I would like to see more regulation to curb this behaviour in owners. People need to learn to have respect for other people's animals, and need to be taught how to properly own pets."