Dog attack devastates family

A distraught Traralgon pet owner has pleaded with the community to ensure all dogs are restrained while being walked, following an attack from an unleashed dog which resulted in the death of his cat.

Adam Fahey and his family made the “heartbreaking” decision to euthanise ‘Pookie’ on Saturday after he sustained life-threatening injuries in an incident on Thursday evening.

Mr Fahey said the off-leash dog was being walked by its owner while his cat was in the front garden about 8.30pm.

“When I heard what sounded like screaming, I went outside and the dog was mauling my cat,” he said.

“When I pointed out that the dog should be on a lead, the owner ran off with his dog.”

Pookie’s death has left the entire family devastated.

“We’ve had him for 11 years, I’ve got a 13 year-old and a seven year-old who have pretty much grown up with him,” Mr Fahey said.

“My oldest is pretty upset, my youngest it hasn’t fully hit him – he doesn’t fully understand just yet.”

Mr Fahey feared other family pets would meet the same fate as his beloved pet.

“I’ve spoken to a gentleman down the road from (my home) and he said he’s seen a few dogs off their leads going around the streets,” he said.

“It’s just irresponsible – it puts other pets and young children at risk.

“Please just keep your dog on a leash.” Under council law, dogs must be on a leash at all times unless in a designated off-leash area.

Off-leash areas in the Latrobe Valley are at College Park and Burrage Reserve in Newborough; Waterhole Creek Reserve West Bank in Morwell; Churchill’s Ashman Park; and Burnett Park in Traralgon.

Penalties of $228 apply to a dog at large or not securely confined during daytime in the Latrobe Valley, while at night the fine increases to $303.

All cats and dogs aged three months and older must be registered or owners face a $303 fine.

Latrobe City general manager of city development Phil Stone urged the community to report to council any threatening behaviour by dogs.

“A dog can be declared menacing or dangerous, if it displays threatening or aggressive behaviour such as ‘rushing’ with snarling or growling and, of course, if it attacks a person or other animal,” Mr Stone said.