When Dave Meredith decided to make the most of the scarce sunny weather on Wednesday by taking his greyhound Pia for a walk, he didn’t expect the afternoon to end in a mad rush to save his beloved friend’s life.
Mr Meredith and Pia were less than 10 minutes into their usual walk on a popular path through Clifton Park before two heavy set staffordshire terrier or mastiff like dogs charged the pair and began savagely attacking Pia.
Mr Meredith said the situation became out of his hands as he battled to defend his dog.
“They went straight for the throat,” he said.
“The two dogs came completely out of the blue, there was no owner in sight and it became a fight situation very quickly.”
Mr Meredith said the dogs acted in a tag team manner while he struggled in vain to fight them off.
"I picked up the first stick I could to use which wasn’t very good, I kicked the dogs and screamed for help but they were attacking Pia’s throat and chest,” he said.
A man living in a house close by heard Mr Meredith’s yelling and quickly came to their aid.
Mr Meredith said he and the good samaritan were quick to bundle a severely injured Pia into the car and raced her to the Eaton Pet Vet.
“She was losing a lot of blood,” he said.
Mr Meredith’s wife Liz said the wounds looked like a shark attack.
“The vet had to reattach the muscle while the injuries to her throat were only millimeters from vital arteries in the neck,” she said.
“I’m very disturbed these two dogs were free to wander the park the way they were, it’s school holidays now and this could easily have been a child, an elderly lady walking or a smaller dog with no chance of survival.”
Eaton Pet Vet veterinarian Dr Russell Brown treated Pia’s injuries but said she wasn’t the only dog admitted with attack wounds that day.
“Shortly after Pia’s attack, another pet was brought in by a man who also had a run in with an aggressive dog,” he said.
The second attack was only a few hundred meters from where Dave Meredith and Pia were mauled.
“We believe it was the same dogs although the second dog’s wounds weren’t as severe as Pia,” Dr Brown said.
“The man said he had to put the attacking dog in a choke hold to get it to release but most worryingly of all a car pulled up, the owner called out to the dog and then they drove off together.”
“Whoever called that dog should have checked on the man and his dog to ensure they were alright.”
As vicious as the attacks were, Mr Brown said people should be looking in the direction of the owner to discover more about the background of the animals.
“I think people will be quick to demonise these dogs and even I was horrified at first, but I think it’s important to look at the background of the two animals,” he said.
“Dogs can get out, it happens all the time and it’s not wrong for people to own less sociable dogs but owners need to take precautions and accept the responsibility that comes with owning a dog that is more hostile towards others.
“Euthanasia will probably be the communities first reaction to this but it isn’t always the right attitude, I think people need to be cautious but a lot of this is on the owner.”
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Dr Brown said in situations like this many will try to intervene and pull the dogs apart but that could result in them sustaining their own injuries.
“I encourage people to report stray dogs and situations like this to the ranger, this time it was a greyhound but next time a little dog or a child could suffer,” he said.
Pia is expected to be home and on her way to recovery by Thursday and while Mr and Mrs Meredith said they will have a lot of work to do to resocialise Pia after the traumatic ordeal, they’re glad she’s safe.