A COORIEMUNGLE family shocked by a savage dog attack on its pet goat is calling for the state’s vicious canines laws to be tightened.
Dairy farmer Luke Young was forced to put the family pet down after a dog they say was an American Staffordshire terrier mauled the animal in the family’s backyard on Friday.
The incident is the second in less than a fortnight involving a local dog attack against pets.
Mr Young was working near the house on Friday morning.
“I could hear our dogs barking,” he said. “I walked through the calving shed. It (the terrier) had the goat by the head and was pulling it,” he said.
The graphic attack was over in seconds but Mr Young was left with few options.
“I had to go and get the gun and put the goat down.”
He eventually tracked down the dog but didn’t shoot it, unsure of what the laws were.
“Police informed me that I could have shot the dog as it was attacking our animals,” Mr Young said.
Council officers and rangers collected the canine, returning it to the owners, who were given strict orders to build a 1.8-metre fence around their home within 28 days.
But those assurances aren’t enough for Mr Young and his partner Leah Madden, who fear the animal could return. “We’ve got three young kids and it’s been here twice now,” Mr Young said.
“Who’s to say next time it won’t be one of the kids?”
Ms Madden said she wanted stricter laws to impound the dog.
“I think the dog should be impounded for 28 days. It brutally murdered an animal,” she said.
Corangamite Shire environment and emergency manager Lyall Bond said attacks usually led animals to be classed as either a menace or dangerous.
Ordering a dog to be put down was mostly handled by the courts, usually because the case involves an attack on a person.
Punishments for pet and livestock attacks are less severe but require owners to lock down the vicious dogs.
“The housing requirements are quite strict,”Mr Bond said. “If it’s outside it has to be ensured that there’s no way for it to get out and that people under the age of 18 can’t get in.
“When they’re inside they are not allowed to be there without an adult present.”
They must also be restricted from visitors, while warning signs have to go up around a property.
“There is also potentially 10 years in jail if a dangerous dog kills someone or five years if they threaten someone’s life,” he said.