A Footscray resident is warning pet owners to be on the lookout for a dangerous dog she says savagely mauled her beloved shih tzu Henry.
Tina Andrianopoulos was taking Henry for his daily walk around the block on September 19 when they came upon a man holding a large white dog on a harness.
Ms Andrianopoulos said they were attempting to pass when the other dog attacked without warning, only letting go after its owner repeatedly hit it on the head.
“The dog just leapt onto Henry and locked onto the scruff of his neck,” she said.
“Henry ran home to the backyard and hid under my deck. I chased him home and wrapped a towel around him.”
Two women who witnessed the attack helped Ms Andrianopoulos rush the heavily bleeding Henry to the vet for emergency surgery.
Henry has since had further surgery for his injuries and is slowly recovering from the attack.
Ms Andrianopoulos said she has already spent more than $2500 on vet bills, with more to come, as well as having to take a fortnight off work to care for Henry.
She said she had seen the dog and its owner a few times before the attack and the dog appeared to be a pit bull staffy cross.
Ms Andrianopoulos reported the attack to both Maribyrnong council and Victoria Police, but is frustrated that more steps haven’t been taken to locate the dog and its owner.
“The council says they can’t find him, so the dog’s obviously not registered,” she said.
“I want him to be held responsible for what happened. I don’t want the dog put down or anything, but it should at least be muzzled. It’s a danger out there and I just get stressed thinking about it – what if a child walks within the length of the lead and it attacks them?”
Maribyrnong council planning services director Nigel Higgins said councils are responsible for investigating reports of a dog attack.
“This includes seizure of the offending dog if possible, identifying and prosecuting the offending dog’s owner relevant to the type and seriousness of the attack,” he said.
“Council did respond to a dog attack on September 19 and at this stage the offending dog and its owner have not been identified. The investigation is ongoing.”
Owners found in breach of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 can face a fine of up to $413 or court action. Mr Higgins said while a number of restrictions apply to pit bull breeds, these do not apply to cross bred dogs.