Two cross-bred dingoes and a kelpie-cross have been euthanased after they attacked and seriously injured their elderly owner in Sydney’s south-west.
The 78-year-old woman was attacked by the animals while going to the aid of a fourth dog, a pug.
Police were called to the Greendale property late on Monday after receiving reports the woman had been badly injured while trying to rescue the pug, which was being attacked.
The woman was taken to Liverpool Hospital and is in a stable condition with serious injuries to her arms, legs and back.
Liverpool Council officers seized the three dogs from the property and transported them to the family vet this morning.
“The owner decided to put them down,” a council spokesperson said in a written statement.
The council explained the dogs were microchipped and registered.
Call for changes to dingo laws
Animal behaviour expert, doctor Kirsti Seksel, said other states had either banned dingoes as pets or placed more conditions on their ownership, with only New South Wales and Western Australia allowing them.
“In NSW, you can keep dingoes as pets but in other places it’s illegal or you need a permit to keep them and that is because they are different to domesticated dogs, their behaviour is different, they are harder to read,” Dr Seksel said.
Professional dog trainer Steve Austin said while he did not know the exact circumstances of last night’s incident, it appeared the woman was attacked when the two dingoes were in “high prey drive” whilst attacking the pug and re-directed that attack to the woman.
“If you are going to own a dingo, there are pluses and minuses but they are a wild dog,” he said.
“There are huge responsibilities owning one. The type of dog is extremely important, why should we be keeping dingoes as pets in NSW?
“Rather, I think we should keep dingoes in the wild, they are a top-end predator and they do take care of feral cats.”
‘Dingoes do not make good pets’
Dingo expert Simon Stretton from the Durong Dingo Sanctuary in Queensland said sadly he expected such an attack in NSW sooner or later.
“I have said all along [that NSW] have to stop doing it. Dingoes do not make good pets, this is false, even those that are cross-bred,” he said.
“Unfortunately over 20 years ago, the NSW Minister for Agriculture reclassified dingoes from a wild pest to a dog.
“This law has to change. There are groups actively rehousing wild dingoes from Queensland in NSW.”
Charlie Jackson-Martin from Sydney Dingo Rescue said he wished the elderly woman a speedy recovery.
“It is a very sad situation for all involved but we will not be commenting given that we do not know the dogs or the owner,” he said.
NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair and NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton have been contacted for comment.