News State Western Australia News Animal lover mauled to death by dogs at Perth boarding kennel

Animal lover mauled to death by dogs at Perth boarding kennel

Sue Lopicich
The owner of Barko's Boarding Kennel, Sue Lopicich, ran a shelter for rescue dogs and was a known animal lover. Photo: Facebook
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A mother who ran a boarding kennel and animal rescue home has been attacked and mauled to death by two dogs in the Perth suburb of Southern River.

Sue Lopicich, aged in her 50s, was attacked on Tueday afternoon at the property on Terrier Place, which also serves as Barko’s Boarding Kennel.

Police said she was declared dead by paramedics a short time later.

The City of Gosnells said rangers were called to the property about 1:45pm on Tuesday to collect a dog that was preventing police from accessing the woman’s body.

A council spokesman told the ABC that two dogs – a bull mastiff and a Staffordshire bull terrier – had been seized and impounded by rangers.

Sue Lopicich
Sue Lopicich had been living in the area for the past four years. Photo: Facebook

Director of Governance Grant Bradbrook said the council was waiting on further instructions from the police before deciding what action, if any, would be taken with the animals.

“We’ve provided counselling for the two rangers that attended,” he said. “It wasn’t a nice job to have to attend, so they’ve been supported.

“One would think that if … police find the dogs caused the death, then you would assume that the dogs would be put down.”

He said the dogs were registered to the owner of the property and no previous complaints about them had been received.

‘Body found by daughter’

Neighbour Greg, who did not give his surname, said he did not hear any signs of a struggle at the property.

He said Ms Lopicich’s body was found by her daughter, who came to check on her mother after concerns were raised when she did not turn up for work at a local childcare centre.

Greg said the dogs were very aggressive and had to be locked away when anyone came to visit the property.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
A Staffordshire bull terrier was involved in the attack on the woman. Photo: ABC

He said one of the dogs believed to be involved in the attack had been living with the woman for four years, since she first moved to the neighbourhood.

Neighbour Kerrie Pearce said there had been a number of dog fights at the property and Ms Lopicich had been injured in the past trying to break them up.

“I never liked what she did down there, she used to just mingle them in together and you can’t mingle them together, you’ve got to keep them separate,” she said.

“She liked to have them as like a pack, but you can’t have rescue dogs as a pack.”

Another neighbour, who did not provide their name, said Ms Lopicich was passionate about dogs and dedicated her life to their care, especially rescue dogs.

Police have told the ABC her death was not being treated as suspicious and a report would be prepared for the coroner.