Dogs attack alpacas in Wonga Park
by Ruth Birch
6th December 2016
A Wonga Park family has experienced every pet owner’s worst nightmare after nine of their 16 alpacas were viciously mauled to death by three out-of-control dogs.
On the night of November 8 two Alaskan Malamutes and one Belgian Shephard got away from their owner as they walked in an off-lead reserve. The owner frantically searched for the dogs, however, the dogs managed to access a neighbouring paddock which housed the alpacas, before launching the attack on the beloved family pets.
Eight were killed during the attack and one had to be euthanized the next morning by a local vet who attended the scene.
Warrandyte Police senior constable Daniel Logan, who assessed the scene, said it was an incredibly distressing sight with evidence of the prolonged attack spanning an area of seven acres.
It is suspected that some of the alpacas ran into a nearby creek trying to escape. The family is distraught and while they were worth a combined $10,000, the animals were very much family pets rather than livestock.
The local police and council have been dealing with countless reports of dogs in reserves and properties not being under effective control of their owners.
A spokesperson from Manningham council said the key message to come out of the awful incident is people must have effective control of their dogs at all times.
“It is so easy for dogs to take off after a small animal like a rabbit but when you can’t get them back, that leads to a much bigger problem,” the spokesperson said. “In this case the dogs have ended up in the neighboring property and this has been the outcome. The risks are huge.
“As you can imagine it’s been really upsetting for everyone involved.” The owners of the dogs have been charged with multiple offences including not having effective control of the dogs and charges for the attack itself. They are due to appear at the Ringwood Magistrates Court on December 15.
They also face considerable veterinary costs, with at least one of the surviving alpacas requiring ongoing care.
The dogs have since been seized by the council but at the time the Diary went to print no information on their future was available.