Guinea pigs die in attack
THE frantic yells of a neighbour pulled Roselea McHale from her bed to find a slaughter taking place in her back yard at about 3.30am on Monday morning.
Two dogs, which Ms McHale believes to be a great dane and a bull mastiff cross, had entered her garden and were destroying her children’s guinea pig hutches, killing the three guinea pigs inside.
“They didn’t eat them; they just did it for the kill,” Ms McHale said.
It was not the first time the McHale’s guinea pigs had been attacked in their Water Street yard, with five pets killed by unknown dogs about three weeks ago.
“We had a little barricade up, but they stepped over that and we even padlocked the cages to help keep them safe,” she said.
Ms McHale said the family had chosen guinea pigs as pets because one of her sons was allergic to cats.
“I have a teenage daughter who was quite upset and my 11-year-old boy was devastated,” she said.
The guinea pig attack happened the same night 20 chickens and two ducks were killed in Greg Lassig’s backyard about a two-minute walk away on May Street.
Bundaberg Regional Council are investigating both incidents, but do not believe they are linked.
John Duffield, Bundaberg Regional Council health and regulatory services manager, said there was no evidence found on the bodies of the chickens that supported an attack by dogs, because there was no physical damage that suggested they had been mauled by an animal.
Mr Duffield said they were still waiting for the reports on what occurred on Water Street.
He said if dogs were found to have killed the guinea pigs, they would be declared dangerous if it was their first offence. If there was a prior history, the dogs responsible would be issued with an interim destruction order.
“Attacks on animals by dogs in the urban environment do not occur regularly, however, they are the result of irresponsible dog ownership and are completely avoidable. The results are very distressing to the owners as they are often much loved family pets,” Mr Duffield said.
He said owners must keep their pets contained on their property.