By Jess Baker
Residents in Warwick have been left reeling after a series of encounters with aggressive dogs in their neighbourhood.
Local Jennifer Carrel said a dear friend and neighbour of hers had been walking her miniature fox terrier, when two dogs at the corner of Oxenham Street charged at her.
“Our friend was in such a state of shock, she was shaking,” said Jennifer.
“She’s 85 so it’s not doing her heart any good.
“So I offered to go on her daily walk with her from then on and we’ve been doing that for the past two weeks without any problem at all, until the other morning when we saw the same two dogs.”
Jennifer said she and her friend immediately turned around to make their way back home but, as they did, the larger of the two dogs began to charge at them.
“In the end I reverted to shouting at the dog ‘go home, go home!’ and he just kept coming for us in an aggressive way,” she said.
“I called out for help. That’s all I could do. Luckily, at that moment a few of our neighbours came to us and tried to push the dog away but the other was still coming towards us.
“It was quite horrific really.”
Jennifer said she and her elderly neighbour were both extremely shaken by the event and immediately called Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) and the police.
The pair completed the relevant Council forms and gave their statements to officers, but Jennifer said she is yet to receive an update from SDRC.
A Council spokesperson said SDRC does not disclose the outcome of compliance investigations for privacy reasons, but officers communicate with complainants throughout the compliance process to keep them up-to-date.
“Our local law officers are highly trained and qualified in investigation skills and Council also provides an after-hours-on-call service to respond to dog attacks at all times and other emergent animal management issues,” said the spokesperson.
“When investigating incidents, officers follow strict and thorough procedures to collect statements from witnesses, dog owners and any other relevant parties, as well as taking into account any other evidence such as photos or video footage.”
Jennifer said she faced a similarly terrifying encounter this time last year with two other aggressive dogs.
“We were walking around our crescent about a year ago when our dog was attacked and bitten,” she said.
“After we complained last year, nobody contacted us at all.
“Our safety is paramount. Has it got to take a young child to be mauled to death, or an elderly person to be mauled to death, before anybody takes action?
“We want safety on the roads of Warwick.”
After last year’s incident, Jennifer said she submitted a petition for action against aggressive dogs to SDRC with 21 signatures of people who lived in her crescent.
One year on, she said she is yet to see any real progress by Council.
“We’re risking our lives every time we walk down the end of our road,” said Jennifer.
Residents who are concerned about dangerous dogs in their area or who have experienced a dangerous dog attack are encouraged to contact Council on 1300 MY SDRC (1300 697 372).