ACT News


'This shouldn't happen to anyone': Pups brutally mauled in their Canberra backyard

A Canberra pet owner is still reeling after her two pups were brutally mauled in their own backyard by three dogs which jumped the fence.

The pups pitifully crawled through a dog flap into the laundry to try to escape the onslaught in Wanniassa last Saturday afternoon.

Their shaken owner Vanessa Giannasca said: "This shouldn't happen to anyone".

"As soon as I opened the laundry door, all I could smell was the blood," she said.

"There was red everywhere, on the washing machine, on the walls. There were pawprints where they'd tried to get through the other door."

Ms Giannasca and her partner Nicholas Belardo returned home about 1.50pm on Saturday to be greeted by three dogs leaping over her backyard fence into the front yard.


It took them five minutes to get the dogs away from the house after which they went searching for their two pups, Lady and Lucky, only to be greeted by the horrific scene when they opened the laundry door.

The dogs were cowering and shaking, one-year-old Lady and 18-month-old Lucky both bleeding from the neck.

The couple rushed the dogs to Greencross Vets at Calwell where Dr Judith Ooi treated them.

"They had multiple lacerations to their neck and chest, extensive swelling and high-level trauma to their muscles," Dr Ooi said.

"They were in a very serious condition when they presented. They've been on fluids and pain relief and antibiotics.

"They've responded very well to their treatment and we're very happy with their progress."

Lady was hoped to go home on Thursday while Lucky needed more treatment.

It was a close call for the pups but Ms Giannasca said the attack had still left her gentle pets depressed, anxious and frightened.

She thought her pets would be safe in their own backyard. The yard is secured, but part of the colourbond fence is waist-high, and it is here the three dogs are believed to have gained entry.

"We've never had a problem before and we've been living here for a couple of years," she said.

"You just don't think something like this could happen."

A neighbour home at the time of the attack said he saw the three dogs maul the pups.

The owner of the dogs has denied any responsibility, telling Ms Giannasca they probably "only watched" the attack by "other dogs" but did not participate.

It's understood Domestic Animal Services initially seized the three dogs believed responsible for the attacks but then released them back to the owner.

It's believed they were re-seized later until such time as the owner fixed his fence to stop the dogs wandering the neighbourhood.

Comment has been sought from the City Services Directorate about the status of the dogs.

Ms Giannasca said on the Saturday afternoon, the three dogs she saw at her house then wandered into another yard where a children's birthday party was being held.

"They wouldn't leave them alone and had to be shoo-ed away," she said.

Ms Giannasca said the vet bill for Lucky and Lady was now at $5000.

She has started a gofundme page to help pay some of the cost.

The generosity of the community had been heartwarming.

"Some people have gone into the vet's anonymously and left toys for the dogs and cards," she said.

It is a lovely show of humanity after the terrifying attack.

"No dog deserves to do through this," Ms Giannasca said.


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