The unthinkable has happened and another alpaca has died after a dog attack, exactly one week after the same fate met Mimosa the alpaca.
This time, the attack happened on a property at Sutton on Tuesday evening when twin brother alpacas Dumb and Dumber were cornered by two Akita breed dogs, according to the alpacas' owner Michele McKell.
It has also been revealed that another two alpacas were set upon by two cattle dogs in a paddock at Murrumbateman on March 4, showing the problem of dog attacks is as much a rural as suburban one.
NSW police and the Yass Valley Council are undertaking a joint investigation of the Sutton incident, with the council indicating dog attacks are a huge problem across the local government area, particularly with people moving to rural areas from Canberra and thinking rural fences are enough to contain their dogs.
"We keep reiterating they have to understand their responsibilities as a dog owner,'' a spokeswoman said.
The twin alpacas, meanwhile, were 10 years old and had never been separated.
"The other one just spent the night whimpering. I don't know if you've ever heard an alpaca whimper, but it sounds like a baby. It's quite distressing," Mrs McKell said.
It follows the death last Tuesday of Mimosa the alpaca who was euthanised after being attacked by an unleashed dog in Giralang.
In another incident, Melissa Goodwin said her two elderly alpacas, Pablo and Pedro, were set upon by two cattle dogs in the front paddock of their Murrumbateman property on March 4. Her 21-year-old son chased the dogs away and they have not been located. Pablo was continuing to have problems and might have to be euthanised.
"I don't want retribution, I just want people to understand that they have a responsibility to keep their dogs contained," Mrs Goodwin said.
Mrs McKell said she believed NSW dog attack laws were weaker than the ACT's, with the two dogs immediately returned to their owner.
She said a ranger from Yass Council and a police officer from Bungendore attended her property and suggested the owner of the dogs could be fined. The dogs would, however, remain with the man.
"They were very apologetic and said they wished they could do more, but their hands were tied," she said.
The McKells' property is just over the ACT-NSW border, behind Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve.
She said the dogs had previously killed chickens and injured a cat and a dog owned by other neighbours in the area.
"And if they do it again, he'll only be fined again," she said.
"It seems [the authorities] can only do something if a child or another human are involved."
A Yass Valley Council spokesperson said because the investigation was active, it would not be commenting on specifics or pre-empting a finding.
Mrs McKell said the dogs chased the twin alpacas from the paddock up to the house about 7pm on Tuesday.
The McKells' 14-year-old son Will rang his parents to alert them and then ran towards the dogs and the alpacas.
He found the dogs rounding on one of the alpacas.
"Will was heading towards them but luckily we got there with the ute in time to put it between the dogs and the alpaca," Mrs McKell said.
They initially could not find the other alpaca.
"[The owner of the dogs] said, 'I'm sorry, I hope your alpaca is OK' and did offer to help us look for him, but we just asked him to leave," Mrs McKell said.
The body of the mauled alpaca was found soon after.
The investigation of the attack will be conducted through the NSW Companion Animals Act, which does allow for a dog that has attacked and killed another animal without provocation to be declared a dangerous dog.
A dangerous dog in NSW would have to be registered and de-sexed, kept in an enclosed compound and walked with a muzzle attached.
The Yass Valley Council gives an owner notice of an intention to declare a dog dangerous with the declaration decided upon by an independent panel.
The council spokeswoman said the current investigation was made easier as the dogs were known, when most were never found, and there were witnesses.
She said dog owners needed to understand that if their dogs were caught mauling sheep or other animals, they would be held liable for the cost of the lost livestock and any vet fees.