Bedford: fatal dog attack trauma continues for resident as local govt bodies refuse to take action

Madeleine McGinnis’ dog Chopper died after it was attacked.
Madeleine McGinnis’ dog Chopper died after it was attacked.

AFTER a dog fatally mauled Madeleine McGinnis’s poodle cross Chopper in an unprovoked attack last year, the Bedford resident says the cities of Stirling and Bayswater have refused to take action against the dog.

Ms McGinnis’s partner’s mother Liz Teh was walking 10-year-old Chopper on the lead at Grand Promenade Reserve on September 16 when a large german shepherd cross raced across the park to the pair about 1.45pm.

According to a victim statement, the dog pinned Chopper down and tore into him and Ms Teh was bitten trying to pick up Chopper.

She yelled out for help, but a man with the dog stood on the other side of the park watching the attack.

“He’s ripped his insides apart, ripped ribs away from the spine – just brutal, out of nowhere,” Ms McGinnis said.

Chopper was rushed to Bedford-Dianella Vet Centre and despite emergency surgery, died on the way to a vet hospital, in the vet’s arms.

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The City of Bayswater successfully prosecuted the person in control of the dog in January, but advised her it could not do anything about the dog because it was registered in the City of Stirling.

Ms Teh was admitted to Royal Perth Hospital and Ms McGinnis flew back into Perth later that day to find her beloved pet had died.

“Everyone was devastated – Chopper did everything with me, followed me everywhere,” she said.

The offending dog was taken by City of Bayswater rangers and less than a day later was released back to its owners, who were not present at the park and had registered it as missing.

Ms McGinnis said a Stirling officer told her no further action would be taken on the matter, but a spokesman told the Eastern Reporter last week that the council was waiting on more information from Bayswater and would not confirm yet if it would take action against the dog.

“We’ve had to follow up continually,” she said.

“The dog has killed, ripped another animal to shreds unprovoked – the City of Stirling has the power to do something and at a minimum that should be declaring the dog dangerous.

“It would have been a different story if it was a child; now this dog is just allowed to roam free – what if it happens again?”

Bayswater acting chief executive Carissa Bywater said after the “extremely unfortunate incident” the City’s rangers found the dog showed no aggression to other animals in the pound.

“It is understood the dog did not have a history of aggressive behaviour and it was released under its owners’ control,” she said.

Ms Bywater said the City of Bayswater would work with Stirling to ensure it had the information to assess and monitor the animal.

“Given the seriousness of the offence, the distress caused to the parties involved and the need for the verdict to act as a specific deterrent to the accused, the court ordered the accused to pay $3500 as well as costs to the City of $1332.50,” she said.

A City of Stirling spokesman said an inspection of the dog’s property and the fences had been conducted and they were found to be in good order.