Blood sport suspicion over Ballajura cat deaths


EVIDENCE is mounting to suggest the dogs responsible for more than 30 cat deaths in Ballajura are being purposely released to attack pets.

City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said the attacks appeared organised – occurring at night and targeting people’s pets.

“It appears to be some sort of systematic issue in the area where people are perhaps bringing dogs into the area and letting them loose,” he said.

“A lot of these dogs you normally find are roaming but we haven’t found any roaming dogs in the area (after the attacks).

“The dogs are attacking people’s pets and then leaving the area very quickly.”

Three dogs where seized from properties in Stratton and Ballajura on Friday but no charges have yet been laid and at least five more attacks have occurred since.

“It was always our view that it was not just the dogs seized but there other dogs involved as well,” Mr Foley said.

“There’s a very wide degree of dog descriptions being brought to us at this stage so we’re still collecting information.”

Swan and police will now ramp up nightly patrols of Ballajura in a bid to catch the dogs, and possibly owners, responsible for the sequence of cat deaths.

In the last financial year, Ballajura had 43 recorded dog attacks and that figure has already been surpassed for the first half of the current financial year.

The latest news follows up on our earlier story:

MORE than 30 house cats and many rabbits and guinea pigs have been mauled to death in a recent series of bizarre dog attacks across Perth.

According to Ballajura residents, dogs killed three more cats last night.

In Hilton about a fortnight ago, a woman also reported two dogs jumping her fence and mauling 31 of her prize-winning guinea pigs.

The issue has City of Swan officers conducting patrols in the Ballajura area, and last Friday they seized three dogs from Stratton and Ballajura.

Ballajura residents have set up a Facebook page called Lost Fur Babies to Vicious Dog Attacks in Ballajura in tribute to pets lost.

The page highlights the extent of grieving in the Ballajura community, and the financial burden faced by owners who are paying up to $10,000 in vet fees.

Tracy Leinasars lost her cat Tails on November 29.

She said her neighbours found Tails in their driveway and told her their cat had also been mauled to death three months prior.

“(Tails’) jugular was just ripped apart,” Ms Leinasars said.

“I’ve since contacted the ranger about it and set up the (Facebook) page but the problem is just escalating.

“It could be a child next or an old person – we don’t know how much more vicious they could be.”

Ms Leinasars said there was a general feeling of outrage in the community and she was worried people might take matters into their own hands.

“I don’t blame the dogs at all, it’s the owners.”

Another Ballajura resident, Louise Harvey, said her partner witnessed two dogs running away after killing her cat Muddy.

“The dogs had dragged Muddy to the middle of the road and were standing over him,” she said.

Her partner described one dog as a larger brown-tan coloured staffy-type breed and another smaller black dog.

City of Swan is working with police on the issue and the possibility of the dogs being released into the community has not been ruled out.

The City has confirmed 17 attacks on cats occurred since September but residents say the count is now more than 30.

Swan chief executive Mike Foley said information from the community was imperative.

“Reports and supporting evidence statements by witnesses also improve the City’s capacity to take enforcement action against a dog owner and the likelihood of a successful outcome when the matter is pursued through the courts.”

Last month, Community Newspaper Group revealed there had been 431 dog attacks or threatening incidents reported to City of Swan last financial year.

Some residents expressed concern City of Swan was not doing enough to monitor and prosecute irresponsible dog owners.

Owners can be fined up to $10,000 for dog offences.

Click here to read what Community Newspaper Group recently wrote about dog attack issues in City of Swan.