Samantha O’May believes her beloved little dog, Barny, is lucky to be alive after being mauled by wild dogs.
Samantha O’May believes her beloved little dog, Barny, is lucky to be alive after being mauled by wild dogs. Renee Pilcher

Anatomy of a dog attack

THEY attacked just before bedtime on Tuesday night.

Silent, swift and deadly.

The only sound that Green's Creek mum Samantha O'May and her family heard was the "horrific scream" from their five-year-old shih tzu, Barny, who had been sitting in the back yard.

Then silence.

The O'Mays moved on to their 16ha property, about 9km east of Gympie State High School, 18 months ago.

Surrounded by working farms, hills, gullies and creeks, they had never experienced a problem with feral dogs before Tuesday night.

Their self-confessed "complacency" ended with Barney's disappearance, though.

"There was no growling, no barking, no anything from the other dogs," Ms O'May said yesterday.

Ms O'May also has a kelpie bitch called Jade, and her son Clinton was visiting with his four-month-old pup that night, too.

After Barny's "scream" everybody ran outside.

"We called him but he did not come.

"My husband got in the four-wheel drive, my daughter got in the buggy, Clint and I went on foot with torches."

Out in the paddock where the grass was waist-high, it was impossible to see anything.

"All of a sudden Jade took off toward the house and then just stopped and looked at me."

Shining her torch into the grass in front of Jade, Ms O'May realised that what she thought was a clump of grass was, in fact, Barney.

"He wasn't moving at all and his breathing was very laboured," she said.

"I screamed at my daughter 'he's dead!'.

"I had blood all over my hands and shirt."

The family rushed Barny in to the Bent St vet. He had received tears to his back, neck, groin and side, and a deep puncture wound to his sternum.

Barney is still recovering in hospital, but Ms O'May wants to warn pet owners not to be complacent, and to lock their pets up at night.

How to trap a wild dog

Gympie Regional Council, with support from the Department of Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry will hold interactive predator control workshops next week.

 Tuesday, August 26, Kandanga Public Hall, Main St, Kandanga.

 Wednesday, August 17, Tansey Hall, Tansey Hall Rd, Tansey.

 Thursday, August 28, Wolvi and District Hall, 1358 Kin Kin Rd, Wolvi.

Click here or contact 1300 307 800.