Couple stunned after pet maimed, another killed by dog

Peter and Susanne Constantas with Muffin the dog. Photo: John Gass / Daily News
Peter and Susanne Constantas with Muffin the dog. Photo: John Gass / Daily News John Gass

A TWEED couple is devastated at losing a member of the family after a dog attack in Tweed Heads South.

Peter and Suzanne Constantas can't help but say "if only" when reliving the events of October 9 when one of their two miniature poodles was mauled to death and the other was seriously injured.

"If only I had been at that gate to let her in," Mrs Constantas said.

Mr Constantas added: "You blame all sorts of things when something like this happens."

Mr Constantas was walking his two poodles, Muffin and Gidget, along Shallow Bay Dr when he noticed a fellow dog walker with two muzzled greyhounds approach. One greyhound wrestled out of its muzzle and attacked Muffin.

Gidget panicked and ran towards home but the greyhound ran her down and mauled her.

"I ran as hard as I could but what chance did I have," Mr Constantas said.

Gidget died after three days on life support while Muffin is still recovering from her abdominal injuries. "They were my children," Mrs Constantas said. "I have never had any of my own."

Mr Constantas said the family would move because they couldn't live with the memories of the attack.

Tweed Shire Council regulatory services co-ordinator Paul Brouwer said the owner of the greyhound surrendered the animal to be destroyed.

"The main concern in this incident was that the muzzle and lead were not affixed to the dog appropriately and therefore the dog slipped the lead and muzzle," Mr Constantas said. "It highlights the need to ensure that dogs are walked on leads and that the lead is appropriate to restrain the dog, as any circumstance may arise while you are walking in a public place with your dog."

Mr Brouwer said three animals were seized and euthanised in the 2011-12 financial year because of attacks. Friends of the Hound fostered out the greyhound responsible for the attack.

The adoption group's president Lisa White said she was unsure if the dog was a former racing dog because it was a pound rescue. "This really is an awful situation," she said.

"I had this particular dog home with me, my three young children, two cats, and six other dogs, including a jack russell, for four weeks without an incident. We put our dogs through a very comprehensive fostering program."

Mrs Constantas said each dog should have its own walker.

Topics:  dog attack dogs pets

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