ACCORDING to Aboriginal legend, Mirrabooka was once known as ‘‘dog died here’’.
This held a cruel truth for Lee Smith, whose 10-year-old dog, Buddi, was mauled to death in the lakeside suburb by four American Staffordshire terriers on Tuesday.
As reported yesterday, police are investigating the possibility that 36-year-old Lee Smith killed two of the dogs in self defence, as he tried to save Buddi’s life.
The dogs had escaped from a neighbouring property, a problem that had been going on for years and which authorities failed to stop.
The attack came less than a year after Lee Smith’s partner, Natalie Southam, needed 19 stitches after she was mauled by dogs from the same property.
Lee Smith said he had a meeting with Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison scheduled for Tuesday.
‘‘I’m going to take this as far as I can,’’ he said.
Cr Harrison said the incident was ‘‘incredibly sad’’.
Lee Smith’s father, Steve Smith, who lives next door, said the dogs had disturbed the peace for four years. He had complained to the authorities many times.
‘‘If something big doesn’t happen from this, the s--- will hit the fan,’’ Steve Smith said.
‘‘Time after time, the dogs have got out and attacked people and other dogs.’’
Residents have accused Lake Macquarie City Council of failing to stop the problem, but the council has defended its actions.
Residents told the Newcastle Herald they could not believe the dogs were allowed to be kept at a property with flimsy fences.
The dogs had dug many holes under the fences, which Lee Smith had been forced to block with bricks, rocks and tyres.
Steve Smith said the dogs, up to 17 at one stage, had been left in the property to fend for themselves.
He said the owner was rarely home and the dogs formed a pack mentality.
Society of Companion Animal Rescuers spokeswoman Callie Redman gave evidence to the council, RSPCA and police before the attack on Ms Southam but the problem was not solved.
The owner could not be contacted.
Calls for tougher dog laws as cat killed
By DAN PROUDMAN
A PET lover who had a cat ‘‘ripped apart’’ by a stray dog on the same day a Mirrabooka man was forced to stab two dogs to death in his own yard says authorities should be doing more.
Anitra Godden said her 14-year-old cat, Sasha, was attacked by a ‘‘pig dog’’ which had pounced on her pet near the back door of her Raymond Terrace home on Tuesday.
She estimates it would have been about an hour after Lee Smith killed two Staffordshire terriers as they attacked his own dog inside his backyard.
Mr Smith’s deeds were reported in the Newcastle Herald yesterday, less than a year after his girlfriend was mauled by dogs from the same neighbouring property.
‘‘I just wanted to give this guy some support,’’ Mrs Godden said.
The grandmother said she woke to her Jack Russell terrier barking madly inside the family’s Curtin Close home.
Within moments her daughter-in-law walked into her room and said: ‘‘Anitra, the cat’s been killed’’.
She said when she read the Herald yesterday, the emotions came flooding back and called on council to have stronger laws regarding their treatment of troubling dogs.
‘‘... Lee Smith’s story and my own are proof that they are not one-off instances.’’