SAD REALITY: Annette Vanderwolf and her dad, Erne,  love their pet dog Dumbledore as much as they love their calves, which were destroyed by someone else's pet. Inset: The Vanderwolfs' two-day-old calf was attacked by domestic dogs.
SAD REALITY: Annette Vanderwolf and her dad, Erne, love their pet dog Dumbledore as much as they love their calves, which were destroyed by someone else's pet. Inset: The Vanderwolfs' two-day-old calf was attacked by domestic dogs. Liana Walker

Killer domestic dogs destroy four calves

A DROUGHT-stricken Stanthorpe farming family struggling to keep their cattle alive say the death of four calves by domestic dogs could be the final straw.

Karen Vanderwolf said that after watching helplessly as the latest casualty, a two-day-old calf, was attacked and killed by a pair of domestic dogs, the family was questioning whether it was worth continuing on the land.

"We can't sell these (cattle) because they're not worth anything and we're just trying to keep them alive," she said.

"You think, why breed them if the dogs are just going to come and kill them?"

Her daughter Annette witnessed a bull terrier cross and wolfhound great dane attack the calf.

Without a weapon all she could do was crack a whip and yell in the hope of scaring them off.

"They weren't taking any notice of me whatsoever, they weren't scared of people," she said.

This is the first dog attack the family witnessed, but they believe the three other calves were also killed by domestic dogs.

"We're only a kilometre from town so there's not really any dingos around here," father Erne Vanderwolf said.

He urged pet owners to take better responsibility.

"If you've got a dog that kills things, lock it up, we're so close to town we just have to say we're breeding your dog food," he said.

This is not the first case of alleged domestic dog attacks in the region. Stanthorpe police Senior Sergeant Gerard Brady said there had been reports from Sugarloaf, Liston and on Texas Rd in recent months.

"If people are lawfully hunting they need control of their dogs," he said.

"If the dogs do stray, the property owners are entitled to destroy the dog."

Southern Downs Regional Council local laws officer Pamela Brown said the onus fell on pet owners to keep their animals in a suitable enclosure on their property.

If you see a dog attacking your livestock, phone the council on 1300 697 372 to have the dog removed.

Your rights

  • If a dog attacks your livestock you are allowed to destroy it
  • If you step onto private property you are trespassing, with a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment
  • On-the-spot fines apply for escaped dogs of $126
  • Repeat offenders will be fined $630
  • If the issue is not resolved the council can issue a notice to remove or destroy the dog
  • Dogs caught attacking livestock will be declared a dangerous dog, with stronger penalties for escaping
  • If a dog kills your livestock you can take civil action against the owner
  • The council can provide dog traps to property owners on request
  • Council officers are on call 24/7 for dog attacks - phone 1300 697 372
Stanthorpe Border Post

All smiles for new Oztag season

All smiles for new Oztag season

Numbers keep rolling in for Stanthorpe Oztag

Sport backs split move

Sport backs split move

De-merger cause now a little richer.

OPINION: The heart wants what it wants

OPINION: The heart wants what it wants

I'll continue to fight with my heart on my sleeve.

Local Partners