Dog victim: "I was screaming - I thought I was going to die"
CABARITA grandmother Edna Ryan says a wild dog pack hunted her from Casuarina to Cabarita "as though I was food".
The 72-year-old has told her story to the Tweed Daily News so residents could protect themselves, their children and pets from a similar attack.
Mrs Ryan was confronted by the wild dogs when she was on her daily stroll, on February 22.
"Three of them emerged from the dunes, like a pack of huskies," she said.
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"They were muscly ... and wanted to hunt me as though I was food.
"I looked in every direction and had nowhere to go, except into the water."
She plunged into the ocean fully clothed to escape the pack and, chest deep, ran through rough surf up the coast to Cabarita where she hoped to get help.
"I ran and I did not stop," she said.
"I was screaming, 'Somebody please help me!' I thought I was going to die."
The three dogs kept up their pursuit of Mrs Ryan. They circled in the shallows, waiting for her to get out of the surf.
That's when she thought she would perish.
"I thought I was going to die from drowning or a heart attack or a jolly dog attack if I stopped on the beach".
"I was dying to get out of the water.
"'I really am not going to survive this,' I thought."
Fifteen minutes later at Cabarita the wild dogs left so Mrs Ryan bolted towards Cypress Crescent.
She was shocked when they emerged out of the dunes again and chased her home where husband John, 74, "nearly had a heart attack" as she burst through the door.
"They ran like the wind, so I ran like two winds," Mrs Ryan said.
Weeks earlier she believed one of the wild dogs "stalked" her while she walking.
Fearing the "cunning" animals would take on another person, Mrs Ryan complained for the council to put urgent control measures in place.
WILD DOGS: DOs and DON'Ts
- Never approach, entice or feed any wild dogs
- If you are approached by wild dogs - stop, fold your arms and back away slowly
- If attacked by a wild dog, be as aggressive and loud as you can
- Use a stick to ward them off
AUTHORITIES RAMP UP BAITING AND TRAPPING
TWEED Shire Deputy Mayor Phil Youngblutt received several calls from residents reporting wild dog sightings following last month's Tweed Daily News cover story about a Dunloe Park farmer's fears a child could be killed by the pests.
At the time the council's pest management team said the farmer's estimates on wild dog numbers exceeded their own.
Cr Youngblutt put a successful motion to the council on Thursday to contact the relevant government departments about the eradication of feral animals near the Black Rocks Estate in Pottsville.
"It was straight-up unanimous support of the motion," Cr Youngblutt said.
"They didn't want to talk about it because they knew about it (wild dogs) and did nothing.
"There was talks (Thursday) with government departments on this feral animal problem and they're only now starting to realise how bad it is."
Residents will be warned to desex their dog and to not allow pets to roam. If caught roaming or in a trap, pets will be impounded and the owners fined.
In addition to 1080 baits, a dog trapper will target the Cudgen Nature Reserve followed by Mebbin, Mount Jerusalem and Mooball and Mount Nullum Nature Reserve.