By Mitchell Clarke
The Staffy involved in a fatal dog attack in Pakenham will not be seized and put to sleep, Cardinia Shire Council has confirmed.
In line with their legislative responsibilities under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, council confirmed to the Gazette on Wednesday 20 November, a thorough investigation into the incident had been conducted and as a result, “no further action” will be taken.
Council wouldn’t comment further on specific details surrounding the case.
On Tuesday 5 November, ‘Hero’ the Staffy was on a leash walking around Windermere Boulevard with his owners when two Dachshunds and a Labrador came bounding over off leash.
Sadly, four-year-old Dachshund Coco was killed as a result of the incident. His owner took to social media in a post which was shared more than 350,000 times before it was deleted.
Hero’s owner, Paki Harrison told the Gazette the full story hadn’t been portrayed in the original Facebook post.
“My wife and son were walking our dog when three dogs off leash came out of nowhere and started attacking my dog that was on a lead and a harness,” Mr Harrison said.
Days following the attack, a petition to save ‘Hero’ emerged online, created by Emma Douglas who was watching the viral post from the other side of Melbourne, in Tarneit.
“From day dot, I was backing Claudia and the Staffy because he was on a lead and was protecting his owners,” Ms Douglas said.
“I was copping a lot of hate from people who were saying he was dangerous and needed to be euthanised so I thought if I’m going to cop all this hate, I need to use my voice for something productive.”
The petition went viral and received more than 285,000 signatures.
“I’m so happy with the outcome and so grateful for each and every person that signed and shared the petition, as I believe it made the world of difference,” Ms Douglas said.
Lawyer Michael Faltermaier represented the Harrison family and said it was an “incredible result”.
“Having been a lawyer for almost 30 years, I’ve never seen a response to a case like this before,” Mr Faltermaier said.
“The feeling now is one of great relief, we made forceful representations to the council both verbally and in writing in relation to the issues in this matter and we commend them in their response to this case.
“Justice for Hero has been achieved. He is indeed a Hero, because he acted to protect his owner in a very difficult and unfortunate situation.
“Our clients were deeply saddened by the death of Coco, it didn’t need to happen and it could’ve been avoided.”