DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Merrilee Pettinato and her dog Milo who was attacked by wild dogs in Bexhill last week.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Merrilee Pettinato and her dog Milo who was attacked by wild dogs in Bexhill last week. Cathy Adams

Beloved dog brutally mauled by a roaming pack of wild dogs

A BELOVED pet dog has been brutally mauled by a roaming pack of wild dogs in Bexhill, the latest in a pattern of attacks which have terrorised local livestock and pets.

The series of attacks in the area has prompted North Coast Local Land Services to launch an all-out effort to trap and kill the offending animals.

Two-year-old kelpie Milo was attacked while out on a sunset walk with his owner, Merrilee Pettinato, in the Grace Rd area of Bexhill last Friday night.

Ms Pettinato didn't see the attack as Milo had raced across a paddock and into a gully when he was set upon.

But after hearing the commotion, she potentially saved Milo's life by hurling dead tree branches down the gully to scare off the pack. "Basically they were completely frenzied, just going for it," Ms Pettinato said.

"The only part they missed was his tail, his feet and his head.

Keen St vet Darryl Deeley said Milo was lucky to be alive.

Mending the wounds took six hours of surgery time with two vet surgeons working side by side for three hours each.

"Basically every square inch of that dog had some form of bite wound, some worse than others," Mr Deeley said.

"It was under anaesthetic for four hours… it took an hour to surgically prepare all the wounds.

"Potentially there's even more surgery to come for that poor dog."

Senior biosecurity officer Neil Hing said the animals were "very cunning".

"They're very elusive, they live by their wits, they know how to survive," he said.

The experienced dog trapper urged people not to attempt to hunt the dogs themselves because it could upset the program.

"Too many people in the area will spook these dogs; they will leave the area for somewhere else and then come back a few weeks later," he said.

"Unless you're a professional at it, please don't go anywhere near it. Mr Hing said the area around Bexhill was a perfect area for the pack to base themselves.

"They're what we call peri-urban dogs... moving in and out of urban areas because there's good food sources for them."

Dog watch

If anyone sees wild dogs, witnesses an attack, or wishes to join a successful wild dog baiting program, call Mr Hing on 0402 000 762