Geraldton family speaks out after man mauled and small dog killed in dog attack in Mount Tarcoola

Derek Goforth & Kate CampbellGeraldton Guardian
A dog attack left a man mauled and a small dog killed in Glenview Street in Mount Tarcoola.
Camera IconA dog attack left a man mauled and a small dog killed in Glenview Street in Mount Tarcoola. Credit: Supplied

A Geraldton family has been left devastated after a man was badly mauled and a small dog killed when a routine walk turned into a vicious dog attack on a suburban street last weekend.

Laurina Sargeant lost her beloved 14-month-old Papastzu dog, Dom, after family friend Reg Thomson, who she refers to as Pop, was set upon by two large dogs while taking Dom for his regular walk down their Mount Tarcoola street on Saturday afternoon.

The incident has prompted pleas for owners to be responsible for their dogs, as attacks become common on Geraldton streets, parks and beaches.

Dom the Paptesezu who was killed in a dog attack.
Camera IconDom the Paptesezu who was killed in a dog attack. Credit: Supplied

On average over the past two years, almost four dog attacks are reported to the City of Greater Geraldton every week.

Mr Thomson had just started walking Dom on Glenview Street when “barely 10 feet away from the front of the units . . . two large dogs came bounding across the street”.

“I just instinctively picked him (Dom) up and held him close to my chest, but the dogs just started ripping into him and me, there was nothing I could do to stop them. They just tore into him and into my arm and leg,” he said.

“Afterwards one of the dogs ran away and we were told he was actually hit by a car on the Mullewa Road, it’s as if he knew he had done wrong and ran away from the trouble.”

Mr Thomson and Ms Sargeant are understandably extremely distressed and feel sorry for everyone involved. “There are no winners here, three dogs have lost their lives or are going to, it’s just really sad that this even happened,” Mr Thomson said.

Mr Thomson was admitted to hospital after the attack, needing surgery on lacerations on his hand, arms and legs.

Ms Sargeant, who witnessed the aftermath of the attack, said she and her family were devastated.

She said she was inside her home when she heard the noise of dogs and distress and when she and her mother ran outside they were confronted with a horror scene.

“I went out and Pop was bleeding everywhere, my mum handed me my lifeless baby I knew he was gone as he was bleeding out from his stomach and head. Pop was distraught and started trying to blow air into Dom’s mouth. We went to the vet, but he was gone,” she said.

Reg Thomson's injuries caused in the dog attack.
Camera IconReg Thomson's injuries caused in the dog attack. Credit: Supplied

Mr Thomson’s wife Helen described the scene afterwards. “The rangers came and after a lot of persuasion the dog that didn’t run away was put into the back of the rangers’ van,” she said.

“We didn’t know what to do and don’t know what to say now. We hope people realise has distressing this is and how we all need to do our bit to look after our dogs.”

It’s unclear what type of dog the attacking canines are, but it’s understood they are cross breeds.

Despite her shock and grief, Ms Sargeant had a message she wanted to get out to the community.

“Don’t have a dog if you cannot care for it and or train it,” she said.

Dom the Paptesezu who was killed in a dog attack.
Camera IconDom the Paptesezu who was killed in a dog attack. Credit: Supplied

“A dog becomes a part of the family. Innocent people and dogs have been hurt and traumatised doing normal daily activities such as walking their dog.

“No one should walk five metres from their driveway and be attacked due to the negligence of others.”

A City of Greater Geraldton spokesperson said the City was aware of the dog attack in Mount Tarcoola and rangers were currently investigating. “No further comment can be made about the details until the full investigation is completed,” they said.

In 2021, 206 dog attacks were reported to the council, with that number dropping to 186 last year.

City CEO Ross McKim said the reported numbers were “of real concern” “Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their dogs are registered, are in a properly secured yard and not left to wander. This ensures the safety of people, as well as animals, and helps to significantly reduce preventable dog attacks,” he said.

Under the Dog Act, pet owners can be fined up to $20,000 or jailed for a maximum of two years if the offence relates to a dog designated a dangerous breed.

For other dogs, the court can fine owners up to $10,000 or issue a sentence of imprisonment of up to 12 months.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails