Pet dies after being critically injured alongside owner in ‘terrifying’ Sydney dog attack

A “beloved” pet dog has died after it was left fighting for life in a “horrifying” dog attack while walking with its owner in Sydney’s south at the weekend.

Elle Booth and her Jack Russell terrier, Indi, were seriously injured when they were viciously attacked by two Irish wolfhounds in Lugarno on Sunday.

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Police say Booth, 34, was walking her dog at Boggy Well Creek off Booyong Ave about 9am when the two dogs attacked.

Indi fled into the Georges River to hide and Booth went in after her, but the two wolfhounds attacked when she and the dog became trapped in mud surrounding the river, NSW Police Chief Inspector Paul Callaghan said.

The Jack Russell suffered critical injuries and underwent surgery on Monday but died later that day.

“Unfortunately, this evening Indi has passed away due to three heart attacks over the course of this afternoon,” friend Sam Carmichael said on a GoFundMe for Indi’s vet bills.

“She fought until the very end and was such an incredibly brave little pup.”

Booth also underwent surgery to her hand on Monday after she received injuries to her face, neck, arms, hands and legs.

Carmichael said Booth had recently moved to the area with her husband Tom, “specifically choosing Lugarno for its bush trails and locale near the Georges River so that their bright little Jack Russell cross cattle dog, Indi, could explore the area on their daily walks”.

Now, she was “physically and emotionally scarred” from the ordeal that has “filled their lives with sorrow, heartache, and unspeakable pain”.

The 34-year-old local woman had to be taken to hospital to be treated for serious injuries. Credit: 7NEWS
Jack Russell terrier Indi has died after being attacked by two dogs in Lugarno on Sunday. Credit: 7NEWS

‘Absolutely terrifying’

A local who watched the incident unfold from across the river immediately called triple-0 for help.

When police fire and rescue arrived, they were confronted by the two “aggressive” dogs, and officers had to use pepper spray to disperse them, Callaghan said.

“She put aside her own safety for the love of her own dog as I’m sure many, many people would,” he said.

“It’s an absolutely terrifying circumstance for a lady by herself and her small dog.”

Husband Tom Dale told 7NEWS: “I think she was down there for about 25 minutes in the mud fending these two dogs off.”

“They were circling her, which is pretty intense, coming in and taking chunks out of Indi and out of her,” he said.

Witnesses say when Booth called out to the dogs’ owner for help, he fled the scene and is yet to come forward.

Police worked with the George’s River Council to locate and seize the two dogs involved.

Irish wolfhound expert Stephen Gendle said the dogs were likely bull Arab crossbreeds, which were commonly used by pig hunters.

“Once you start crossing in breeds, then the temperament becomes unstable,” he told 7NEWS.

Investigations are ongoing as police search for the owner, who faces fines upwards of $20,000 and possible jail time.

The two Irish Wolfhounds were seized following the attack. Credit: 7NEWS

The local council will determine what will happen to the two wolfhounds involved, Callaghan said.

George’s River Council is calling on any witnesses to the attack to come forward to help with the investigation.

Community members are asked to send details, photos or video and their contact details to [email protected].

“Georges River Council acknowledges incidents of this nature are very upsetting for everyone in our community,” a spokesperson said.

“Residents are reminded to exercise responsible pet ownership to ensure the safety of our community and the wellbeing and safety of their pets by always walking their dog on a leash, unless in an authorised off-leash area,” they said.

“As this matter is now under investigation, council is not in a position to make further comment.”

– With Tom Sacre

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