A blind mother-of-three is the latest victim of selfish pet owners refusing to control their dogs in her upmarket neighbourhood.
A blind mother-of-three is the latest victim of selfish pet owners refusing to control their dogs in her upmarket neighbourhood.

Blind woman victim of unleashed rogue dog

A blind woman is the latest victim of an unleashed rogue dog as Brisbane City Council cracks down on "selfish" pet owners.

Narelle Gatti, who has myopic degeneration and only five per cent vision, was terrifyingly knocked off her feet during an evening stroll in Hamilton, in Brisbane's north.

Mrs Gatti's guide dog Cassidy was spooked by an approaching off-leash animal in Hercules Street Park, causing the mother of three to lose balance.

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"It was really frightening," she said.

"Cassidy lunged at the dog and I was yanked really hard and started to fall and I was screaming, 'I'm blind'.

Narelle Gatti is legally blind and was knocked over in a Hamilton park when an unleashed dog spooked her guide dog Cassidy. Picture: Jamie Hanson
Narelle Gatti is legally blind and was knocked over in a Hamilton park when an unleashed dog spooked her guide dog Cassidy. Picture: Jamie Hanson

"The dog owner said he was sorry but I got really angry because I have to obey all these rules, more than a normal person, because Cassidy is a working dog.

"I don't know what's wrong with people - if you have a dog you have a responsibility to look after it and keep it on a leash in public."

Mrs Gatti, who has had her Labrador-German Shepherd-cross helper for four years, said it was not "a guide dog issue but a community issue".

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said there was "no excuse" for breaking the rules.

"With more than 106,000 registered dogs living alongside more than 1.2 million Brisbane residents, it's important everyone acts responsibility," Cr Schrinner said.

"I was horrified to hear that Narelle was knocked over by a dog illegally off-leash.

"I want to give a fair warning - if your dog is not on a leash when it should be, you can expect to be stopped by a council officer and potentially fined $266."

Councillor David McLachlan, who has represented the Hamilton Ward since 2006, said unrestrained dogs were a growing problem, with body corporates no longer permitted to ban dogs in apartments.

"We have to stop the selfish behaviour of owners who think it's OK to let their dogs roam free in any open space. If they are not in a designated dog park, it's not on."

Scott Anderson and Russell Howlett with their rescue dogs Buster and Missy, both 8, after being attacked. Picture: Annette Dew
Scott Anderson and Russell Howlett with their rescue dogs Buster and Missy, both 8, after being attacked. Picture: Annette Dew

 

The distressing incident follows a "bloodbath" in Boronia Heights when an unrestrained dog fatally mauled a chihuahua and seriously injured two little dogs, prompting the victim dogs' owners to take legal action.

Scott Anderson and Russell Howlett were devastated by the shock attack and sued the owner of the offending dog for vet fees of more than $6000.

 

 

Missy had emergency surgeries after the attack. Picture: Supplied.
Missy had emergency surgeries after the attack. Picture: Supplied.

 

 

Originally published as Blind woman victim of unleashed rogue dog

Hercules Street Park in Hamilton. Picture: David Clark/AAP
Hercules Street Park in Hamilton. Picture: David Clark/AAP

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