'Justice for Monty': Police dog mauls beloved pet
QUEENSLAND Police have launched an urgent dog squad review after one of its breeding animals fatally mauled a retiree's beloved Shih tzu being walked in a Gold Coast park.
Pensioner Robert Watts, 74, said he was having recurring nightmares about seeing the police dog viciously attack his pet and mate Monty one afternoon two weeks ago.
Monty, who Watts owned for 12 years and was his retirement companion, suffered horrific injuries in the July 17 incident, eventually dying a week later on July 24.
Their fateful daily afternoon walk in the Entertainment Drive park in Coomera had started serenely like any other.
But Mr Watts said a police dog, which he believed to be a German Shepherd located at a home backing on to the park, jumped a 1.8m-high fence and attacked Monty.
"I saw this thing come over and I tried to pick Monty up but he just grabbed his ass and dragged him.
"The scary thing is I could have had a granddaughter with me. I was hitting this dog and trying to get him to release Monty."
Mr Watts said the handler raced Monty to a vet but when he arrived soon after "Monty was lying on the vet table with his intestines hanging out".
"At that point I lost it. I want to make sure this never happens again."
Mr Watts said the handler told him "sorry, we will pay all your bills".
Mr Watts said he had been called the day of the incident by police and once more seven days later when Monty died with Coomera-based Senior Sergeant Ben Brouwer offering to pay for the cremation.
"That's great but in-between they haven't called me to say 'We are sorry, do you need any help?' Mr Watts said.
"People who live around here are very upset. Everybody knew Monty. He should have died of old age."
Tearing up, Mr Watts was talking to the Bulletin on Thursday while sitting in his backyard having a beer: "He used to be out here sitting beside me on this couch. Now I have nothing. The police owe me for pain and suffering. I keep having this nightmare where I see this dog ripping my dog apart."
The ex-security officer who relocated to the Gold Coast to retire 14 years ago from Melbourne and is split from a former partner said: "I worked with the police before, I have a lot of respect for the police but not at the moment, that's all out the door.
"I want justice for Monty."
A Queensland Police Service (QPS) statement confirmed the July 17 incident "during which a dog was injured by a dog owned by the QPS".
"Regrettably, despite veterinary care being provided to the injured dog, it died from its injuries. The QPS dog was not trained for policing purposes but is part of the QPS Dog Squad breeding program.
"Immediately after the incident, a review of management and housing of police dogs was commenced to address any risks in the future."
The QPS dog had been removed from its housing in Coomera and relocated to police holdings in Brisbane, the statement said.
In response to Mr Watts' claims of lack of follow up, the QPS statement said a senior officer monitored Monty's veterinary surgery and checked on Mr Watts' welfare.
QPS had "assisted" with veterinary care and cremation while contact with the owner would be "ongoing to address welfare issues and any concerns he may have", QPS said.
Mr Watts claimed he had seen the handler in the park previously trying to restrain the dog: "He was holding on to the lead with two hands. It was going ballistic and he was struggling to hold on. At the time I was thinking 'That's very aggressive' but I didn't think it was going to take my dog out."