Saturday, August 5, 2017

Australia: Sue Lopicich was running a rescue at her boarding facility. She was just mauled to death by her Bull Mastiff, which neighbors say was "known to be aggressive"

AUSTRALIA -- A woman who ran a boarding kennel and animal rescue has been attacked and mauled to death by a bull mastiff in the Perth suburb of Southern River.

Sue Lopicich, aged in her 50s, was attacked on Tuesday afternoon at the property on Terrier Place, which also serves as Barko's Boarding Kennel.

Police said she was declared dead by paramedics a short time later.

The City of Gosnells said rangers were called to the property about 1:45pm to collect a dog that was preventing police from accessing the woman's body.

A council spokesman told the ABC that two dogs — a bull mastiff and a Staffordshire bull terrier — had been seized and impounded by rangers.

It is believed the bull mastiff caused Ms Lopicich's death, and the council said it would be euthanized.

"The police have advised that they believe the bull mastiff, currently being held by the city at the request of police, caused the death of Mrs Lopicich," the council said in a statement.

"The police advised the Staffordshire pit bull terrier was not involved, and he will be returned to the family. The city extends its sincerest sympathies to Mrs Lopicich's family and friends."

Director of governance Grant Bradbrook said it had been distressing for council workers who attended the scene.

"We've provided counselling for the two rangers that attended," he said. "It wasn't a nice job to have to attend, so they've been supported."

He said the dogs were registered to the owner of the property and no previous complaints about them had been received.

'Body found by daughter'

Neighbor Greg Bal said he did not hear any signs of a struggle at the property.

He said Ms Lopicich's body was found by her daughter, who came to check on her mother after concerns were raised when she did not turn up for work at a local childcare centre.

Dog 'known to be aggressive'

A dog that mauled a woman to death at her home in Perth’s south-east was known by neighbors to be aggressive and was almost always locked away from visitors.

The bull mastiff dog responsible for the 58-year-old’s death was understood to be a pet she had had for the past four years.

Neighbor Greg Ball said the dog taken away was named Stirling and that he was saddened but not surprised by the fatal attack.

“If someone went in there, those dogs would have to be locked away,” he said. “Very few people could get near them.

“There have been a number of incidents there. If I’m honest, we had been waiting for something like that to happen.

“Some dogs just can’t be saved.”

Neighbor Kerrie Pearce said there had been a number of dog fights at the property and Ms Lopicich had been injured in the past trying to break them up.

"I never liked what she did down there, she used to just mingle them in together and you can't mingle them together, you've got to keep them separate," she said.

"She liked to have them as like a pack, but you can't have rescue dogs as a pack."

Another neighbor, who did not provide their name, said Ms Lopicich was passionate about dogs and dedicated her life to their care, especially rescue dogs.

Police have told the ABC her death was not being treated as suspicious and a report would be prepared for the coroner.

(ABC AU - August 2, 2017)

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