Karen Purcell with pictures of her pet dog Wags, now deceased after a dingo attack.
Karen Purcell with pictures of her pet dog Wags, now deceased after a dingo attack. TREVOR VEALE

'A dingo killed my baby'

A COFFS Harbour woman has been left reeling by an ordeal that saw her pet dog killed by a neighbour's dingo.

Pensioner Karen Purcell lives in public housing at Argyll St, just opposite a popular children's playground.

Two doors down lives a family, also in public housing, who own three dingoes.

Karen said it was last week when she witnessed her pomeranian Wags, her pet and watchdog for the past 8 years, mauled by one of the dingoes that had found its way into her backyard.

"To me he was my baby," she said, "but how long before it's not my dog but a small child being dragged down the road?"

At around 7.30pm last Wednesday, Karen said she was following her usual routine, letting Wags out into the backyard to go to the toilet.

"I don't know if the dingo was hiding in my garden. But I've went to have a sip of my drink when I heard an almighty scream. I thought, that's not a little ant sting.

"I've gone out to see the dingo running off with Wags in his mouth, it used its front paw to push the gate open.

"To see my dog looking at me like 'help me mum, help me', and not being able to do anything was devastating."

Karen's next door neighbour swooped in to grab the dog when the dingo momentarily dropped it.

Rushing to the after-hours vet clinic, Karen needed $800 for an operation to save Wags' life, which the pensioner did not have.

"My dog was in agony, bleeding everywhere. I just said please put him down - put him out of his pain. Even if he went through the surgery, would the dingo just take him again? I reckon once they've had a taste of blood they'll do it again.

"I can't get another companion animal now because I don't trust those dingoes.

"I haven't been able to sleep in my bed since it happened, because I could always feel him near my body. It was shocking. Me and my brother had to bury him in the backyard but I'm scared the dingoes will dig him up."

In NSW, a permit is not required to own a pet dingo.

Karen said she's been told by a Coffs Harbour City Council ranger the owners will be given a fine of more than $1,000.

Her main concern, however, is the close proximity of the children's park to the dingoes. She said she thinks the dingoes should not be allowed to live in the area.

"What would have happened if there were children in the park at the time and they saw what happened? They would be devastated like I was.

"I've lost my little dog - but I don't want to see one running down the road with a young child."