Kurri locals are outraged after a much loved horse – 21-year-old George – was savaged by dogs on Thursday morning.
George is like a mascot for Kurri Kurri, a gentle giant accustomed to visitors at his usual residence in Boundary Street, opposite the pool.
The attack left George with bone exposed on his face and a gaping wound to his side, among other injuries.
But owner Pam Walterback was overwhelmed by public response on social media, admitting she had no idea just how popular George was.
“A lot of people have asked where George is, so dad’s popped a sign up to say that he’s recovering elsewhere,” daughter Jodie Lynch said.
“One lady actually stated on Facebook that George was her psychologist; she goes and sits with George and talks with him about all her problems.
“We had no idea everybody knew George; he’s just lovely.”
But, his popularity with people couldn’t save George from the brutality he suffered.
George’s neighbour Zade came to his rescue, using a milk crate to fight off the dogs. Ironically, he was kicked and injured by George in his panic. “The dogs have collars; they are grey-black, medium-sized dogs,” Mrs Lynch said. “They actually had the horse on the ground, ripping his face; there was major damage.
“The vet bill will be in the thousands of dollars, and that’s not for mum and dad to have to pay. “They’re pensioners, and George is their baby. “It’s been mum’s dream to have a horse, she won’t get another one after this.
“It’s absolutely horrific; he lost a lot of blood.
“But, the vet’s there, and he’s giving him daily antibiotics injections and he’s on painkillers.”
After her family’s ordeal, Mrs Lynch’s message is two-fold.
“I’m a massive dog lover,” she said, adding she’d been through dog attacks before.
“Please just look after your dogs – if you’re walking your dogs, put them on a lead take better responsibility for them.
“I don’t blame the dogs, I blame the owners.
“You have to look after your dogs.
“We really hope that people will take note and lock their dogs up, and make sure they’re not out attacking.”
Lastly, she would like to thank the community for their incredible support of her family.
“Thank you to everybody who shared Facebook posts [about George], and everybody who sent well wishes to mum and dad – they’re really touched by it,” she said.
“I’d also like to thank James the vet – he spent six hours stitching up George yesterday.
“He could only do so much because George couldn’t take any more aesthetic, he was collapsing.
“There will be more surgery in the next few days to try to repair him.
“And, thank you to Zade – the young man who fought with the dogs.
“Mum and Dad are eternally grateful and, relieved Zade will recover after getting kicked in the attack.
“He couldn’t have fought much longer [on his own].”
Article courtesy of The Maitland Mercury - Fairfax Media
Written by: Betina Hughes
BETTER DAYS: George before the attack.
BATTERED: George following his attack.