Aussie council hits back as woman fights to save 'dangerous dog'

Huxley, a Golden Retriever, was involved in a horrific dog attack last year that left a beloved Jack Russell dead.

WARNING - GRAPHIC IMAGES: A Queensland council has “condemned” a local’s “deeply disappointing” behaviour as she campaigns to save her beloved pet Golden Retriever — who has been deemed a “dangerous dog” — from being killed.

Huxley, who was involved in a violent attack last year that left one dog dead, was recently seized by the Townsville City Council after it received a call from a vet to collect a canine “found roaming” a suburb.

Huxley at the pound after being seized by council.
Huxley, who was involved in a horrific dog attack last year, was seized by Townsville City Council after being found roaming free. Source: Facebook

Because of it’s “dangerous dog” status, the retriever’s owner, named by the Townsville Bulletin as Erin Cornford, was found to be in breach of her obligations. “As per the process for management of declared dangerous dogs it has been secured for the safety of the community,” the council said in a statement on Facebook on Friday.

Huxley is now at the pound awaiting destruction, according to a GoFundMe created by Ms Cornford’s mum to save his life.

Council condemns dog owner’s behaviour

The 18-month-old retriever’s owner has until Wednesday to appeal the decision, but has reportedly yet to do so. However, she has launched a petition and Facebook group named ‘Save Huxley from being killed’, in which she insists he is a “gentle soul” who “loves nothing more than to be cuddled up by your side”.

But Ms Cornford’s campaign has now gone too far, the council says, and is potentially threatening the safety of its employees. “We are deeply disappointed to see a Council employee become a target as part of the owner’s campaign to return Huxley to her care,” it said.

Left is Monster and right is Dexter, a Jack Russell who was killed after the dogs were attacked last year.
Huxley was listed as 'dangerous' last year after a horrific attack on two dogs named Dexter and Monster. Source: Townsville City Council

“We condemn this behaviour and implore anyone engaging with this campaign to restrain from doxing any Council employees, as they are residents of our city who deserve to live and work safely.” Doxing is a form of cyberbullying that involves broadcasting private or identifying information about an individual or organisation online.

Retriever involved in horrific mauling

Huxley was listed as “dangerous” last year after a horrific attack on two dogs named Dexter and Monster, which killed one and left the other “grievously injured”, the Townsville City Council said. He reportedly followed another retriever into a neighbouring backyard moments before the mauling.

“As we got to the back patio the two retrievers came down the steps and were covered in blood,” a witness who saw the incident said. “I went up to the patio and found dog Dexter had been mauled and I thought he was dead and then saw his eyes moving. At that same time the other little dog Monster started screaming and they had hunted him down. The dogs got to him before I could get there.”

Dexter — a Jack Russell — later died from his injuries. “These dogs were much loved members of a local family and the family are still devastated by the incident,” the council said.

Dexter's severe injuries after the dog attack.
Dexter — a Jack Russell — died from his severe injuries. Source: Townsville City Council

Owner insists dog is 'harmless'

Huxley’s owner was found guilty of failing to take responsible steps to prevent the attack and fined $2,500 on January 19. However, Ms Cornford insists her pet is a “loving and harmless companion” and the recent incident that led to the retriever’s detainment was a simple accident after a visitor left a typically locked gate open.

“The paperwork informing me the council has deemed Huxley dangerous never reached me and now I’m unable to dispute the labelling,” her statement on GoFundMe reads. “Nobody from Townsville City council has even met Huxley before deeming him dangerous and ordering his death sentence.

“Our family has been fighting tirelessly to save him. We have provided evidence of his good behaviour, testimonials from neighbours and friends, and sought expert opinions to prove that he poses no threat to anyone.”

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