A woman found “stuck in mud” after being attacked while walking her small dog on a popular track in Sydney’s south has suffered another devastating blow, friends have revealed.
The woman, named by 9 News as Eleanor Booth, and her Jack Russell-Cattle dog cross Indi were rescued by police on Sunday after being chased into the Georges River in Lugarno by two larger, aggressive dogs.
She was finally able to wriggle herself free after officers pepper sprayed the animals, however Indi “suffered horrendous, life-threatening injuries”, ultimately leading to her death on Monday.
“Unfortunately this evening Indi has passed away due to three heart attacks over the course of this afternoon,” friends wrote on a GoFundMe page created to help pay for her vet bills. “She fought until the very end and was such an incredibly brave little pup.”
The almost $25,000 raised so far will go toward the outstanding bills and any remainder will be donated to Veterinary Specialists of Sydney, they said.
'Aggressive' dogs attack
Ms Booth, otherwise known as “Elle”, her partner Tom and Indi had only recently moved to the area, and specifically chose it “for its bush and trails” so their “bright little” Indi could explore on her daily walks, friends Tess Hutchinson and Sam Carmichael revealed.
While it was initially reported the two larger dogs had escaped from a nearby backyard, the pair claim the 34-year-old Ms Booth was on the bush track when she came across a man walking the animals.
“[The dogs] both immediately began stalking Indi, becoming quite aggressive, hounding and nipping at her,” they said. “Indi, overwhelmed with fear, darted towards the river in a desperate attempt to escape the relentless assault.”
The dogs, Ms Booth and the man followed as Indi ran past the mangroves and into the mudflats, where she was pinned down.
“With no hesitation, Elle charged after Indi, into the mangroves, her own safety abandoned in her unwavering determination to save her loyal companion,” her friends said. “In a heroic act, Elle managed to pull Indi from the clutches of the attacking dogs, but not without sustaining severe injuries herself.”
Woman 'physically and emotionally scarred'
The man with the larger dogs then blew a whistle — causing them to pause — before fleeing the scene, its alleged.
“Elle, now stuck in the mud, holding her beloved Indi was alone; alone with these two, relentless dogs who were continuing to circle Elle and Indi. For 20 minutes, she stood in neck-deep mud holding Indi above, trying to clear Indi’s airway of mud, and continuing to hold the larger dogs off.”
Ms Booth was bitten by the dogs on her mouth and throat and broke her arm, 9News reports. She underwent surgery for wounds on her hands on Monday.
The 34-year-old has been left both “physically and emotionally scarred” by the “horrifying ordeal” and will take time to heal, her friends said. Two large dogs were seized from a home in the area the same day as the attack, but it’s understood police are still searching for their owner.
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