GRAPHIC: Horror as family pet suffers backyard mauling
THE sight of a vicious dog attacking your own in the supposed safety of a backyard is a horror no pet owner ever hopes to witness.
Sadly, for Lacey McMillan and her family, that very nightmare last week became their new reality.
The horrific incident unfolded as Ms McMillan's father worked on his boat; the family's beloved pet Sharpei Daisy lounging in the sun only metres away.
Moments later, a suspected Great Dane cross Bull Arab broke into the yard through its fence, reportedly taking Daisy by the neck to sink its teeth deep into her skin.
"My dog was just laying in the yard minding her own business and the other dog just started attacking her," explained Ms McMillan.
Two young girls - possibly in their early teens or younger - stood trapped outside the Yeppoon property's perimeter to watch as their unrestrained dog allegedly mauled another.
"My dad tried to tear them apart, I'm guessing it was quite an aggressive dog. I just don't get why a dog would break into someone's yard and start attacking their innocent dog."
The unaccompanied young girls, she added, quickly retreated with their animal following the attack.
"They didn't really seem to care about asking for details or grabbing their parents, they just didn't care at all and my dog could've died," she said.
One week on and Ms McMillan still has no further answers as to who the dog belonged to, later turning to social media to appeal for either witnesses or those with owner information.
Adding insult to injury, the family was later forced to cover the subsequent thousand dollar vet bill as Daisy's deep lacerations worsened.
"A day or so later I took her for a bath, and I looked at the bites and saw they were really deep, they looked like they were getting infected."
"She ended up having to go under general anaesthetic for stitches, antibiotics, she even had drainage tubes put in to get all the blood and puss out as well," she said.
"She seems to be healing well, she's moving around now. But the first couple of days she couldn't even walk and was very lethargic. I was a bit worried."
Ms McMillan hopes the dog's adult owners soon contact her family to reimburse them for the unexpected and hefty emergency costs.
The horrific incident - one of many which occur weekly across the globe - comes in the midst of a renewed call for responsible pet ownership.
Just this week, six-year-old Bridger Walker shielded his little sister from a terrifying dog attack in the United States, leaving him with severe facial injuries.
"Keep your dog on a leash, make sure it's not going to be aggressive and not break into people's yards."
Ms McMillan further suggested adequate training in pet handling should become mandatory for all owners and pets.