Working dogs baited in a heartbreaking act of cruelty that has brought the town of Harvey together in support

Craig DuncanHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Mia Davis and her dogs Dingo, Pepi and Bluey.
Camera IconMia Davis and her dogs Dingo, Pepi and Bluey. Credit: Craig Duncan

A heartbreaking act of cruelty has brought the community of Harvey together to support a farmhand and her family of working dogs.

The first weekend of February will forever be in Mia Davis and her partner Dom Fiore’s minds as they were horrified to learn that four of their dogs had been baited.

The incident left three of the dogs hospitalised and unfortunately took the life of one of the dogs.

On February 3, Ms Davis and Mr Fiore rushed their staffy Barra to the vet, devastated to learn he had been poisoned.

“Barra was energetic and always happy,” Ms Davis said.
Camera Icon“Barra was energetic and always happy,” Ms Davis said. Credit: Mia Davis;supplied

Ms Davis said their wonderful dog, who was “energetic and always happy to see you”, had to be put to sleep that afternoon.

“It was honestly so heartbreaking,” she said.

The next day between panicked tears, Ms Davis watched in horror as her oldest dog, a kelpie named Pup, stumbled and coughed showing severe signs of stress.

“My kelpie had extreme tremors, couldn’t stand, couldn’t walk,” she said.

Her other working dogs, Dingo and Bluey, also were extremely lethargic and vomiting, Ms Davis said.

“We suspected baiting as soon as they all started acting weird, because it was very suspicious for them all to be acting like that at the same time,” Ms Davis said.

From left to right, Dingo, Bluey, Pup and Barra.
Camera IconFrom left to right, Dingo, Bluey, Pup and Barra. Credit: Mia Davis;supplied

She said she took her other three working dogs to the vet on the Sunday where they were cared for and treated. Dingo and Bluey have been able to return home, however Pup the kelpie is still at the vet.

Ms Davis said she doesn’t know what poison was used but hoped blood tests would reveal some details.

She said she had suspicions her family was targeted directly and the incident had been traumatic.

I don’t let them out now, because I’m terrified.

Ms Davis said the impact of losing her dogs was huge, not only emotionally but also financially.

“They are not just my family, they are my employees,” she said.

Pup the kelpie working hard on the farm.
Camera IconPup the kelpie working hard on the farm. Credit: Mia Davis

In a wonderful act of generosity the people of Harvey have rallied behind Ms Davis in support.

Owner of Anchovies pizza and Equipets Narelle Celisano said she was moved when Mia told her the story and set up a gofundme that night.

The fundraiser has raised more than $5000 in under a week to help cover the family’s vet bills.

“Losing their staffy and hearing how sick the other three became, I couldn’t imagine the thought of them losing the other dogs,” Ms Celisano said.

“Harvey is a small close-knit town, and you can see a lot of donations have come locally, we are all so grateful.”

Ms Davis said it was amazing to see so many people supporting her.

“I’m over the moon, I really am,” she said.

“That is covering most of my vet bills.”

Though nothing can bring their dog Barra back, the support from the community had been invaluable, she said.

Ms Davis said if people lived in an area where baiting was likely, investing in cameras on the property was a must as well as listening to animals whenever they were acting off.

“Definitely listen to animals, and keep your premises as tight as possible,” she said.

“Don’t give anyone the opportunity to do that to your animals.”

Pup the kelpie will be out of the vet soon, Ms Davis said, and will be given more time to recover at home before going back to work.

Bluey, Pup, Dingo and Barra.
Camera IconBluey, Pup, Dingo and Barra. Credit: Mia Davis;supplied

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