FRIENDS FOREVER: Cecilia Barnes and her dog Buddy.
FRIENDS FOREVER: Cecilia Barnes and her dog Buddy. Shayla Bulloch

Desperate fight to save pooch after council impoundment

THEY say a dog is a man's best friend but for Cecilia Barnes her pooch is family.

Buddy the Australian cattle dog had been Cecilia's companion for nearly 10 years but after an incident in Rockhampton last week he was impounded.

A heart broken Cecilia said Buddy wouldn't hurt anyone and was desperate to get her beloved dog home.

Cecilia said he helped heal her after some traumatic life experiences.

She recalled the first time she saw him as a four-week-old puppy in Yarraman and said they were destined to be life companions.

"God put him in my hands for a reason to nurse him back to good health and he's been such a blessing in my life," Cecilia said.

"I saved his life after he went through a terrible experience as a pup so I'm very attached to him."

The Rockhampton woman who lived on her own was under previous instructions from Rockhampton Regional Council to keep the dog tied up.

She said although it was partly her fault he was off his chain, Buddy taught her how to love and she couldn't live without him.

"He takes care of me," she said.

"He's very watchful and looks out for me."

Cecilia was rallying with local people in the community who loved her precious pooch to get Buddy back including local shop assistants, taxi drivers, friends and family.

CEO of Rockhampton Regional Council Evan Pardon said council had worked with Cecilia on various occasions and it had no choice but to seize him.

Mr Pardon said the council had received a string of reports regarding Buddy including fear of attacking people.

"Repeated attempts to address the concerns raised, including keeping Buddy on the property with Council even assisting with fencing on a previous property through the Home Assist Program, have been unsuccessful," Mr Pardon said.

"Following the latest report of Buddy wandering the neighbourhood again he has now been seized by council from the footpath in front of the primary school on Gladstone Road."

Mr Pardon said Cecilia would have the chance to appeal the decision which would go to tribunal.

In the meantime, he said nothing would happen to the dog.

"The owner has begun the appeal process by requesting further information before lodging an appeal and no decision will be made while that process is ongoing," Mr Pardon said.



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