'Blood was everywhere': Pet death toll rises in dog attacks
ADAM Cross' daughters are too young to understand the extent of what happened to the Gympie family's pet foxy cross last Tuesday.
And Savannah, 7, and Rani, 4, will need time to come to terms with the fact their pet dog, Bones, is not coming home, despite many innocent questions.
Mr Cross and his wife Courtney are mourning the death of their pet after what appears to be a mauling by a roaming dog - or dogs - last week.
And yesterday, Mr Cross was not pulling punches in calling on pet owners to take greater responsibility for their animals.
The Gympie man and his wife returned to their Southside family home last Tuesday night and the silence immediately stirred suspicions.
"We had been out and when we got back home, we hadn't heard the dog like we normally do," Mr Cross said.
Mrs Cross discovered Bones was not on the lead and the sight of "blood everywhere" was a devastating blow for the couple.
The Gympie father picked up his flashlight and discovered Bones shortly afterwards, lying lifeless in the backyard in the fading afternoon light.
The loved family pet in the Cross household was lying near the children's trampoline covered in puncture wounds.
The protective father is angry at the prospect of what could have happened.
"My kids often play out near the swing in the backyard when I am working in the yard," Mr Cross said.
"What would have happened had his happened while they were there?
"They are both of an age where they are nowhere near strong enough to defend themselves."
Mr Cross is now calling on pet owners to do more to stop their animals roaming.
He said he was not perfect himself, but always did his best in the past.
"I have done my utmost to keep my dogs locked up and safe; tie them up when no-one is home and to make sure gates are closed," he said.
"Things happen and they do get out, but I have seen the same dogs out every day so that means their owners aren't taking responsibility.
"Surely these dogs aren't getting out randomly."
The Gympie father is calling on pet owners to step up and do the right thing.
"I think it comes down to a lack of respect for other people and their property," he said.
Mr Cross said he intended to report the mauling with Gympie Regional Council but knew finding the culprit animal and owner was a long shot.
The mauling of Bones is one of a string of dog attacks in recent weeks, including the death of a small dog at a Southside address at the weekend, the killing of an inner-city man's chickens and reports of geese being killed and injured at The Palms.
Gympie Regional Council's website reminds pet owners to contain animals on their properties at all times.