Readers pity Rocky the Rottweiler

Rocky at the pound. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Rocky at the pound. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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BENDIGO Advertiser readers want Rocky the Rottweiler to be shown mercy, with the overwhelming majority voting for him to be saved in an online poll.

At 3pm yesterday 65 per cent of people had voted to save Rocky, 31 per cent said he should be destroyed and four per cent didn't care.

The online poll recorded a total of 728 votes.

Readers took to Facebook to defend the animal, with many saying victim Liza-Jane Purtill should not have approached it.

"I voted to save the dog because I would never pat a dog I didn't know and the owner clearly warned her," said Jodi Phillips.

"I'm not sure about anyone else's dog but when mine sees someone they are not sure of her first reaction is to protect me (her owner)," said Samantha Bice.

"Dogs are like baby's (sic) to some people I seriously believe this dog deserves the chance at life," Jessie-Lee Seeary said.

Some readers compared Rocky's plight to that of a human who had committed a wrong.

"Let's not save bad people too. Let's put them down when they do something wrong," David Klabikowski said.

But some readers were not as forgiving, arguing Rocky was a risk to the public and should be put down.

"No question about it, the dog gets put down!" said Laura Purtill McRae.

"Giving it a second chance is not worth the risk the next person might not be so lucky, what if it was a child?"

Rachel Brown said it didn't matter that Ms Purtill approached Rocky - he had bitten once and deserved to be destroyed.

Many other people said Ms Singleton shouldn't have walked her dog without a muzzle and was irresponsible in doing so.

The comments were in relation to an incident in Arnold Street last Monday, when Nicole Singleton's dog attacked Liza-Jane Purtill, who required surgery on her arm.

City of Greater Bendigo parking and animal control manager Neville Zimmer said the attack was the most severe case the council had come across in the past 12 months.

The incident has sparked heated discussions on social media, with people debating pet ownership responsibilities, the dangers of patting unknown dogs and whether domestic animals can be rehabilitated.

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