A shih tzu may not sound like your average guard dog, but Laura has been hailed a family hero after saving an elderly Mount Isa woman on Saturday (December 2).
At home in Sunset, Freda Needham, 82, was watching the cricket on television when she heard banging at her back door.
Three juveniles between the ages of six and 12 were attempting to kick through her back screen door at around 4pm.
“I knew the screen door was triple locked so I opened the back door yelled at them ‘clear off’,” Ms Needham said.
“They just stood there swearing and dancing around, before two of them ran around one side of the house and one around the other.”
Ms Needham moved to the front door and opened it slightly to watch the juveniles leave, but was confronted by one of them.
“The eldest intruder had my mop in hand and went to lung forward to stab me with it,” she said.
“I yelled and told them the police were coming and he threw the mop at me.”
This was when Laura sprung into action dashing through the front door, barking and chasing after the intruders.
Laura chased the intruders down the street but Ms Needham got concerned when the dog did not return.
“When she didn’t come back, I walked to the park to see if she was there,” she said.
“The cricketers said they saw the three juveniles but not a dog. Nevertheless the cricketers jumped in their cars and they searched the area looking for Laura – but couldn’t find her.”
It took two days for the dog to surface, with Laura finally finding her way home on Monday morning (December 4).
Ms Needham said it took police an hour to attend her residence after the incident.
“It is because police are dealing with so many of the same incidences across town,” she said.
“Juveniles are focused on elderly because they are easier targets.
“I can no longer sit on my front veranda with my knitting and a cup of tea in the sun, because I could get attacked or have someone break into my house.
“People in town have no idea about the torture the elderly are being put through.”
Ms Needham said the presence of intruders at her house had increased up to three times a week.
“It has become such a regular occurrence, that I am not scared anymore,” she said.
“They have tried to trick me, by telling me their ball had entered my backyard and they wanted to get it.
“I used to have a table and chairs on the back veranda but I had got up in the morning to find my chairs beside the fence where they were accessing all the other houses in the area – so I threw my chairs away.
“They have even tried to smash through the doggy door to get into my house.”
Police advised Ms Needham to keep her house locked at all times, but she feels a curfew needs to be enforced to target juvenile crime in Mount Isa.
“Although it won’t affect daytime crime like this, there needs to be consequences for what they do,” she said.
“I shouldn’t have to be a prisoner in my own home.”