A young Melbourne woman has been left devastated after she lost her beloved pup when he was attacked by two aggressive dogs last month.
Olivia Castagna and her dog Ollie have been best friends for the past 12 years, exercising every day during lockdown.
However, her Maltese Shih Tzu Ollie was savagely mauled to death by two dogs while walking in Epping on September 20.
The 23-year-old was walking with her dog along Darebin Creek Trail about 10am when the two dogs, believed to be mixed breed Staffies, appeared out of nowhere and attacked Ollie.
"The poor little guy was struggling and trying to fight him off," she told 9News.
"The first one bit his neck and the other one was pulling. I was screaming, pulling on the harness, like 'Ollie, Ollie, get them off.'"
The animals ripped Ollie out of his harness, running off with him and then dumping him on the side of the track.
The dogs then fled towards McDonalds Road, with no owner in sight.
"He was bleeding on the grass, I thought he was gone then and there," Ms Castagna said.
Ms Castagna called Triple Zero, with police rushing Ollie to the vet hospital.
But a week later, Ollie lost his fight for life.
"You would never expect in a million years to be out on your daily walk doing such a mundane thing and for this brutal attack to happen out of nowhere," she said.
Council rangers are now investigating whether the same dogs attacked another man and his Golden Retriever on the same day.
Peter Cocks fought off the dogs as they latched on to his dog Zara's neck.
"I had the lead in my hand, I managed to kick the dog and it let go," he said.
"But I swung the lead and managed to clock them over the head."
Whittlesea Council rangers have conducted more than 600 letterbox drop-offs in search of the two dogs and are doing surveillance patrols in the area.
There are fears the owners may have gone into hiding, but it's hoped the public can provide some fresh leads.
"We want to make sure what happened to Ollie doesn't happen to anyone else ... whether it's another dog or person, or young child," Ms Castagna said.