IT WAS the third morning in two weeks Jeremy Harland of The Channon woke to find the bloody carcasses of his farm animals strewn across the yard.
Wild dogs had returned to his Wallace Rd property on Monday night, and after a frightening standoff he was lucky to escape without injury.
Hearing a commotion about 10.30pm, he ventured outside, where he heard a repetitive "knocking sound" from his porch.
He didn't know at the time, but the ravenous dogs had dragged an 80kg reinforced steel cage that housed his rabbits almost 100 metres down an embankment into a patch of long grass.
When Mr Harland approached, a large black Doberman-sized dog lunged out of the darkness towards him, racing past and cutting off his escape route to the house.
Moments later he found himself surrounded by two more dogs. Instinctively he started screaming and flailing his arms, but the dogs didn't flinch.
"I was screaming and yelling at them, trying to make as much noise as I possibly could," he said.
"These guys weren't afraid of me at all - they had me bailed."
"By that stage I was starting to think I was out my depth, I couldn't really defend myself."
The big black "Doberman" was particularly threatening.
"It wasn't just standing in front of me - it was running back and forth, and then flying at me and veering off at the last minute," he said.
He could also hear movement and sound coming from the cage so there were other dogs - maybe pups - he estimated at least five in total.
Inch by inch, he was able to edge up the hill, turning to face the dog every time it threatened him, until he made it home.
Speaking with relief the following day, Mr Harland, who has owned the hobby farm for nine years with no issues, said the dogs were obviously becoming more brazen.
While he was aware of packs of dogs roaming the area and an incident with a neighbour, who was threatened, the pattern of the dogs returning with increased aggression was a shock.
"I didn't think for a second they had the ability to rip that cage apart let alone move it."
The animal body count continues to rise, with 20 dead rabbits and half a dozen chooks killed in the last attack.
"I'm expecting them back when they're hungry again," he said.
In response, Mr Harland is installing a 1.8m security fence around his perimeter.
"It's a reality check to me," he said.