A physio who told police he was ‘pet-sitting’ two Irish wolfhounds which killed a Jack Russell and injured his owner has been pictured for the first time since the attack – but refused to answer questions about what happened or clarify whether he was The owner of the dog did.
Ellie Booth, 34, and her pooch Indy were attacked by feral dogs on a walk by an unknown man at Buggy Well Creek in Lugarno, South Sydney, at 9am on Sunday.
Mrs Booth spent 20 minutes in neck-deep mud valiantly trying to fight off the dogs when the pair were mauled.
Indi tragically died after emergency surgery on Monday night, while Mrs Booth is recovering from surgery on her arm and arm.
A short time later, the dogs were seized from the Pickhurst Heights home of married couple George and Bashira Helo, both in their 50s, who told police they were pets at the time.
It is not clear whether Mr Helu was the man walking the Irish wolfhound at the time of the attack.
When Daily Mail Australia approached Mr Helu at his business, the Lugarno Sports Injury Clinic, on Wednesday morning, the veteran physio refused to answer questions about what had happened.
George Helu (pictured) emerged from his property on Sunday after George Helu (pictured) seized two Irish wolfhounds responsible for a savage marling.
Mr Helu sat in the front seat with his hands covering his face before getting out of the car.
Mr Helu was seen pulling up to his Lugarno sports injury clinic on Wednesday morning
That’s what Daily Mail Australia asked George Helu
Were they your dogs? What do you have to say to the owners in India? Why were the dogs outside? Why don’t you want to answer the question? What do you have to say? [about the incident]? You didn’t move [Ms Booth alone] Or was someone else?
Shielding his face from the cameras, Mr Helu hid behind the driver’s seat of his car after pulling into the clinic’s driveway.
Asked to explain what had unfolded, who owned the dogs, and whether he had anything to say to Indi’s grieving owners, Mr Helu kept his head down as he stepped out of his red camel and into the clinic.
Locals told Daily Mail Australia they had seen the dogs roaming around Mr Helu’s neighborhood earlier on Sunday.
One man said he was ‘shocked’ by the news as the dogs seemed quite friendly.
A local woman said she thought there were only two dogs on the property, but police said there were three at the home when the dogs were seized over the weekend.
Another neighbor said Mr Helo had two wolfhounds, however, the physiologist told police the dogs responsible for the attacks were not his – but he had two other dogs as pets.
He told police they jumped the back fence and ran out of his yard.
Mr Helu’s lawyer Elias Tabchouri told reporters on Tuesday that his client had spoken to the police about ‘these matters’ and that ‘the content of these discussions is part of the investigation’.
A large metal dog crate — used to transport pets in the back of utes — was seen sitting in the carport of the Hellas’ property on Tuesday.
Despite Mr Helu telling police the dogs had escaped from his property, Ms Booth’s husband Tom Dale told Daily Mail Australia that a pack of wolves had been walking at the time of the attack.
It is not yet clear whether the man was Mr Helu or another relative or associate.
George Helo and his wife Bashira (pictured) own and operate a sports injury clinic in Lugarno
Hellas’ son Josh and his wife Joan (pictured) also work at the clinic
Two Irish Wolfhounds (pictured) were seized from Hellas’ Peakhurst Heights home by police and Georges River Council rangers.
An empty dog crate was found sitting in the Hellous’ carport on Tuesday
According to reports on Sunday, the council is still working to trace the owners of the dogs after they were taken away from the premises.
Contacted on Tuesday, a council spokesman said they could not comment on whether the owners had been found as the matter was under investigation.
Mr Helow is the head physiologist of the family-run business, where his wife works as head of operations, his son Josh as a chiropractor and his daughter-in-law Joan as head of marketing.
According to the clinic’s website, it has been operating in South Sydney for over 30 years and is a ‘family-owned business you can trust’.
‘The team at the clinic is highly motivated to help the community improve their mobility, strength and overall health,’ it reads.
Ms Booth (pictured), 34, was taken to St George’s Hospital in the city’s south after suffering injuries to her face, neck, arms, hands and legs in the brutal attack.
Seven-year-old Jack Russell (pictured) did not recover after being admitted to hospital on Sunday
It’s not the first time Hellas has refused to discuss how the brutal attack unfolded.
Hellas hung up the phone when Daily Mail Australia contacted the clinic on Tuesday.
Mr Helu’s visit came as Mrs Booth said she was ‘lucky to be alive’ after a dog attack which claimed the life of her little Jack Russell.
‘It was heartbreaking, he was killed in my arms… I was really lucky to be alive I could have died if they had decided to attack me,’ Ms Booth told 7News on Tuesday.
Ms Booth said she saw the man with the vicious dog running away and was initially relieved to assume he had gone to get help – but that was the last she saw of him.
‘I hope he takes responsibility for what happened to my dog and me,’ she said.
Dog attack victim Ellie Booth (pictured with her husband Tom) said: ‘I thought I was going to die, I thought those dogs were going to kill me’
The mysterious man blew a whistle and the dogs stopped momentarily during the attack, Mrs. Booth taking the opportunity to get into the mud, desperate to save her pet from further harm.
But when she turned back to the shore and the bush track, the man was nowhere to be seen – and she realized she was alone.
Police are continuing to seek the man’s identity and are urging anyone with information to come forward.
The situation was so treacherous that even Mrs. Booth and the officers who came to India’s aid got stuck in the mud.
Her husband Tom Dale told Daily Mail Australia his wife was ‘brave as hell’ and he was ‘so proud of her’.
‘He [the man] Indigo was yelling when he came to stop running away, because it was exciting his dogs. He was trying to stop them but they were out of control,’ Mr Dale said.
‘He followed Ellie into the mangroves and when he saw his two dogs thrashing Indy in the mud, he turned and ran away.’
Family friend Tess Hutchison set up a GoFundMe to help raise money as India’s vet bills soared to $25,000. He said the funding would increase because India still had to undergo emergency surgery, which had no guarantee of survival.
On Tuesday, Mrs Hutchinson announced that Indy had sadly passed away during surgery.
Family friend Tess Hutchinson announced on Tuesday morning that Indy (pictured) had died overnight during emergency surgery following the horrific attack.
‘Unfortunately Indy died of three heart attacks during the operation last night,’ Mrs Hutchinson said.
‘He fought to the end and was such an incredibly brave little puppy who will forever be loved by so many.’
Irish wolfhounds are believed to have been put down shortly after their seizure.
Georges Council said it could not comment as the matter was under investigation.
A spokesman said on Monday: ‘We can confirm that council staff worked with police on the day to identify and impound the dogs and will continue to work with police during the investigation.
‘Residents are reminded to practice responsible pet ownership to ensure the safety of our community and the well-being and safety of their pets, unless in an approved off-leash area.’