Red Dog

One of Dampier’s main claims to fame is as the home of the famous Red Dog Statue. Red Dog (c. 1971 – 21 November 1979) was a Kelpie/cattle dog cross that was well known for his travels through Western Australia’s Pilbara region, most often visiting Dampier. Red Dog is believed to have been born in the town of Paraburdoo in 1971 and had a variety of names to those who knew him, including: Bluey, Tally Ho, and Dog of the Northwest. Tally Ho was his first name, given to him by a man called Col Cummings, who is believed to have been his first owner and the one who brought him to Dampier. The nickname “Red Dog” has been attributed to the red dirt of the Pilbara Region. His second owner was John Stazzonelli, a bus/truck driver with Hamersley Iron, whose work allowed Red to travel as far as Perth, Broome, Roebourne, Point Samson and Port Hedland.

Following Stazzonelli’s death in 1975, Red spent a lot of time travelling on his own. He was also taken in by many members of the community and a veterinarian who treated him. Red was made a member of the Dampier Salts Sport and Social Club and the Transport Workers’ Union. He was also given a bank account with the Bank of New South Wales, which is said to have used him as a mascot and sales tool with the slogan “If Red banks at the Wales, then you can too.”. Although he had many friends, it is believed that his death in 1979 was caused by deliberate strychnine poisoning. Red is buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Roebourne, Western Australia.

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