Desiree Hemberger is a Newtown resident and owner of three dingoes, Gerda, Bear and Persephone. She insists that they are not fierce or wild, but a shy and affectionate breed.
“Every time I take them for a walk, I will always bump into someone who will ask, ‘they aren’t dingoes, are they?'” Ms Hemberger said.
“It’s part of owning them. You get to talk to a lot of people and explain they can make really good pets.”
NSW is actually only one of three states in Australia where keeping dingoes is allowed in urban areas.
Since the legalisation of dingo ownership in 1999, there has been a steady increase in registrations of the breed as pets.
The president of the Australian Native Dog Conservation Society, Lucille Ellem, insists that the animals need to roam and should “not be a pet sitting on someone’s lounge”.
The society has a dingo sanctuary at Bargo, which she said received two calls a week from owners who said their pet dingoes were “getting out of control, climbing fences and killing the local cats and they want us to take them in”.
A high profile incident in 2005 in which a crossbreed killed a two year-old girl on the south coast increased anti-dingo sentiments. In spite of this actual reports of dingo attacks are relatively low compared to other breeds.
The government recently posted guidelines on keeping dingoes as pets and noted that they had a tendency towards destructive behaviour and also escaping.
Newtown is one of the trendier places in Sydney, so in the coming years perhaps we can expect to see kangaroos and emus accompanying hipsters on King Street. Fingers crossed?