Members of a Willetton childcare centre have paid tribute to an employee who died in a dog attack in Southern River last week.
Sue Lopicich was a regular carer at the Willetton Child Care Centre on Burrendah Boulevard and boarded and cared for dogs on her own property until the attack which took her life on August 2.
The Willetton Child Care Association said it was devastated at the loss of a worker who was popular with employees and children.
Willetton Child Care Association acting director Jacqui Smith was also a friend of Ms Lopicich and said the entire community was upset.
“She was a lovely person and the children just flocked around her when she was here,” she said.
Centre Management Committee president Marie Quinn said the centre was putting the emotional wellbeing of its community first.
“We are doing all we can to provide support and counselling to the staff who are all deeply affected by this sudden tragedy,” she said.
The centre said Ms Lopicich had left happily on Monday to care for dogs at her kennel.
Staff became concerned when she failed to turn up for her shift on Tuesday.
When a member of staff went to her property to check up on her they found Ms Lopicich and alerted emergency services.
Due to a lack of witnesses the full story of what happened is unlikely to ever be known.
However, police said the incident was not being treated as suspicious.
Ms Quinn said the centre was considering arrangements around the Lopicich family’s next moves.
“We are waiting advice from the family about the timing of Sue’s funeral and it is likely that the centre will close and allow for the staff to attend.”
City pays tribute to carer
The City of Canning said it expressed sadness at the death of Sue Lopicich, who was killed in an alleged dog attack in Southern River last week.
Ms Lopicich had worked at the Willetton Childcare Centre for more than 20 years and mayor Paul Ng and councillor Lindsay Holland said they were saddened by the news of her death.
“The City of Canning council expresses its deepest sympathy to Ms Lopicich’s family at this difficult time,” Mr Ng said.
Mr Holland is a former president of the Willetton Child Care Centre and said the news had been a blow to him.
“I knew Sue well and while this is sad news for me personally, it is also a big loss for the community,” he said.
“She has taken care of two generations of children at the Willetton Childcare Centre.”
Ms Lopicich’s body was found at her Southern River property by an employee of the child care centre after she failed to turn up to work on August 1.
Police said she had bite marks to her arms and legs and her death was not being treated as suspicious.