Skip to main content

Please be advised: this website contains the names, images and voices of people who are now deceased.

Collections WA has a responsibility to preserve and make accessible the history and culture of Western Australia in all its various forms. The intention of Collections WA is to support research, and to reveal actions of the past that have impacted upon communities, families, and individuals.

In doing so, Collections WA acknowledges the need to respond sensitively and appropriately in cases when accessing this material may be confronting to Aboriginal visitors and clients.

Please also note: Some historical materials within this portal may include language or opinions that today are considered inappropriate or even offensive. Collections WA does not endorse this language and apologises for any distress caused.

Continue showing cultural advice
Stop showing cultural advice
CWA Logo Collections WA brings together collections from libraries, galleries, museums, archives, historical societies, cultural organisations, community groups and other collecting organisations across Western Australia.

Red Dog


Colour photograph

Historical information

Born 1971, in Paraburdoo, he was a cross between a Kelpie and Cattle dog. His first owner was Col Cummings, who called the dog Tally Ho, which was eventually shortened to Tally. Col was transferred to Dampier and drove there with his family and Tally. After a while Tally left his family and went off by himself.

Blue or Bluey as he was now known, was adopted by the workers at the Hamersley Iron Transport Section at Dampier. Workers allowed him to sneak into the workshop to spend the day where they fed and played with him. He was not a permanent fixture there as he often went wandering for days but always returned for a feed.

John Stazzonelli was a West Australian, who joined Hamersley Iron in 1972 and became Blue’s unofficial owner. When John drove the company bus, Blue always sat behind him.
John died July 23rd 1975, aged 27 and is buried in Northampton, WA near his Mother and Father, Winifred and Albondio. At the time he was separated from his wife and left behind two sons and a daughter.

Red Dog as he was now known, did not belong to anybody but to the community as a whole. Dampier Salt workers made him a financial member of the Dampier Salt Sports and Social Club, he had his own bank account to spend on his trips to the vet, a meal ticket to the company canteen and was a member of the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

Red Dog would hitchhike and sit by the side of the road waiting for a lift. If he wanted a ride he would walk in front of a vehicle and when it stopped he would walk around to the passenger door to be let in; he got to know which vehicles would stop and he would refuse to leave the vehicle until he was taken to the destination he wanted.

Red Dog would ride in cars, trucks, buses and he also rode the ore trains between Dampier and Tom Price. It is believed he travelled hundreds of kilometres to places like Roebourne, Point Samson, Port Hedland, Broome, and Tom Price – he was also taken to Perth on at least two occasions.

Strychnine poisoning and its side effects killed Red Dog 21 November 1979.
Rick Fenny, the vet who had treated him on many occasions, buried him between Roebourne and Cossack in an unmarked grave.



Registration number
Item type
Place made
Western Australia
Primary significance criteria
Social or spiritual significance
City of Karratha Local History Archives

City of Karratha Local History Archives

Organisation Details
View Collection
Item Feedback

Other items from City of Karratha Local History Archives

Red Dog
Red Dog possibly taken at Roebourne vet clinic

Scan this QR code to open this page on your phone ->

Full size unavailable (you're already seeing this image in its highest resolution available on Collections WA)