A Newcastle policeman warned parents with “any concerns about dogs in their area to talk to council” after a 3-year-old boy had his ear ripped off after an attack by a Great Dane.
Detective acting Inspector Jeffrey Little told The Sydney Morning Herald the little boy was riding his bicycle when the Great Dane escaped from an open gate and onto the street, biting the back of the toddler’s head and neck at 6:30pm on Tuesday.
The little boy suffered injuries to his face, neck and upper back, and after being treated at the scene by paramedics he was taken in a stable condition to John Hunter Hospital.
Detective Inspector Little said the event was traumatic for the family who witnessed the attack and that the dog in question "would more than likely be destroyed."
It has since been reported the dog was released to its owners.
Newcastle dog attack comes days after tragic death of one-year-old
One-year-old Kamillah Jones died from critical injuries after being attacked by a Rottweiler in Inverell, Northern New South Wales on Saturday.
Little Kamillah was being pushed down the street in a pram by her mother when the dog jumped up and attacked her. Emergency services quickly arrived at the site of the tragic assault but the little girl died in the ambulance on her way to hospital.
The dog was seized and put down by the local council on Tuesday.
Third dog attack reported in Melbourne on Monday
And on Monday morning news.com.au reported that a 10-year-old Melbourne girl was saved by her neighbours after a dog “went berserk" attacking her and leaving her with severe injuries, including bites, lacerations and is also believed to have lost an ear.
The dog is this attack was believed to be a bull-mastiff, and was seized by local rangers.
Choose a breed of dog not likely ever to harm
In a passionate piece for news.com.au, LJ Charleston argued that all three attacks prove dog owners are in denial.
“Enough is enough. If the death of a one-year-old child is not enough for action to be taken, I don’t know what is. There are hundreds of breeds of dogs in the world. If you have small children and you want to get a dog, choose a breed that is not likely to ever harm a child. Even better, get a small dog — one that is actually physically smaller than your toddler. Just don’t risk an injury or a death because the heartache and devastation of losing a child would be absolutely horrific. If any breed is powerful enough to kill a person, you shouldn’t have it around a small child at all. But dog owners always “know best” and believe they know their pet would never, ever harm a human.”
“Every dog has the potential to be dangerous”
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, 3430 dog attacks were reported to New South Wales councils over the past year; over 30 of those involved children under 16 years of age.
Detective Inspector Little said all three attacks should be a "timely warning" for all dog owners to make sure they’re taking necessary precautions to prevent similar incidents.
"There are some very serious offences under the Companion Animals Act, and they range right up to five years' imprisonment and/or a $77,000 fine," he told reporters.
If you have concerns about dogs in your area you can find more information about the reporting process here.
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