5 February 2018

Unprovoked attack left gaping wound in greyhound's side

| Ian Bushnell
Join the conversation

Warning: This article includes images that may cause distress to some readers.

Sophy Hart and her seven-year-old greyhound Charlie: “He’s very gentle.” Photos: Supplied.

Sophy Hart’s traumatised seven-year-old greyhound Charlie is nursing a wound that required at least 10 stitches after being attacked in her Scullin street by a male, tan pit-bull type animal running free in the neighbourhood.

Sophy, Charlie and her two other dogs, small white Maltese terrier types, only got as far as two doors down in Kauper Street on their morning walk last Thursday (1 February) about 10 am before the collared and tagged tan dog ran across the street and went for Charlie.

“They were all in a ball in a mess. I was yelling at them to stop. Once they stopped, my dogs’ leads was tangled in the other dog’s feet so I unhooked Charlie’s lead so he could get away,” the 28-year-Australian Protective Service officer said.

“He ran back home and cowered up at the front door. He went home and the other dog followed. He was trying to get inside the yard and have another go.”

Back inside the house, Sophy was shocked to see a gaping 10-15 centimetre wound on her greyhound’s right side.

The wound inflicted on Charlie during the attack.

Realising he needed immediate veterinary attention, she prepared to leave but the attacker was still outside.

So she called the police who then called Domestic Animal Services (DAS) on her behalf. Knowing she would require proof, Sophy went round to the side of the house to take photographs of the animal, who met her at the gate.

Sophy then waited for DAS to show up but with Charlie shaking and panting. She was worried about him going into shock.

When the attacker disappeared she took the opportunity to get him to the vet, where he was admitted for the day and underwent surgery.

When she rang DAS at midday, she was relieved to find that the attacker had been seized after someone else had reported it.

On her return to the vet that afternoon, Sophy learned that another dog had been brought in with an attack wound and after cross-checking photos, confirmed that the culprit was the same tan dog.

Charlie needed surgery and stitches.

But this time the owners had been able to tie up the attacker so DAS could collect it.

It appears this dog was a serial offender with six dogs reportedly attacked in the Scullin area.

“Why does it attack other dogs and why is it running free?” Sophy asked.

The initial vet’s appointment cost Sophy $850 and there will be follow-up appointments during the recovery process but she is more worried about the trauma and its ongoing effects on Charlie.

“He’s been attacked a few times, which isn’t fair on him, mainly because he’s a larger dog and other dogs see him as a threat,” she said. “He gets quite scared of other dogs he hasn’t met before now and stays close for protection.”

DAS said investigations were ongoing.

The Legislative Assembly passed new dangerous dog laws last November in the wake of the death of a Watson woman.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
HiddenDragon5:40 pm 07 Feb 18

The double standards about powerfully-built, potentially aggressive dogs in this town are amazing.

Many (perhaps not all) of the people who are busily temporising and down-playing the risks presented by these animals would be horrified and outraged (quite rightly) at any suggestion that there should be a watering down of the gun laws, and yet they see no problem whatsoever in allowing four-legged weapons (with minds and instincts of their own, unlike guns) to roam our suburbs without penalty – unless death or serious injury results.

The NRA clearly has antipodean canine-fancying soul-mates.

Grimm said: “Has nothing to do with the breed of dog. Yet again this nonsense is trotted out by people with no idea.”

Sorry Grimm, but the data disagrees: https://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/content/dog-attack-incidents-reported

Councils report dog attacks in NSW. Go to the middle of the 2011 report (tables 10 and 11)where the proportions of attacks are (not the raw numbers). The top dogs are the usual suspects, shown by the “rate of attack per 100”

I like this bit too: “the rate of attack for desexed dogs is almost 4.8 times lower than the rate of attack for dogs that are not desexed.”

It is ALL breed, and males are worse. They’ve been bred for violence. At the very least, make desexing of dangerous breeds a requirement with massive fines for breaches.

At best we should ban ’em entirely

And the data is heavily flawed, because probably 90% of what is considered a dog attack is never reported.

But yeah, ban dogs….

The owner of the attacking dog should have the decency to pay up for the vet bills. But if not should be forced to by DAS without a process taking years to extract the money.

In this case, where it appears to be a serial offender, it should be removed from its owner and euthanased (Ideally so should the owner). Unfortunately many people who like to have a large intimidating dog are exactly the type of people who shouldn’t be allowed to have a large intimidating dog.

Sincere sympathy to Charlie, his owner and her two other little dogs. How terribly traumatic.
It scares me when off-lead dogs come running up to me and my Greyhound when we are out walking. My Greyhound is muzzled and on a short lead.
I now carry pepper spray for my own personal protection, and would not hesitate to use it on a dog attacking me or mine.

Has nothing to do with the breed of dog. Yet again this nonsense is trotted out by people with no idea.

I have Bull Arabs, which people would call pit bulls. They are very well trained hunting dogs. They chase and catch pigs, when they are geared up. Any other time they chase nothing. Never show any aggression towards people or other dogs. They will however harass you to death for a scratch on the head. This is the case with all the other people I know with these type of dogs that are responsible owners.

Yeah, they are capable of inflicting a lot of damage, but so is any other large dog. The difference is training and socialisation, and the fault lays squarely on the owner, not the breed of dog. When walking mine I see people with all kinds of large dogs growling and carrying on at my dogs, while mine show no interest at all.

Some dogs are just aggressive and it’s almost impossible to get it out of them, and those go for a walk up the paddock and don’t come back. Fairly rare, but it happens. If you have large dogs and don’t socialise them very early on, you shouldn’t have dogs. If they are aggressive and you can’t/won’t/don’t know how to train it out or aren’t willing to put it down for that, don’t own large dogs. Common sense, really.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.