Dog at­tack vic­tim’s plea

FEARS IN­CI­DENT COULD HAP­PEN AGAIN

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Comment News - Ben Smith

A BECKENHAM man who suf­fered in­juries in a dog at­tack is de­ter­mined that others should not suf­fer a sim­i­lar fate.

An­drew Dul­lens and his wife Aurora were walk­ing at Mills Park in Beckenham on Wed­nes­day morn­ing when they were ap­proached by an off-leash staffy-type dog.

The dog charged at them and tried to at­tack the Dul­lens’ daugh­ter’s small dog, Stella.

Mr Dul­lens held Stella up to stop her from get­ting hurt, was bit­ten in the process and ended up need­ing 16 stitches in his legs, arms and hand.

He said the at­tack was un­pro­voked and could have been more se­ri­ous.

“They were about 50 me­tres away and we were qui­etly walk­ing with our dog,” he said.

“He spot­ted us and came charg­ing. The owner tried to call it back but it was never go­ing to come back. If it had got hold of Stella, it would’ve killed her for sure.”

Mr Dul­lens said the park was pop­u­lar with peo­ple of all ages and was wor­ried it could hap­pen again.

“If it were an old lady, they’ve got no chance against an an­i­mal like that,” he said.

City of Gos­nells chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Cowie said rangers were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

“It's al­ways a con­cern when dog own­ers don't fol­low the law in re­la­tion to dogs in pub­lic places,” he said.

Mr Cowie said the cul­prit could be pros­e­cuted by the City of Gos­nells if they were iden­ti­fied.

“The owner of a dog that com­mits an at­tack can be charged with crim­i­nal of­fences un­der the Dog Act,” he said.

The West Aus­tralian Dog Act of 1976 Sec­tion 33D states if a dog at­tacks a per­son and causes phys­i­cal in­jury to the per­son, the max­i­mum penalty is $20,000 for dan­ger­ous dogs.

Mrs Dul­lens said the pub­lic should be warned.

“It’s not a mat­ter of if it’s fa­tal, but a mat­ter of bring­ing it to the at­ten­tion of the coun­cil and the peo­ple,” she said.

“This isn’t some­thing we will let rest. We will fol­low this up be­cause some­thing needs to be done. You need to be able to use the park with­out be­ing fear­ful of an­i­mals in the park.”

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