Vicious dog finally put down
THE City of Wanneroo has explained how regulations prevented officers from seizing an aggressive dog that attacked two people in Wangara last year.
One of the victims suffered permanent injuries after the kelpie cross bull arab mauled her arm.
Having not been seized, the dog then attacked a 16-year-old boy in Craigie about two months after the initial incident.
The animal was put down after being seized by the City of Joondalup.
The pet’s owner, Antonio Cicchino, was fined thousands of dollars in court over the Wangara incident earlier this month, but avoided court over the third attack in Craigie because he agreed to surrender the dog to be put down.
Magistrate Edward de Vries questioned why the animal was not seized after the first incident, which could have prevented the third attack.
Wanneroo acting director of community and place Shane Spinks said it was registered to a suburb outside the City’s jurisdiction, preventing Wanneroo rangers from seizing it.
“The City was not made aware of the attacks until a day after the incident, by which time the dog had been removed out of the City of Wanneroo’s jurisdiction,” he said.
“As The Dog Act only allows authorised officers to take action within the jurisdiction they are employed, the only course of action available to City of Wanneroo rangers was to prosecute the owner, which they did.”
City of Joondalup chief executive Garry Hunt confirmed rangers had responded to a third attack in Craigie in April last year.
He explained why the City did not press for court-ordered penalties for the owner.
“The City investigated the attack and the owner of the dog, a Craigie resident, voluntarily surrendered the animal to the City,” Mr Hunt said. “It was later euthanased. “The City had been made aware that the dog owner was in the process of court proceedings with the City of Wanneroo in relation to a previous dog attack.
“Given the dog was euthanased, the City felt no further penalty was appropriate.
“The complainant (the parents of the boy) were satisfied with this outcome.”
AN astonished magistrate has told a man he was in “total denial” about the friendliness of his former dog after it brutally attacked a man and a woman in Wangara last year.
The woman spent two nights in hospital and required surgery to mend severe wounds on her arm, which was left permanently damaged.
The dog was eventually put down after it attacked a 16-year-old boy in an incident in Craigie unrelated to this case.
Antonio Cicchino was due to face trial in Joondalup Magistrates Court on May 21, having pleaded not guilty to two charges of a dog attack causing physical injury and one charge of not being in control of a dog in a public place.
The trial did not go ahead after he changed his plea to guilty.
He faced hefty court costs of more than $10,500, much of which stemmed from the expense of the prosecution’s preparation for the trial.
Magistrate Edward de Vries said he was “not convinced” Cicchino was “genuinely remorseful” and fined him $6000 over the attacks, taking his total penalty to nearly $17,000.
Both victims were in court for the hearing.
The court heard Cicchino’s 14month-old kelpie cross bull arab attacked a tow-truck driver who was in the yard of Cicchino’s business to remove a car about 2pm on February 21 last year.
City of Wanneroo prosecutor Sam De Vita said the dog had been locked away but escaped and “latched on” to the man’s right hand. He said Cicchino had made “no mention” to the driver about the dog being on site.
Cicchino’s lawyer explained the pet was kept at home most of the time but occasionally accompanied him at work.
The victim had to scale a pile of tyres to safety.
The dog then ran out of the property and mauled a woman who was walking past the yard.
Mr De Vita said the animal “ran straight for her and jumped on her towards her face”.
The dog “shook her arm violently” as she shielded herself from the attack, which resulted in nerve, tendon and muscle damage.
She now suffers nerve pain and numbness in the arm.
Cicchino’s lawyer said his client, who helped with first aid after the attack, had “expressed not only his remorse, but his horror” at the outcome.
“He wishes nothing more that he can go back in time and stop the incidents from occurring,” he said.
Mr de Vries handed Cicchino pictures of the victims’ injuries.
He questioned him about the dog’s nature, and said the animal “must have shown” signs of aggression.
Cicchino said the animal had been “just a normal, playful dog”.
Mr de Vries told him “you’re in total denial”.
“The injuries are horrifying,” he said.
“He brutally attacked two people... this wasn’t a playful dog playing with these two people.”