Nine- year- old Jay­den Collins is the bat­tered face of the city’s dog at­tack epi­demic

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - CHAR­LIE PEEL

A YOUNG boy al­most lost an eye af­ter he was sav­agely mauled by a neigh­bour’s dog in Kelso.

Jay­den Collins, 9, was by him­self in a friend’s backyard when the staffy- cross latched on to his face, in­flict­ing deep wounds.

Jay­den un­der­went three hours of surgery in Townsville Hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing the at­tack on Tues­day, with doc­tors shav­ing his head to clean and stitch his deep fa­cial wounds.

The grisly at­tack was the latest in a wor­ry­ing trend in Townsville over re­cent months, with 472 dog at­tacks re­ported to Townsville City Coun­cil last year.

Of those, 148 in­volved peo­ple and 72 caused in­jury.

Dad Terry said he was walk­ing home about 5pm when his son ran scream­ing from the yard, cov­ered in blood.

“There was so much blood com­ing from his head and it was all over him,” he said. “There’s still blood on the front drive­way.”

Mr Collins said he was sad his son – who has learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and ADHD – en­dured the terror of the at­tack.

Mum Katie said she was putting her young daugh­ters in the shower when her hus­band called out. Then she saw her boy cov­ered in blood.

“I freaked out,” she said. “I went into the house to call 000, but I couldn’t call them be­cause I was in panic mode.

“My neigh­bour, who is a nurse, spoke to them for me and ex­plained to the am­bu­lance what had hap­pened.”

Mrs Collins said Jay­den had been to the neigh­bour’s yard be­fore and had not had any prob­lems with the dog.

The dog owner’s chil­dren were at Jay­den’s house when the at­tack oc­curred. The owner has apol­o­gised.

Coun­cil Healthy and Safe City Com­mit­tee chair Gary Ed­diehausen said the coun­cil would in­ves­ti­gate the at­tack.

“Se­ri­ous at­tacks like this are ob­vi­ously dis­tress­ing for all par­ties and in­quiries will con­tinue to es­tab­lish the cir­cum­stances,” he said.

“Coun­cil of­fi­cers will in­ves­ti­gate this in­ci­dent thor­oughly to see what ac­tion, if any, may be taken.”

There were 11 cases in­volv- ing dog at­tacks pros­e­cuted in the courts last week alone, and 69 cases in to­tal last year.

Mrs Collins said she was con­cerned by the num­ber of at­tacks in­volv­ing so- called fam­ily dogs and said own­ers should un­der­stand what their pets were ca­pa­ble of do­ing.

Yesterday Jay­den said he was feel­ing a bit bet­ter, but was still very sore and not happy with his new hair­cut.

The young Cowboys fan hopes the in­juries heal so he can cheer on Queens­land in the State of Ori­gin next week.


FAM­ILY’S NIGHT­MARE: Katie Collins with son Jay­den, 9, who was at­tacked by a neigh­bour's dog and is now re­cov­er­ing in the Townsville Hos­pi­tal.

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