A TERRIFYING BLOODBATH

Dog owners who have witnessed their pet being ripped apart by a large, aggressive dog will likely relate to my ordeal. Watching as a powerful, out of control animal races towards you with teeth bared is a terrifying experience;  you can’t out run the animal or get your pet out of harms way.

Adrenaline kicks in as you try and stop the attack, it’s frenetic and frantic, you’re covered in blood, while your pet is screaming in pain with no idea why this is happening to them.

Adelaide Dog Attack Register - Canon's Wounds

Some of Canon’s wounds prior to surgery

You lose all track of time, the attack might last 30 seconds or it could continue for 5 minutes, you have no way of knowing as you wrestle with the large beast trying to kill your pet, your only concern is trying to save its life.

You don’t think about your own safety, or the fact that the dog may turn on you while you’re punching it in the face trying to make it release its jaws.

Eventually managing to release its grip, I lay over my wounded dog to protect it in case the vicious animal decided to attack again.

The dog’s owner finally reached the attack scene, she was 200 metres away when the dog started running towards us. She had no voice control over the dog, nor the strength to pull it off. It took several minutes to get the leash back on her animal, standing only metres away from us.

My dog was very badly injured and bleeding profusely, I carried him home to get to the Emergency Vet as fast as possible for medical treatment.

It’s unlikely that all attacks are as severe as the one my dog had to endure, however, I don’t doubt that plenty are.

Lessons learned from this experience, particularly in relation to council’s current reporting process:

  • You don’t think or have time to use your phone to film / photograph the dog and its owner
  • If you’re not a dog expert, identifying the type of dog is not easy
  • A conversation with the owner to exchange details is the last thing on your mind
  • Scouting for witnesses isn’t a consideration when your pet needs urgent medical attention
  • Recalling details about the dog owner’s appearance is difficult in retrospect
  • Identifying the colour and number of a dog’s registration tag during an attack is impossible

If you’re walking with another person they may take note of some of these things, but if you’re alone and also helping your dog during the attack, none of them will even cross your mind.

Without the above information you have little evidence to pursue legal avenues. I was told that,

The only way the council might prosecute is if you film the attack and get the dog and owner on video.

I now wear a lightweight video camera when I walk my dog like cyclists do with GoPro’s attached to their helmets when they ride. Our daily walks are recorded with date, time stamp and GPS coordinates on each frame of the video. This won’t stop an attack, but at least I will have evidence of the dog and owner if it happens again.

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