Two seperate dog attacks in the past two weeks have resulted in serious injury and death.
A mother and her son were hospitalised after being mauled by a dog in Brisbane, and a two year old has died and his grandmother was hospitalised after a dog attack in southern New South Wales.
The severity of the attacks have prompted local governments to revise their dangerous dog laws.
The young boy, Deeon Higgins suffered serious head and facial injuries after being mauled by a mastiff cross dog while being minded by his grandmother at his relative’s house.
Deeon was getting an ice cream from the outdoor freezer when he was attacked by his cousin’s two year old dog Kingston.
Deeon’s grandmother intervened when the dog attacked and managed to pry the child from it’s jaws, but the dog again took hold of the child and the woman was too frail from exhaustion to save the child.
Arriving 15 minutes into the attack, Deeon’s mother was able to fight off the aggressive dog.
The dog had never previously attacked nor was it considered dangerous and the owner is unlikely to be charged as the dog was not a prohibited breed and was registered with the council.
The town’s mayor, Des Bliske, has stated that even if the dog had been registered and treated as a dangerous dog, the mauling would still have occurred as dangerous dogs are only restricted to be handled, restrained and wearing a muzzle in public, not on private property.
Owner of two pit bulls and campaigner against breed specific legislation, Kaitlin Blanco believes that dog owners must educate themselves and their children to prevent attacks.
Miss Blanco said that often attacks will occur when a child is left unsupervised with the animal, unaware of how to treat the dog or is not diligent of its behaviour.
“It is a natural reaction for a dog to fight back if it has been hurt or feels threatened or uncomfortable,” she said.
“Although in saying that, such dogs require training and correct socialization to prevent similar situations.”
Shadow Minister for Local Government Sophie Cotsis said “governments should introduce a public reporting hotline and grant councils stronger powers to issue a dangerous dog declaration” to prevent future dog attacks.