Dogs attack in vicious yard ambush
By EMMA CORNFORD
AROUND three o'clock yesterday morning, Grafton man Steve Rowe heard his 12-year-old red heeler cross, Tosh, yelping in the backyard.
He knew something was wrong and dashed outside, where he found two bull terriers attacking Tosh ? one had hold of her front leg and the other was biting her back leg.
Spraying the two animals with the hose did not stop the attack, so he was forced to hit them with it to get them off his dog. They ran off, leaving Tosh with gashes on her legs and on an ear.
"What I'm really worried about is this happening to some poor little kid," he said.
"My grandkids are often around ? the oldest one is five and the youngest is only two. I mean, it's worrying to think those dogs are out there. I know this happened at night but it could happen in the day as well."
Mr Rowe, who lives in Jackschon Avenue, said it was disturbing to see his beloved Tosh in such a state.
"After having her for so long you really love her.
"But, like I said, my main concern is for little children."
"People need to know that these dogs are running around."
Mr Rowe said although it was dark at the time of the attack, he would 'never forget' the two dogs, which he described as being a little bigger than Tosh, one white and the other brindle.
Tosh's vet, Doctor Chris Gough from the South Grafton vet surgery, said he treated about one dog attack victim each month.
"But I'm only one of three vets in town, so there could be up to one a week, it's hard to say," he said.
"Left untreated, lacerations like that (from an attack) are potentially life-threatening."
Clarence Valley Council ranger and impounding officer Dave Drewett said recent amendments to the Companion Animals Act meant that the owners of dogs such as those that attacked Tosh could be up for tough fines.
"Before (the changes) we had to take the owners to court and the magistrate would apply the penalties, but now we can issue the infringement notice, which (makes it) easier for council to take action," Mr Drewett said.
"We'll be patrolling that area looking for those dogs ... and dog owners are on notice that they can't just have their dogs running around on the streets at night," he said.