Thousands sign to save Hank from death row
HANK the Queensland neapolitan mastiff has gone from being a doggie training school star to being holed up in solitary confinement on death row.
January 9 is execution day and 15,000 people are petitioning for his right to live.
The three-year-old looks like a big goofball and is much loved, but his destruction order has divided a community.
Hank's grim fate has been upheld twice at a QCAT tribunal, but his owners Tammy Bradshaw and Nathan Wallace continue to move heaven and earth to bring him home.
Hank was declared a dangerous dog by Moreton Bay Regional Council after an incident at a neighbourhood gathering at Rothwell in 2016.
A seven-year-old girl was left with severe facial injuries, requiring hospitalisation and reconstructive surgeries.
The mother of the child told The Courier-Mail that she now feared some dogs.
"This was a deliberate, unprovoked attack on a child. It was not an accident; a child is the victim here and continues to be the victim with this ongoing process," the mum said.
But not everyone agrees that Hank deliberately attacked the child.
Dave Welsch, who owns the property where the incident occurred, says Hank had no aggression, it was an accident and the gangly dog's teeth simply came in contact with the child.
"No one from council has even interviewed me. If I thought a dog was dangerous I would be the first one to say it needs to be destroyed," Mr Welsch said.
Another neighbour, Jon Tesch, says Hank is a big, boisterous, friendly dog with an easy-going character.
Mr Wallace says he is very emotional that so many people have got behind the petition to save Hank, who has been impounded in RSPCA's Dakabin facility since May 2017.
A spokesman for Moreton Bay Regional Council said the photos of the victim's injuries were horrific.
"Where there is evidence that animal owners are not complying with dangerous dog declaration requirements, or where a dangerous dog represents an unacceptable risk to community safety, council must take appropriate steps to prevent a reoccurring attack," the spokesman said.