By Danielle Kutchel
A Narre Warren mother and daughter have been left shaken after a dog attack that ended in plastic surgery.
On Monday 15 March, Fran and her daughter Jade were heading out for their usual evening walk with their puppy when they were rushed by their neighbour’s dogs.
The pair alleges that their neighbour arrived home and opened the car door, with two dogs – described as a great dane and a mastiff-type cross – barrelling straight towards the pair.
“They came racing towards my puppy and grabbed hold of him and started attacking him,” Fran recalled.
When Fran tried to pick up her dog to get him out of the way, she was bitten by one of the neighbour’s dogs, leaving a trail of blood along the footpath.
Jade, who had been walking slightly ahead of her mother, said she can remember her screaming.
“Mum got caught in the crossfire,” she said.
Jade said their neighbour grabbed the dogs and took them inside – but the woman never came to check whether Fran was OK.
Fran was taken to Casey Hospital before being transferred to Dandenong for plastic surgery on her hand.
The pair contacted the council after Fran was discharged after a four-day stay.
“They were so nice, they assured us the dogs would be seized at least while they investigated,” Jade said.
But in a twist that has shocked them both, neither of the dogs have been seized by the council.
“It’s outrageous, in my opinion,” Jade said.
“They said it was because in the frenzy, neither mum nor I could clearly say which of their two dogs but her.”
Jade said she has since become “a bit of a hermit” and “will never walk again”.
“It was so scary. The noise of them attacking … I’ll never forget it.”
Fran said she had hoped for an apology from her neighbour and more decisive action from the council.
“They basically told me that they’d made their decision and gave them a pretty hefty fine, but that’s all they would do,” she said.
Jade is concerned the dogs could attack again and is worried for the children, elderly and people with disabilities who live in their street.
“I said [to the council] the City of Casey will have blood on their hands if this happens to a kid in this court,” she said.
“I don’t feel the council’s investigation was thorough.“
Daniel Osborne, manager safer communities at the City of Casey, said in a statement that the council had investigated the dog attack.
“Following the investigation, council officers issued a number of infringements to the owner of the dog,” he said.
“Council is governed by the Domestic Animals Act 1994 in relation to how it deals with dog attacks.
“The Act determines if council officers can seize a dog suspected of being involved in an attack.
“This is determined by the seriousness of the injuries and likelihood of an attack occurring again.
“Following the investigation it was determined that the dog would not be seized.”