Savage attack during daily dog walk


Still recovering: Leila Ivanoff comforts her injured dog Sini after it was attacked in a Rye street. Picture: Yanni

A RYE woman says she will never again walk her dogs in her street after they were savagely mauled by what she thinks is an American pit bull.

Leila Ivanoff and her 16-year-old, deaf, and almost blind miniature poodle Sini, and 11-year-old lowchen Skye, were on their daily walk about 200 metres from home when a “huge white dog came running across the main road to the beach at top speed towards me”.

The aggressive terrier-cross started attacking her dogs and Ms Ivanoff admitted she “panicked and started screaming at the top of my voice to get it off”.

“The dog kept biting my dogs even though I tried to protect them; she chased them around me and then went for Sini,” Ms Ivanoff said.

“Skye was able to get behind me, but Sini was lying on her back, and the dog kept mauling her. I finally got hold of its collar and she bit me on my right hand. We were both bleeding.”

The incident mirrors a similar mauling at Rye in which a young boxer dog was seriously injured also by what was described as an American staffie (“Dog attack horror end to morning’s walk” The News 2/6/20).

Ms Ivanoff, who has lived at Rye for 33 years, collapsed and may have passed out as the next thing she knew a man from a nearby house had Skye in his arms while another man was calling an ambulance, police and the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council ranger. She sat in the man’s car with the bleeding Sini.

Skye was taken to a neighbour’s house while the ranger took Sini to the vet where she stayed overnight heavily sedated and on an intravenous drip. The bill came to $1000.

Ms Ivanoff was taken by ambulance to Rosebud hospital with high blood pressure and kept there until the afternoon, also on a drip.

Both are still badly shocked by the attack: Ms Ivanoff’s wounds continue to be treated at Rosebud and Frankston hospitals and Sini has had 50 stitches to cover deep bite marks, and is also limping badly. More vet visits are likely.

“At the moment I don’t know how many stitches I have on my hand because it is wrapped up and the treatment is still ongoing,” Ms Ivanoff said.

“Both the dogs and myself are very nervous and I will never walk my dogs in my street or close to the area where this incident took place.

“People should be made aware of, and constantly be alert for, these dangerous dogs which are capable of killing small dogs.”

The shire’s environment protection manager John Rankine said an investigation into the incident was “well advanced” and that a decision regarding legal action would be made this week.

“In similar cases, the shire has laid charges and the matters have been prosecuted in the magistrates’ court.”

He said no link had been made between the attacking dog and previous dog attacks on the peninsula.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 18 August 2020


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