Dog attack may have court sequel


Lucky to survive: Chanel the boxer recovers after surgery with owner Matt Hollard. Picture: Yanni

A MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council investigations officer is compiling evidence to present to the police over a savage dog attack at Rye last week.

Environment protection manager John Rankine said police could decide to issue a summons to the owner of the attacking dog and “determine which charges will be put to them”.

“A decision regarding the future of the attacking dog will be made once the outcome of the prosecution is known,” Mr Rankine said.

The move follows the savage attack on a boxer by what was described as an “American staffie” near the Rye pier, 10am, Sunday 31 May.

The attack left the nine-year-old bitch with severe leg wounds, her owner traumatised and needing tetanus shots for bites to her hand. The offending dog’s owner also received lacerations to his hands and a vet’s bill nearing $3000.

Mr Rankine said the shire’s community safety team had “been in contact with the victim dog’s owners on several occasions to update them on how the investigation is progressing”.

“We have received witness statements, as well as medical reports, relating to the injuries sustained by the boxer,” he said.

Owners Matt Hollard and wife Yvette Nicole Williams described how one of two staffies “broke free and bolted full steam at me and our dog, locking onto the upper part of her back leg”.

“With horrified cries from our beautiful Chanel, the other owner let go of the [second] dog and threw himself onto the [attacking] dog in an attempt to release [its jaws],” Mr Hollard said.

“Myself, another man, and three other ladies somehow attempted to free our poor dog from this vicious animal’s locked jaw.

“My wife had to retreat after being bitten and going into complete shock as well as a full-on panic attack. Other walkers ran to her aid while continuing to watch [our] little girl being mauled with none of us able to release our poor puppy from this dog’s locked jaw.”

Mr Hollard said after “what seemed an eternity, with ripped flesh and blood streaming everywhere, the dog let go”.

The next day (Monday), Ms Williams was said to be “recovered but completely traumatised by the incident”.

Chanel was at that stage recovering at a Mornington veterinary hospital on a drip after surgery on Sunday night with extensive damage to her leg and back, muscles torn off bone and skin, along with multiple puncture wounds and serious internal damage.

“She is OK at this stage, but also very traumatised,” Mr Hollard said.

“The [other] dogs’ owner received serious lacerations to his own hands when trying to release his dog.

“And we are left with a vet’s bill in the vicinity of $3000 – making it a very expensive outing for a coffee on an [otherwise] beautiful morning in the area we love.”

Mr Hollard said while he and Ms Williams were “in a state of shock and concern for our dog, and our own wellbeing, we are also very concerned for the other dog owner’s wellbeing as he was very apologetic”.

“An older man shouldn’t [have to] be on the ground fighting off a vicious dog and with what looked like serious injuries to his hands.”

Mr Hollard was grateful to the help from strangers and “to the beautiful lady (Anne) who helped calm my wife, and others who got water and gave us advice while I was attending to our puppy and unable to help my wife”.

He urged “all dog lovers and owners be aware of your surroundings, be responsible for your dog and we hope you never have to face what we did today”.

“Heaven forbid these dogs go on to harm other dogs or, even worse, small humans.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 9 June 2020


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