Dog terror revisited

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The family of a Pakenham 17-year-old who was allegedly bitten by a Staffordshire bull terrier last August has been shaken by an incident involving another dog from the same owners.

Tori Bayley arrived home from the supermarket at about 8.30pm on Tuesday 10 January and as her mother began taking shopping bags from the car, they noticed a Husky Cross roaming around their front yard.

It proceeded to “jump up on the car“ and tried to “jump in the boot”, according to Tori’s sister Kiah.

This has come five months after its owners’ Staffy allegedly bit Tori’s face, with the wound requiring reconstructive surgery and more than 40 stitches.

She was 16 weeks pregnant at the time and Kiah said a doctor had told the family that if the incident had occurred one month earlier or later, Tori would have lost the baby.

Kiah said Tori was frightened to take her now one-month-old son out of the house after the ordeal.

“It’s pretty hard to move on when I could have lost my child to one of their dogs and when I’m reminded by what happened every time I look in the mirror,” Tori said.

“And it’s even harder knowing there are dangerous dogs living in a street full of children.

“We want something done to protect ourselves and our children as well as others.”

Kiah said that her mother had to shield Tori from the dog as she got out of the car.

“After nothing being done about a dangerous dog that attacked my sister, we have just had to watch the owner of said dog remove another dangerous dog they own from our property,” she said.

“Tori is still scared and scarred from the first attack. After coming home from the supermarket, Tori said her stomach had just dropped and that she felt horrible.

“When I got out my phone, the owners yelled ‘Get the report right this time!’ They obviously don’t think they’re in the wrong at all which is ridiculous because they can’t control their dogs.

“Next time, what’s to stop the Staffy from following the Husky next time it escapes their house? They haven’t changed how they’re securing their dogs. The Husky came right up to our front doorstep, so it was pretty close to the house.

“My children could have been playing there.”

Last year the Gazette was supplied with Facebook message exchanges between the parties, where the dog owner claimed to have a friend who worked at the council.

The messages also suggested that this council staffer visited the Staffy owners’ house shortly after the August incident and performed a “test” to determine whether the dog would attack a stranger.

The family continues to await the outcome of Cardinia Shire Council’s investigation that would determine whether or not to seize the dog responsible for Tori’s injuries.

They have received no contact from the council since November, despite sending an inquiry about two weeks ago for any updates.

Council officers have until Thursday 3 August, exactly 12 months following the date of the incident, to complete its investigation and commence a prosecution if deemed appropriate.

Council development and compliance services manager Debbie Tyson said the council would not provide further comment on the matter.

The owners of the dog told the Gazette they did not wish to provide comment.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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