11-year-old boy attacked by dog in Whyalla

TREATMENT: A boy was taken for medical treatment after being savaged by a dog believed to be a bull-terrier breed.
TREATMENT: A boy was taken for medical treatment after being savaged by a dog believed to be a bull-terrier breed.

An investigation has been launched into a dog attack on an 11-year-old boy in Whyalla.

The council said the boy had “significant” leg injuries after the attack in Gordon Street on Wednesday.

He is thought to have undergone surgery in hospital.

The attack represents a shocking start to the festive season for the boy and his family.

It also comes at a moment of truth for the Whyalla City Council which is reviewing the hours for off-leash dog walking at the beach.

The dog, believed to be a bull-terrier breed, was seized by the council.

The owners of the animal were served orders under the Dog and Cat Management Act.

The parents of the injured child were told of council’s response.

Council spokeswoman Sam Bowman said officers from the animal management team had acted professionally and with empathy in dealing with the attack.

“We have expressed our deepest sympathy for the young child and his family,” she said.

”In investigating this reported attack, our officers were prompt and professional in their behaviour and have followed due diligence in their actions.

“Most important, we wish the child a speedy recovery and have assured his parents that council will act with haste in dealing with this report.”

Ms Bowman said the owners of any dog responsible for causing injuries to people and other animals could face severe penalties.

“When we get reports like this, it is a timely reminder for people to keep their dogs securely fenced in their properties,” she said.

“Council enforces strict rules under the Cat and Dog Management Act to ensure the safety of everyone.

“Regardless of the size or breed of your dog, they must be kept secure.

“Dogs that roam the streets, intentionally or otherwise, pose a risk to the community and won’t be tolerated.”

The Whyalla News was seeking comment from police.

At Monday’s council meeting, a report suggested people be allowed to walk dogs on-leash at the beach from 10am to 8pm daily and off-leash outside these hours.

Some discussion centred on allowing off-leash walking after 7pm.

Council chief executive officer Chris Cowley suggested a "line” be created outwards from the beach to separate on-leash and off-leash walking.

This would be instead of declaring whole beach available.

Cr Tom Antonio told the meeting he wanted more information on how many dog attacks had taken place.

“I am a dog lover. We have four dogs. We need a lot more information before making a decision,” he said.

“I know residents who have been attacked savagely off the leash and dogs have gone out of control on beaches.”

Cr Tim Breuer said he would not like to see the safety of beaches compromised.

Councillors decided to look again at the matter in January.