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Thread: Dog Attack - Lake Macquarie

  1. #1

    Default Dog Attack - Lake Macquarie

    Teenager mauled in savage dog attack - Local News - News - General - Newcastle Herald

    A LAKE Macquarie woman is recovering from a savage dog attack that left her with injuries to her ear, neck and arms that required 19 stitches.

    Natalie Southam, 19, of Mirrabooka, said two American Staffordshire terriers that lived next door jumped two two-metre fences into her property and attacked her.

    Lake Macquarie City Council confirmed the owner of the dogs involved in the attack surrendered them to a council ranger and the RSPCA euthanised them.

    Click on the image below for more pictures relating to the incident.

    Council waste environment and rangers manager Keith Stevenson said in a statement the council had completed interviews with people involved and intended to ‘‘prosecute the owner of the dogs for the attack’’.

    Animal welfare activists have accused the council of failing to declare the dogs as dangerous, despite 11 complaints over three years about dogs at the property.

    The council said rangers had investigated all complaints or referred them to the RSPCA.

    ‘‘Under the legislation, council has not been presented with sufficient evidence to warrant the issue of a dangerous dog declaration for any dogs on the premises,’’ Mr Stevenson said.

    ‘‘Council has not received any report that any of the dogs has previously attacked a person or other animal.’’

    But a letter that the council rangers’ department sent to councillors last December said the council had received 11 ‘‘service requests’’ about dogs at the property from March 2009 to November 2011. They included allegations about dogs escaping, dogs fighting, dogs killing puppies for food, dogs causing noise and distress to neighbours and dogs killing goats.

    A council official said last night there had been insufficient evidence to support the allegations.

    Ms Southam said the two dogs bit her thigh, arm and ear, before pulling her to the ground during the attack last Friday.

    ‘‘One of the dogs grabbed me around my neck and I felt her tooth against my skull,’’ Ms Southam said. ‘‘I blacked out at that stage.’’

    She said her partner, Lee Smith, saved her life when he swung a rake at one dog’s head: ‘‘If it was a few more seconds I wouldn’t be here.’’

    Mr Smith, 35, said the dogs’ owner jumped two fences and pulled the other dog off Ms Southam.

    Mr Smith said one of the dogs had bitten him on the leg a year ago.

    Society of Companion Animal Rescuers spokeswoman Callie Redman said she witnessed and took photographs of dogs mauling each other on the property in October last year.

    ‘‘I warned the council about this six months ago,’’ said Ms Redman, explaining that she gave the photos, along with residents’ accounts of the dogs acting dangerously, to the council, RSPCA and police.

    She allegedly witnessed a dozen dogs on the property.

    The rangers’ department letter that was passed on to councillors said council received a complaint of 17 dogs on the property.

    Ms Redman questioned whether it was an unauthorised breeding operation.

    The council letter said previous legal and planning advice about similar allegations indicated ‘‘the occupier has to derive the majority of his or her income from the business of breeding and selling animals before approval is required’’.

    Ms Redman alleged she had photographic evidence to show dogs on the property were covered in mange, scars and open wounds.

    Ms Redman said she made five complaints to the RSPCA.

    RSPCA chief inspector David O’Shannessy said his organisation did investigate, but was unable to prove offences had occurred beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Mr Smith said the owner, who was his friend, looked after the animals as best he could and took them to the vet when needed.

    Ms Southam said the owner was a ‘‘good friend to me’’ and she could see how much the attack on her had hurt him.

    The Newcastle Herald left messages for the owner, but he did not return calls.


    How Natalie Southam described the attack

    TWO pedigree American Staffordshire terriers jumped two two-metre fences, allowing them access to our backyard.

    I have looked after these dogs so much in the past.

    Honey [one of the dogs] lunged forward and bit my right inner thigh. Bubba [the other dog] jumped over Honey and grabbed my right wrist before she even touched the ground. They started pulling me downwards.

    Honey bit down over my left ear and it felt wet and gummy. She then let go and bit down on my neck and I felt her tooth on my skull. The owner got Honey off my neck as Lee [her partner] hit Bubba on the head with a rake. I passed out for a few seconds.

    When I woke up Lee had his singlet top over my ear to stop the bleeding. I remember feeling like my ear wasn't there any more. Lee kept me awake and kept talking to me.

    I told him my neck was hurting really badly. I remember the look on [the owner's] face. I understood how bad he was feeling. He is a good friend to me and I could see how much this was hurting him.
    I am fuming! Council and RSCPA had 11 reports including photos and video of these dogs fighting with each other, killing puppies and killing other animals. They did NOTHING! They are quite happy to take away dogs based on how they look and PTS, dogs that are innocent and have never done anything but yet here is a clear case of serious owner neglect and dangerous dogs and NOTHING was done. Now bull breeds have taken another hit and people are asking should Amstaff's be banned! Because of council and rspca negligence (along with owner negligence). I would be suing the council if I was that girl. On top of that this feral was breeding these dogs (and puppies were killed).

    I hope this is taken seriously and the council is held accountable for their part in this.

    I personally will be finding who to write a letter to and will be doing so, I hope a few others on here will consider doing that as well.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Gippsland, Victoria


    K&P- when you do find who to write to, let me know. I will write too!

  3. #3


    wow that is intense! i''ve heard people saying 'this breed should be banned' but i've never seen a staffy at the park that i felt was the least bit aggressive

  4. #4


    V+F I have emailed
    Mayor Greg Piper

    : 02 4921 0223

    Fax: 02 4921 0215


    I am also going to email RSPCA NSW

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    It's not Victoria.

    I have a problem with my council at the moment. I have reported a GSD puppy that is allowed to roam all over our local park unsupervised, with no collar or rego tag on and they won't come out and do something about it. It's not aggressive but it gets in other dog's faces and not all of them are ok with that. And nobody is picking up after it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    South West WA


    Oh FFS! This makes me so angry. It is people like the owner of these dogs and of course the powers that be that do absolutely nothing that allow these attacks to happen. How are we ever supposed to stop BSL when the people with the ability to do something, do nothing?
    Owning a dog should be a partnership. Much like a good marriage it should be based on love, trust and devotion until death do you part.
    R.I.P Dali: 10th May 1998 – 20th December 2011

  7. #7


    I don't know the breed well, but is the ability to jump 2 metre fences normal? That seems quite impressive (and concerning, of course, giving the circumstances).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    SE QLD


    Quote Originally Posted by Beazley View Post
    I don't know the breed well, but is the ability to jump 2 metre fences normal? That seems quite impressive (and concerning, of course, giving the circumstances).
    Harley is able to pop his head over a 6ft fence to see what is happening on the other side. They can actually jump quite high and are pretty athletic.

    This pisses me off soooo much though, WTF are the council and RSPCA doing. 11 complaints against 2 dogs and nothing done, disgusting show of negligence on theirs and the owners parts. And yet again, the breed will be crucified because of some irresponsible idiot who shouldn't own dogs.

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    Yea the council doing nothing is atrocious...

    However, to be honest, I am a bit wary of this story. Shes just hanging in her back yard and they jump a 2 metre high fence specifically to attack her? I find that a bit....odd, shall we say.

    Poor woman though, regardless, horrid experience.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    SE QLD


    Lol 2 two meter fences Lala :P

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

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