Savage dog destroyed

THE dog that attacked a 66-year old woman in Tweed Heads this week was destroyed yesterday.

On Tuesday afternoon Deidre Gilham was savaged by a pitbull/ mastiff cross as she walked along Recreation Street, Tweed Heads.

The attack came without warning as the dog locked onto Mrs Gilham's leg causing deep gashes and puncture wounds.

Her flesh was shredded off in places and the wounds so deep that doctors at Tweed Heads Hospital were unable to suture due to the danger of infection.

Mrs Gilham suffered the wounds with little fuss but what she found of greater concern was that the dog was still roaming free in the days that followed.

The dog evaded capture by escaping under buildings and finally bolting across Recreation Park.

But yesterday (thurs) the dog was surrendered by its owners to the council ranger.

It was taken to the scene of the incident and identified as the dog by staff at the Tweed Heads Court House.

Council's regulatory service co-ordinator Paul Brouwer said the dog was destroyed yesterday afternoon after three witnesses confirmed it was the culprit.

Mrs Gilham on hearing that the dog had been destroyed was relieved.

"But I believe it is for the best," Mrs Gilham said.

"I would have hated for a child or an older person to have been the victim of the attack," she said.

Mrs Gilham will be receiving medical treatment a the hospital for her wounds every two days for the next three weeks.

Mr Brouwer said owners who do not comply with regulations to control dangerous dog breeds were liable for a fine of $1,320 while an incident fine for the attack is $550.

The victim of such an attack is also able to pursue action through the court as a civil matter, Mr Brouwer said.

Statistics from a six-year study in the USA on dog bite related attacks and fatalities shows that children under the age of 10 are the most prone to a dog attack.

Seventy three per cent of these attacks occurred on the child's property with the family pet being the attacking dog.

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