18-year-old Jryah Sammut received these injuries after being attacked by a ridgeback. Photo: contributed
18-year-old Jryah Sammut received these injuries after being attacked by a ridgeback. Photo: contributed contributed

"Am I going to die": Teen attacked by neighbour's dog

"AM I going to die, am I going to die" were the words screamed by Jyrah Sammut as he ran into his house after being savagely attacked by his neighbours dog.

The traumatised 18-year-old, who has special needs, was covered with bites and has needed surgery to re-attach his left nipple and stitches to his hands and arms after the vicious attack by a ridgeback on Monday, about 5pm.

Jyrah's sister Kalika was by his side at the hospital and said her brother had also been mentally scarred.

"He said he can't close his eyes anymore, he is too scared" she said.

The teen's mother, Tammy Sammut, said her terrified son was not sure if he would be able to return to the family home.

"Mentally he won't be okay," Mrs Sammut said.

"He had surgery to re-attach his left nipple and sew up his thumb.

"Although he is 18 he is only 12 mentally - he had heart surgery when he was two years old and since then has had special needs."

The mother-of-four said this wasn't the first time the ridgeback had attacked.

"On my son's birthday, February 18, last year we went out to get pizza and when we returned the dog attacked our little chihuahua-cross Pip and it died from that," she said.

"On March 10 we reported it to the council but never heard back from them.

"Since then my brother's dog had been attacked by the dog and a complaint was made in June last year - nothing was done about that either."

She said Jyrah had only recently started walking to the local store each day for exercise and she was glad to see him gain some independence.

"I had told him to be careful of the dog after what had happened in the past," Mrs Sammut said.

"I now personally feel disgusted that this has happened - my son is 18 and 6ft tall I can only imagine what would have happened if it was a child the dog attacked or somebody elderly.

"I want the owner to realise what has happened and ask that the dog be put-down."

Kalika said she hoped something would be done, as the dog was always chasing runners and cars as they passed by.

Mrs Sammut said she was now devastated knowing her son would likely become withdrawn after the attack.

"It takes so much to give these kids with special needs something - he was so excited when he first became employed and he started to become independent," she said.

"Now that's been taken away from him in an instant."

The Bundaberg Hospital confirmed an 18-year-old male had undergone surgery and was in a stable condition and under observation.

Bundaberg Regional Council were contacted by the NewsMail but said as it was currently investigating the matter under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 were unable to provide any further information at the time.



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