Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dingo Hybrid, Tied Out On A Chain, Kills Child

A two-year-old girl has died after being bitten on the neck by a dingo crossbreed in the backyard of her home. Police said her family was in shock yesterday after their working dog attacked the girl, who had approached it in the yard of their home at Nullica, near Eden, on the far South Coast. A report is being prepared for the coroner, although her death is not being treated as suspicious.

The dog was chained up in its kennel area, police said.

Ambulance officers found the toddler unconscious when they arrived. She was taken to Pambula Hospital but was declared dead on arrival. The dog has been destroyed. Detectives from the Far South Coast Local Area Command are still investigating. Duty officer Greg Flood, of Batemans Bay police, said the dog was not a pet.

"The girl walked up to the dog, which was chained up in the backyard, and the dog has mauled the girl," Inspector Flood said.

He was unable to say how old the dog was or what its role on the property was. The chief executive of RSPCA NSW, Bernie Murphy, said yesterday the incident was unusual and probably the result of a "territorial animal" asserting itself over an inquisitive toddler.

"A dingo is a very territorial dog. It tends to be very snappy and rather snarly," he said.

"In fact, you should never allow a toddler to be near any dog unaccompanied because toddlers are curious and they poke and prod."
The dingo may have mistaken the child for a small dog, he said.

"It's an absolute tragedy and our heart goes out to that family … but people have just got to take responsibility for their animals," he said. The Companion Animals Amendment Act, which was passed by State Parliament last month, penalises owners of vicious dogs that attack people with a $55,000 fine and a two-year jail sentence.
Owners of such animals would also be disqualified from ever owning another dog. Under the new laws, five breeds of dogs - including American pit bull terriers, Japanese tosas and Argentinian and Brazilian fighting dogs - are banned. The Local Government Minister, Kerry Hickey, said the Government recently passed the "toughest and strictest laws possible" to ensure responsible dog ownership.

Lessons to be learned:

1.) Wild/ Domestic hybrids are not pets. You shouldn’t own them, and they are especially dangerous around kids. If you do own such a hybrid, then you must be especially diligent in your supervision.

2.) You don’t let a 2 year old kid out of your sight. Where were the parents? Why aren’t they charged with a crime for child neglect?

3.) You don’t tie any dog out and leave it unsupervised in a yard. The dog feels cornered, and is more likely to attack. If you are present, then it might be OK to tie a dog out, provided you know the temperament of the dog and you can supervise who interacts with your dog. This is one reason I don’t believe it is a good idea to tie a dog outside a coffee shop, restaurant or store while you are inside eating or shopping. Your dog might bite someone.

4.) NOTE: The article talks about this great dog law they have in Australia... but it didn't protect this kid. None of the banned breeds were responsible for this attack. That is why experts say breed bans don't work. People will switch to owning other breeds, or creating new breeds (such as this dingo hybrid), to do the same work the other breeds did. In this case, I blame the "dog" owner 50% for leaving a canine tied out and unsupervised in their yard, and I blame the parents of the deceased kid 50% for not supervising their child. You can't legislate away stupidity.

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