A number of questions run through our minds:
- What if it was our baby that was attacked?
- Anger at the animal and its owners.
- What are you supposed to do to report this incident and prevent it from reoccurring?
Thankfully this was a small dog and it went for my partner not the baby. This was also the 4th dog encounter my partner has had with dogs in our local neighbourhood (human habitat) in about 3 weeks. I have some questions:
- In our urban environment (human habitat) is it reasonable expect dogs to be kept under control?
- Should this dog be destroyed for its behaviour?
- Should I feel sympathy for this animal and its owners?
- What, if any, should be the penalty for the owners who have ultimate responsibility?
- In the ocean (shark habitat) would you call for the shark to be culled?
- An probably most important is, is it safe for us or our child to walk the neighbourhood?
I don't blame the dogs or the sharks for the lack of safety, if anyone is to blame, its the irresponsible people. If you think I'm over reacting do a Google image search for "dog attack victims" and be prepared for confronting images. Then do a search on news stories and read the endless accounts of people being attacked just going about their daily business. We call for the culling of one kind animal that occasionally attacks humans while nurturing another that is proven time and again to regularly and unpredictably attack humans. Is this a civilised society? It doesn't need to be fatal. It doesn't need to be a pitbull. Beyond a doubt, shark can kill and do serious damage, and I feel for anyone who has survived. However, we don't have to put up with them roaming uncontrolled on our suburban streets.
In NSW in 2012 there were 5 shark attacks on humans reported injuring 3. In the same year the were 3,323 dog attacks on humans, 767 of those required medical treatment and 146 people were hospitalised. 75% of dogs were not under control and 62% occurred in a public place. Neither caused fatalities in NSW that year, however both have been known to, especially the very young and old.
In total there have been less than half the number shark attacks reported in Australia since records began in 1791 than dog attacks reported in a single year 2011/2012 reporting period in NSW.
Mangement of bite injuries - http://www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/29/1/6/8
Shark attacks in Australia: a timeline - http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/science-environment/2014/01/shark-attacks-in-australia-a-timeline/
Australian Shark Attack File - Annual Australian Shark Attack Report Summary - 2012 -http://taronga.org.au/animals-conservation/conservation-science/australian-shark-attack-file/annual-australian-shark-attack-report-summary-2012
Dog attack reporting - http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/dlg_generalindex.asp?sectionid=1&areaindex=DAIDATA&documenttype=8&mi=9&ml=10
NSW Dog Attacks 2011/2012 - http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/documents/Information/Council%20Reports%20of%20Dog%20Attacks%20in%20NSW%202011-12.pdf