Thursday, April 17, 2014

When animals attack - Comparing dog and shark attacks in NSW

About 4:30-45pm on 16th April 2014 my partner was out walking with our 6 month old baby daughter in a pram in our local neighbourhood in Goonellabah when she was attacked, unprovoked and by surprise, from behind by a small dog who bit her on the leg. This dog, breed currently unidentified, injured my partners lower leg with bruising and a puncture wound drawing blood. On receiving a call form my partner, who was upset and a bit shocked I immediately drove from work collected my girls in our car and took them to the excellent Lismore Clinic who agreed to see us after hours to have the wound treated and antibiotics prescribed.

Since that day my partner has had many more encounters with dogs while out walking and now carries a big stick. Not much use in surprise attacks like the one previously described. There is at least one dog, some times more, big and small out wondering around each time she takes the pram out in the space of a few blocks approx 2-3km. Its like my partner and daughter are prisoners in our own neighbourhood.

I'm sorry, while sharks sometimes attack humans when we venture into their habitat, the statistics show dogs regularly attack and injure humans in our own habitat see the information below from the NSW Government website.

In NSW 2012 there were 5 shark attacks on humans reported injuring 3. In the same year there 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.

I acknowledge its not all dog owners, but come on people, look after your pets. Please be responsible and don't let your pets roam the streets unattended and unrestrained terrorising the community. Its only a matter of time before someone is hositalised or a small child is killed.

References

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

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