Dog attack victim slams late review
Tuesday, 6th August, 2013
By Kurtis J Eichler
The victim of a brutal dog attack says it shouldn’t have taken the death of child to force a review of dangerous dog regulations.
A two-year-old boy at Deniliquin in the Riverina tragically died on Sunday through injuries he suffered from an attack by a family pet, a mastiff cross.
The toddler was being cared for by his grandmother at the time.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell yesterday promised a review of the laws around dangerous dogs but said ultimately attacks fell on dog owners.
“Whenever any of these terrible incidents occur the department looks to see whether the existing regulations are strong enough,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“If they are not strong enough they seek to reinforce them.”
On the first anniversary of the ferocious mauling that almost claimed her life, nurse Leanne Barber said it was awful it took a death for the government to act.
“I said in June on the ABC radio and in the BDT that a child would die before something was done,” Mrs Barber said.
“And now a two-year-old has died and two people seriously injured.
“This is what I was lobbying for before and no one was listening to me.”
Mrs Barber woke on the morning of August 5 2012 to screams out the front of her Thomas Street home.
In her dressing gown, the 52-year-old went out to find Damien Novello being savagely attacked by three bull mastiffs. As she tried to help, they pinned her to the ground.
Mrs Barber and Mr Novello were both seriously injured.
Her injuries have made early retirement an option after recently taking on lighter duties at the BH Hospital.
The owner of the dogs, Neville Taylor, received a two-year good behaviour bond earlier this year.
Yesterday’s anniversary brought back the horrors of that day.
“It’s brought back a lot of memories but I’m still here and I’m still having my say and I’m still standing up for every kid and person attacked by dogs.”
She backed Mr O’Farrell on one thing - owners need to take more responsibility.
“Bull mastiffs just turn.
“You’ve just got to watch them (children) closely because they don’t know about dogs.”