A dog owner has been ordered to pay a victim’s $12,247 vet bill after her bull terrier mauled an 11-month German Shepherd puppy at a self-serve dog wash in Pakenham.
The seven-year-old desexed male pet ‘Ollie’ escaped from a dog wash pen, latching onto the puppy’s leg on 9 June, Dandenong Magistrates’ Court heard.
During attempts to halt the thrashing attack, the puppy’s owner put his fingers in Ollie’s mouth and was bitten.
The puppy was taken to an emergency vet with multiple deep wounds and a fractured digit, the court was told.
After post-surgery complications, one of the pup’s toes was amputated. The vet expenses totalled $12,247.
Ollie, who was unregistered, was seized by Cardinia Shire officers. The accused consented to euthanising the dog due to the attack on top of a “previous incident of dog aggression”, the court was told.
The accused claimed that a faulty latch on the dog wash pen’s gate had allowed Ollie to escape.
“I accept what has happened, I don’t deny it,” she told the court on 3 October.
“If the latch of the gate had been working on that day, the outcome wouldn’t have happened as it happened.”
Magistrate Sharon McRae said it was the owner’s obligation to keep her dog under control.
She gave the accused some “credit” for having her dog put down. It would give “some comfort” to the puppy’s owners that “this is not going to happen again to anyone else or their dog”.
The puppy owners had in the meantime suffered “substantial” financial impact.
“When you’re talking about dog bite matters, no one is happy.”
The accused was fined $700 without conviction as well as ordered to compensate the puppy’s owners for the vet costs.
She was also ordered to pay $127 costs to Cardinia Shire.