Dog act: Owner walks away after vicious attack at Homburg Park

A Murray Bridge man and his nephew were left bleeding after being attacked by a Staffordshire terrier on Saturday.

A Murray Bridge man and his nine-year-old nephew have been left scarred after a dog attacked them at Homburg Park on Saturday.

Worse, they do not know who is responsible.

The dog’s owner walked away from the scene, leaving them bleeding and distraught.

CJ Smith-Walton said the attack happened around 2.30pm on Saturday, as he and his girlfriend watched his three nephews run around.

The dog, which he believed was a Staffordshire terrier, was walking past with its owner, off the leash.

“All I see is the dog come up and jump on (Liam),” he said.

“I came over ... got him away and checked on my nephew.

“Then he came back.

“I picked up my nephew but he jumped up and got me there (on the hand) and got my nephew as well.”

Both were left with deep bite wounds.

The dog’s owner whipped it with its leash to get it to stop, Mr Smith-Walton said.

But, when asked who he was and where he lived, the man only pointed in the direction of Whitehead Avenue and walked off, taking the dog with him.

Mr Smith-Walton and his nephew went to the Murray Bridge hospital to seek treatment, then contacted police and the council.

Liam’s dad, James Smith, said his son had not been the same since the attack.

He could no longer go near the family dog – a Staffordshire ridgeback cross – and had struggled to sleep, full of fear that he would be attacked again.

He had since missed three days of school, including Monday – his ninth birthday.

“We need to find out who it was, because they need to take responsibility for what their dog did,” Mr Smith said.

“They’ve got a few hospital bills to pay.”

Mr Smith-Walton described the dog as a tan Staffordshire terrier with a white chest.

He urged anyone who knew anything about the attack, the dog or its owner to contact the Murray Bridge council.

What to do in case of a dog attack

According to the Dog and Cat Management Board, dog attacks must be reported to the local council.

Council officers may ask for information about the date, time and location of the attack; a description of the dog and its owner; and a description or photos of any injuries.

You should also keep copies of any medical certificates or doctor’s or vet’s bills.

Penalties for dog attacks

Council officers are able to issue warnings and on-the-spot fines of up to $315 to the owner of a dog which has attacked someone.

They may also order the dog to be:

  • destroyed

  • kept indoors, or in a securely fenced area

  • fitted with a muzzle, or

  • put through training

Under the Dog and Cat Management Act, the owner of a dog which has attacked someone may be liable for a fine of up to $2500, or $5000 in the case of certain breeds.

Photo of CJ Smith-Walton, Liam Amos-Smith and James Smith: Peri Strathearn.