Mastiff kills shih tzu and bites woman in Flinders Park

Adelaide Now ‘Police Reporter Ben Hyde; July 10, 2012

THERE are calls for more suitable dangerous dog laws after a mastiff-cross mauled another dog to death and bit a woman at Flinders Park.

Pistol the bulldog

The mastiff-cross, Pistol, broke free when his collar snapped while his owner, Joe Ciccone, was taking him for a walk about 11.45am yesterday.

Pistol ran to the nearby Flinders Park oval where he mauled a small white dog, described as a shih tzu, and later knocked down and bit a woman, 63, on the arm.

The woman was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.

Mastiff-cross breeds are not included in a list of five prescribed dog breeds in South Australia.

Owners of the five prescribed breeds must take additional safeguards to ensure the safety of the public and other animals, including keeping their dog on a 2m lead and also muzzling it when in public.

Dog and Cat Management Board executive officer Ben Luxton said assessing dangerous dogs by breed was ineffective.

“Dog attacks are by no means confined to prescribed breeds and not every individual of a prescribed breed is necessarily dangerous,” he said.

“Rather than addressing issues based on breed, the Dog and Cat Management Board supports management interventions that will address the issue of dog attacks at every level.

“Dog behaviour comes down to management issues.

“Research also suggests that desexed dogs are far less aggressive than dogs that have not been desexed.”

Mr Luxton said the State Government was reviewing dangerous dog legislation.

Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire said legislation needed to focus on irresponsible control and not simply dangerous breeds.

“The Government must re-examine its policy and get tougher on the small element who don’t care about responsible dog control and preventing harm to members of society,” he said.

Mr Ciccone said there was little he could do to stop the attack once the collar snapped. “He’s normally pretty placid and pretty calm,” he said.

Mr Ciccone said the collar, bought about two months ago, should never have snapped in the first place.

Charles Sturt Council chief executive officer Mark Withers said the attack was reported to council. “Council currently has the dog in custody and has launched a full investigation,” he said.

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Filed under Breed specific legislation, Dangerous dogs, SA

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