30 stitches... and now his parents want the dog put down
By ZOE SATHERLEY
THE parents of a boy mauled by a dog want the animal put down, or at least muzzled.
Lismore boy Blake Kelly, 10, is recovering with 30 stitches after the attack which his parents say would have been fatal but for the heroic actions of Luke's cousin, Reece Kelly.
Blake was rushed to Lismore Base Hospital after the attack last Sunday which left him with five deep wounds requiring surgery under anaesthetic.
He was on morphine for pain relief and received about 30 stitches for the wounds on his calf, thigh, buttocks and back.
Police are investigating the incident and said the circumstances were not clear. No charges have been laid, and police will report the incident to the RSPCA and Lismore City Council.
Leslie and Darren Kelly claim their son was standing on a perimeter fence bordering the property where the dog was housed when the dog jumped up and grabbed him on the leg, dragging him into its own yard.
The dog's owners however claim the boy jumped into the dog's yard voluntarily.
"He is a guard dog and behaved appropriately when his domain was invaded," said the owner, who asked not to be identified.
She said her dog, a large bull mastiff-cross, was not savage and had never attacked anyone previously in the six years she had owned him.
"He is good with my six-yearold daughter," she said.
Neighbours confirmed the dog was also good with their children. The dog is kept in a fully-fenced yard with a 'Beware of the Dog' sign on the front gate. He is microchipped and registered.
Blake said he thought he was going to be killed during the attack, which happened when he was playing 'tip' in the backyard of a friend's house.
"The dog had my thigh in his jaws and I was hanging onto the wire fence with all my strength, screaming for help," he said. "The dog was shaking his head from side to side, trying to get me to let go of my grip.
"There were adults on a verandah nearby and they saw what happened and started screaming for someone to help me. My cousin Reece grabbed one of my arms and with his free hand he started punching the dog on the head.
"He dragged me back over the fence. I think he saved my life and deserves a bravery award."
Mrs Kelly also praised Reece's efforts. "I raced straight over to find Blake covered in blood and in terrible pain."
The Kellys are dog owners themselves, but feel any dog that is capable of such an attack should be put down, or at the very least muzzled.
What do you think?
Phone the Star Feedback line on 6624 3266 or email opin- email@example.com