Girl's lip severed in 'horrific' dog attack outside pub
A MULLUMBIMBY woman whose dog attacked a 13-year-old girl outside the Brunswick Hotel has been fined $1000 and ordered to pay for the girl's medical treatment.
The woman, who had been displaced by the bushfires and relocated to Brunswick Heads with her two dogs, had been having lunch at the pub in November last year.
Byron Bay Local Court heard on Monday the woman had only been in the venue for about 40 minutes.
She'd tied her two dogs up at post at the door of the hotel where she could see them.
She then heard a scream from outside the venue and went to help when a 13-year-old girl came back into the venue with blood on her face and leg.
The court heard the girl had been walking over to the park opposite the hotel when she approached the two dogs and patted them.
The girl had let the dogs smell her hand before she went to pat the dog that later attacked her.
She turned to speak to her brother but when she turned back to the dog, it jumped on her and bit her calf and significantly severed her lip.
The woman's solicitor, Tom Ivey, said the "horrible incident" had left his client "mortified".
He noted the woman had since taken time off work to manage her "own emotional distress" and was the "most empathetic client" he has had.
"She's had the dog for years and it's never indicated it's been aggravated in anyway," Mr Ivey said.
"She was cooperative with the council and she voluntarily euthanised (the dog), even though the council was not seeking (that action).
"She's had the other dog rehomed…. due to the risk they pose."
Magistrate Michael Dakin said he understood the dogs, which were "out of their ordinary environment", were behaving "out of character".
"There is nothing to indicate the dog had a tendency to attack or act in ferocious way," Mr Dakin said.
He said he believed the woman had shown genuine remorse for her dog's actions but ultimately had to fine her $1000.
She was also ordered to pay $1361 for the girl's medical treatment.