Mullumbimby boy victim of attack by wandering dog
The Mullumbimby four-year-old could not have known that the black and white border collie would launch a savage attack.
The joy of a family barbecue at a Tweed park last Saturday turned to horror for Connor’s parents, Jim and Patrizia Reimer, as they watched the dog maul their son.
Mr Reimer said the dog was running around the park at Kennedy Drive, Tweed Heads, without an owner or registration tags.
“My son walked over and started to pat the dog and it just jumped up and began to attack him,” he said.
“It was on top of him, locked on to his face and head – that’s what dogs do to kill.
“He was bleeding from all the wounds.
“There was blood all over the place.”
The boy suffered a deep cut to his forehead and other injuries to his left eye.
He was taken to The Tweed Hospital by ambulance after his parents pulled the dog away.
“He was very close to needing stitches,” Mr Reimer said.
“The owner wasn’t even there. The dog was just running wild in a public place.”
The Reimers, who live at Mullumbimby, said they had wanted to get in touch with the dog’s owner.
However, Mrs Reimer said a council officer told her the dog had been given back to its owner almost immediately.
“They gave the dog back and didn’t tell us,” she said.
“What if we had gone back to the park the next day and it had been there again? Can you imagine
how traumatic that would have been?”
However, a Tweed Shire Council spokesperson yesterday said the dog was in fact taken from the scene by police and then later collected by a council ranger.
Tweed Council regulatory services co-ordinator Paul Brouwer said the dog was at the pound and would be destroyed.
The dog had to be removed by police because its owner was not present.
“In general terms, council rangers would not remove the dog to be impounded from the scene of the alleged attack if the owner could contain the dog,” Mr Brouwer said.
“This would obviously not be the case in regards to severe dog attacks.
“This procedure is in line with the NSW Companion Animals Act.
“Council rangers then interview those involved in the incident and issue an infringement notice.”
It is understood the council has been in contact with the dog’s owner since the attack.
Mr Reimer said that after the attack he and his wife tied the animal to a tree and waited for police to arrive.
“We spoke to a couple of people who saw what happened and they said that dog has been running around the park on its own, on and off, for about a year. They said the owner had received two citations already,” he said.
Mr Reimer said he had been around dogs all his life and you couldn’t take chances when kids were involved. He once even had one of his dogs put down when it threatened his son.
“The dog knocked him down and stood over him,” he said. “That was enough for me. I did the right thing and had the dog destroyed.
“Once a dog bites, it continues to do so.”
Mr Reimer wanted pet owners to secure their animals so no other children were at risk.