Thursday, September 22, 2011

WHITTON, NEW SOUTH WALES AU- NATIONAL DATABASE OF DOG ATTACKS SOUGHT - AFTER INQUEST INTO THE DEATH OF 3-YR-OLD RUBY LEA BURKE BY 4 LARGE DOGS ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR

5  DOGS WERE KEPT AT THE HOME OF THE BABYSITTER FOR THE 2 TODDLERS - RUBY AGE 3, AND HER SISTER LILY 14 MONTHS OLD.    3  OF THE DOGS WERE BULLMASTIFF/RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK MIXES.  RUBY WAS ATTACKED AND KILLED  BY 4 OF THE DOGS AND HER SISTER LILY WAS SEVERELY INJURED.  RUBY'S  INJURIES
WERE SO SEVERE, SHE COULD NOT BE VISUALLY IDENTIFIED.


On January 7, 2009, Three-year-old Ruby-Lea Burke was attacked  and killed by four large dogs on the kitchen floor of the Whitton, New South Wales ( NSW) Australia, home of her babysitter, Lorraine O'Donnel. Her younger sister Lily-May, age 14 months, was severely injured.

An inquest into the death  has been told a national database of such attacks is needed.

Animal behaviour specialist Kersti Seksel also recommended a nationwide approach to legislation for the control of companion animals.

Deputy State Coroner Paul MacMahon on Wednesday referred Dr Seksel's recommendations to a taskforce set up to advise the NSW government.

It follows a crackdown by the Victorian government on the owners of dangerous dogs after a horrific attack on a young girl in Melbourne last month.

The four-year-old was clinging to her mother's leg as she was mauled to death by a pit bull mastiff dog which ran into their house.

In his findings handed down in Griffith Coroner's Court on Wednesday, Mr MacMahon said Ruby-Lea's injuries were so bad that she could not be visually identified.

"The attack was a ferocious one," he said.

"Ruby-Lea's death could have been prevented had the dogs ... been managed effectively."

"Dr Seksel also made a number of recommendations, including the creation of an expert committee to develop standard protocols for dealing with dog attacks, a nationally uniform approach to legislation ... (and) a national database to store all information on dog attacks."

But Mr MacMahon said it would be inappropriate for him to enact any of those recommendations because of "the limited circumstances I am investigating".

Instead, he passed them on to the newly formed Companion Animals Taskforce.

Ms O'Donnell and her partner, Ronald John Conlon, kept five dogs at their home and three of them were bull mastiff-cross-rhodesian ridgebacks.

During the findings, Ms O'Donnell's statement was read out publicly for the first time.

She described how she was in the bathroom with Lily-May when she heard a screen door opening.

Ms O'Donnell called out to Ruby-Lea: "Ruby girl, what are you doing? Don't you play with that door."

The girl replied that she wanted to pat the dogs.

Ms O'Donnell said: "Don't go near those dogs, they're naughty dogs."

She later heard the child screaming and found her on the kitchen floor with two dogs on her.

Mr MacMahon said the dogs were grossly obese, one of them weighing 40kg, which suggested they did not get much exercise.

He also noted a submission from John Wilson, barrister for Ruby-Lea's father Dawayne Burke, that "an examination of the available criminal offences showed there was a gap in the offences available to a prosecuting authority".

Mr Wilson had said a review of the options was needed to ensure accountability, the coroner said.

http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/national-database-of-dog-attacks-sought-20110921-1kkzb.html
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"I HAVE NEVER SEEN DOGS SO AGGRESSIVE ESPECIALLY SO LONG AFTER AN ATTACK ON A HUMAN BEING.  I'M SURE ANYONE WHO ENTERED THE BACKYARD WHERE THE DOGS WERE KEPT WOULD HAVE BEEN ATTACKED.  IT TOOK 2 DOSES OF THE DRUG XYLAZINE TO SEDATE THE DOGS THAT KILLED RUBY."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-22/coroner-outlines-whitton-toddlers-mauling/2911716/?site=riverina&section=news

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The dogs that mauled to death a NSW toddler at her babysitter's home were smeared with blood and frenzied when a council ranger came to remove them, an inquest has been told.
Three-year-old Ruby-Lea Burke died in January 2009 when she was attacked by four large dogs at the home of her babysitter, Lorraine O'Donnell, at Whitton, near Griffith, in the state's southwest.
Her younger sister Lily was severely injured.
Ms O'Donnell told Deputy State Coroner Paul MacMahon on Tuesday a screen door leading to the backyard where five dogs were contained could not be locked.
"It could be closed but not locked, but it could only be opened by the inside, not the outside," Ms O'Donnell said.
Ms O'Donnell told the inquest she had put the dogs, three of which were bull mastiff-cross-rhodesian ridgebacks, in the backyard before letting Ruby-Lea and her sister inside the house, and she had warned Ruby-Lea about the dogs.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/frenzied-dogs-killed-ruby-lea-inquest-20110920-1kjdy.html

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AN INQUEST into the tragic mauling death of Whitton toddler Ruby-Lea Burke has heard there needs to be tougher criminal penalties for dog owners.
Ruby-Lea died in January 2009 when she was attacked by four large dogs while in the home of her babysitter, Lorraine O’Donnell, and her younger sister Lily was severely injured.
The inquest, which began yesterday, heard from Barrister John Wilson, who represented Ruby-Lea’s father Dawayne Burke, that dog owners needed to be held responsible in the same vein as negligent drivers.
“It’s very important to look at her (Ms O’Donnell’s) conduct ... and that the children were under her care,” Mr Wilson said.
“There was a failure on her part to protect Ruby and Lily. She was clearly aware of the need to protect the children from the dogs in question.
“If the cause had been a handgun instead there would be an outcry for criminal charges to be brought.”
Advocate assisting the deputy state coroner Sergeant Daniel Maddox said in his opening statement the inquest would hopefully result in recommendations to prevent such a tragedy from again occurring.
“The death of Ruby-Lea Burke, a three-year-old girl, is a tragedy to say the least,” Mr Maddox said. “The thrust of this inquest should come (to) making
recommendations in an attempt to prevent this type of death in this manner from happening again.”
Ms O’Donnell was among the four witnesses called yesterday and, while she did not speak of the events on the day of Ruby-Lea’s death, the court heard how the screen door leading to the backyard where five dogs were contained could not be locked.
“It could be closed but not locked ... but it could only be opened by the inside not the outside,” Ms O’Donnell said.
Ms O’Donnell told the court how she put the dogs, three of which were bullmastiffs-cross-Rhodesian ridgebacks, in the backyard before letting Ruby-Lea and her sister inside the house and how she warned Ruby-Lea about the dogs.
“I have never had them around children and because she said she wanted to pat the dogs I said don’t go near them,” Ms O’Donnell said.
Ms O’Donnell also testified she had never known the dogs to be aggressive towards people.
Deputy State Coroner Paul MacMahon also heard from Leeton Shire Council senior ranger Peter Skarlis, who was called to the house on the day of the attack, how the dogs were covered in blood and extremely aggressive, despite it having been at least four hours since the attack.
“I walked down the driveway to where it went into the backyard where there was a makeshift gate ... four large dogs charged towards us and they were all extremely agitated,” Mr Skarlis said. “They were in a frenzied behaviour and were trying to bite us as we approached.”
Mr Skarlis told the court how he had to tranquilise the three bull mastiff dogs twice as he attempted to get them in the van and they woke on the drive to the pound and began fighting, causing serious injury to themselves.
The court also heard from animal expert Dr Kersti Seksel that greater education about dogs, better management and behavioural examinations could help prevent such attacks. Mr McMahon will hand down his findings today.
http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/743701/inquest-hears-moments-in-toddlers-mauling-death/

http://www.news.com.au/news/dog-attack-ruby-farewelled/news-story/edc0e1d7888d0ce6258a63354d60d815

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/news/ruby-lea-buried-amid-dog-law-push/news-story/80994c3b208f6704791ea581eb32ed16?sv=c83cc56c1ffce14b9bd17302eeb15fa


Credit: KTNV.com
THIS CHILD WAS ALSO KILLED BY THE FAMILY'S RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK/BULLMASTIFF MIX



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