POLICE have described the “horrific incident” where a woman, aged in her 40s, was killed by a dog in Canberra.
Police were forced to shoot and kill the dog after it attacked them when they were working to save the life of the woman suspected of being mauled to death.
A man who was also at the house is being treated in hospital for bite wounds sustained in the rampage.
The attack happened in Watson, in the city’s north, just before 4am on Wednesday morning.
There are reports the breed was a PIT BULL, but ACT Police has yet to confirm the dog type.
Detective Acting Superintendent Tony Crocker said “this was a tragic death. Police were called at 3.40am after reports from neighbours of someone calling for help.
“Police were directed by a male in the backyard into the premises towards a female lying inside. A dog was also inside. While CPR was being performed on the female victim, the dog moved to attack the police officers, and in order to protect themselves there was a necessity to discharge the fire round.”
Det Corker said the man had a bite to the inside of his leg. “He doesn’t appear to have life-threatening injuries and is in a stable condition.”
He said they were unsure of the ownership of the dog.
“Fortunately the officers were not injured. This is a very tragic event for the family, and our thoughts go out to the family for what is quite a horrific incident,” he said.
AFP Forensic Services and ACT Policing Criminal Investigations attended and were investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. A report will be prepared for the ACT Coroner.
It’s understood the man was a visitor to the home.
The ACT Opposition has plans to introduce legislation to make it easier to punish owners of dangerous dogs following a series of maulings in the territory.
On August 5, two puppies survived after three larger dogs jumped over a fence and set upon them. The next day, two pit bulls off-lead repeatedly bit a poodle.
A Change.org petition calling on the ACT Government to better manage dangerous dogs has been signed by more than 600 people.
In 2013, 84 people presented at ACT public hospital emergency departments as a result of a dog attack; in 2016, the number was 155. “This means there is on average a dog attack on a person every second day,” said Renee Dean who started the petition.
Canberra Liberals’ urban services spokesman Steve Doszpot said he suspected dog maulings were even more common.
“The number of attacks on humans is actually larger [than official figures] and there is also a large number of attacks on animals,” he told the Canberra Times.
“If the dog you have attacks another dog or a person there’s got to be some recognition of that. You’re responsible for the dog, you’ve got to handle the dog safely and if anything happens you’re liable for the physical damage and the property damage that occurs.”
In August, Sue Lopicich who ran a boarding kennel in Perth was mauled to death by a bull mastiff.
A neighbour of Ms Lopicich told the ABC the body was found by her daughter, who came to check on her mother after concerns were raised when she did not turn up for work at a local childcare centre.
Neighbour Kerrie Pearce said there had been a number of dog fights at the property and Ms Lopicich had been injured in the past trying to break them up.
“I never liked what she did down there, she used to just mingle them in together and you can’t mingle them together, you’ve got to keep them separate,” she said.