Dog attack in Katoomba

A Leura woman and her dog are both on anxiety medication after being attacked by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier on the corner of Wilson and Lovell Streets in Katoomba late last month.

The 56-year-old woman’s dog was dragged from her arms by the female Staffordshire Bull Terrier on April 30.

Sharleen [whose surname the Gazette has withheld by request] has been treated in two hospitals for multiple bites to both hands and has needed specialist plastic surgery, as the dog bit down to the bone on one finger. Her dog, Mason, spent five days at the vets following wounds to his legs.

“I’m really traumatised by it all. I haven’t been sleeping. I keep remembering it. I’m too terrified to take Mason out for a walk.”

Sharleen said she was taking her regular walk with her dog Mason, and her neighbour’s dog Oscar, when she heard something coming up behind her.

“We were just enjoying the beautiful sunshine, five minutes from home, I could hear something coming up behind me. It was this Staffordshire Bull Terrier and it was charging. I picked up both dogs one in each arm. It jumped up and ripped Mason from me.”

She said the dog latched on to her pet and she was bitten multiple times while trying to stop the attack. Her neighbour’s dog Oscar cowered behind her legs.

“Mason was looking up at me, he was screaming and I was screaming. There was blood everywhere.”

Nearby roadworkers and a man in the nearby electrical store heard her screams and came running to help. 

“The men were trying to get the dog to let go of Mason which took a lot of effort.” 

The dog was held by the workmen until the council ranger took her away and Sharleen was assisted by two other good samaritans who lived nearby.

Sharleen, who cares for her elderly mother, was unable to shower or cook for them both for about a week due to a cast on one arm and thick bandages on the other.

Mason, a 7.5 kg wiry haired Jack Russell cross is now taking “doggie valium” tablets for post traumatic stress. He loves to sing songs and has not sung since being attacked on April 30. The Gazette captured him on video singing to his favourite tune “Lord Don’t Leave Me’ for the first time since the incident, while Sharleen looked on wiping away tears.

A council spokeswoman said rangers were now looking into the incident. She said “the subject dog is a registered female Staffordshire Bull Terrier” which had run away from home when the gate was “left open inadvertently”.

“A ranger attended the property shortly after on the same day and spoke with both the person attacked by the dog and the dog owner.

“The owner of the dog is apologetic and cooperative with the investigation by rangers. A decision with respect to regulatory action has yet to be made,” the council spokeswoman said. 

Sharleen said she “is an animal lover [but] I am concerned the dog could get out again and the next time it could be a child or an elderly woman and they wouldn’t have a hope”.

Sharleen said the owner had got in touch and taken care of her dog’s vet bill. The dog is now back with its owner.