German shepherd attacks man, 82
AN elderly man has undergone surgery to save his mutilated leg after a german shepherd attacked him during his morning walk at Caloundra.
Sunshine Coast Council seized the dog after the shocking incident early yesterday.
The interstate owners were devastated and told police the action was out of character for their 10-year-old dog, which is travelling with them in a motorhome.
Police described the 82-year-old man's calf as "hanging half off" after the dog, named Ben, attacked him outside a mechanic's shop at Little Mountain.
Senior Constable Darryl Campbell told the Daily the couple, from New South Wales, had stopped at Torquegas at Latcham Dr when Ben was taken outside on a lead.
The dog was startled by footsteps behind him and he turned and latched on to the victim's left calf, causing severe damage.
"Obviously the dog was protecting its owners, but the man was only walking down the street," Snr Cst Campbell said.
"The owners are absolutely distraught. They feel helpless that their dog has done this to a human being."
The attack was the second on the Sunshine Coast in 24 hours and the 38th in just four weeks.
Torquegas staff were praised for running from the building to help stop the bleeding with a compression bandage.
Business owner Ron Flanigan said the man walked past most days and was always happy to say hello.
"Our workshop foreman and a representative from a wholesaler were first there when they went out with the first aid kid,'' he said.
"There was a lot of blood and he's apparently a diabetic so I hope he is okay.
"He' s dear old fella and he just loves dogs.
"Unfortunately he startled the dog who just grabbed hold of the calf muscle and ripped into it.
"The dog was protecting his owner and while she had the lead, the dog was just too strong."
The man is recovering from surgery in Nambour General Hospital.
15 prosecuted, 500 fined by council
SUNSHINE Coast Council has prosecuted 15 dog owners since January.
More than 500 people have also been fined.
The shocking figures were released yesterday after the 38th dog attack on the Coast in just four weeks.
On Thursday, three American staffies killed a cat and mauled a dog to death in a suburban Buderim street.
One of the dogs has been euthanised and the other two are being held while the council investigates.
"To owners of dogs that attack - we will enforce to the full extent of the law which could include fines between $5000 and more than $30,000 and the euthanasia of your dog," council's community services director Coralie Nichols said.
"It's time dog owners took responsibility for managing and controlling their animals so innocent people and pets are protected."
Canine behaviouralist Melissa Bruce, from Clever Paws, said aggressive behaviour at front or backyard fences was the first sign that a dog had the potential to do damage to other animals or humans.
"If you have a walker go past a fence and the dog runs straight out and acts aggressively and barks, it might seem harmless and that the dog is just doing its job, but it is actually the first warning sign that you have an aggressive dog," Ms Bruce said.
"Dogs can take it that next step if the fence is removed, especially in a pack situation like this."