Rob Nelson, 49, is recovering after undergoing surgery in Liverpool Hospital, in Sydney’s western suburbs, after an extremely vicious mauling by three dogs described as American Staffordshire Terriers on May 26. His abdomen was already hanging out and he had no bicep and his armpit was ripped out.
"They were gnawing on his shoulder the way dogs do when they have the knuckle of a bone," witness Chris Thompson told the Herald Sun.
Thompson said he was working in his yard when he heard the victim "scream for mercy,”as the dogs dragged him into the road and began mauling him 'like fierce animals ripping apart an animal.' He said he ran out and tried to kick them but it did not stop the attack. 'I got a hammer and smacked it straight in the snout and it did nothing. It [the dog] was wagging its tail like it had done good,” Thompson said.
The jogger was mauled and chewed for about five minutes before Thompson, 40, and his friend Colin McEwen, 54, finally were able to drive away the frenzied Pit Bulls, identified as two males and a female, by striking them with a hammer and a potted plant, according to the Daily Mail.
"I grabbed a pot plant and cracked it over the dogs' heads, and the shock made them disperse," Chris Thompson said. "But they came back and latched on to Colin's hand. Colin was on the ground and it [the Pit Bull] went for his head but I got it with a hammer just in time and just missed Colin's head by inches.'
Paramedic John Brotherhead said Nelson had suffered some of the worst injuries he had seen in 27 years as a paramedic. 'His upper body was so traumatized I had to insert an intravenous drip through his feet,” he said. 'His height probably saved him. A child or younger person would have had no hope warding off those dogs. The attack would have been fatal.'
A passing bus pulled up at the scene and some of the passengers got off to offer their help to Nelson, the Daily Mail reports. When police arrived they were so concerned about their own safety that the used a Taser on one of the dogs.
Ron Griffiths, an ex-boxing trainer, said he saw the gruesome attack from his front yard. "The man was walking…and the three dogs came at him and attacked him," he said. "If it was kids they would've been dead.
"Other residents said they had lived in fear of the animals for years,” Griffith told the Sun.
The Pit Bulls’ owner, part-time jockey Michael Ames, refused to comment regarding the attack as he left for work at the Warwick Farm racetrack the next day, the Sun reported, but police said he had relinquished the dogs and they were euthanized. Police said Ames may also be charged with keeping a savage dog, which carries a fine of up to $5,500.
It is not the first time Ames has been in trouble over his dogs, the Herald Sun reports. Authorities say he was cited earlier this year for not having the animals registered, "Council followed up this matter and subsequently issued the owner with three fines on 10 January 2013 in relation to the unregistered dogs."
"We've had a problem with the dogs and we called police and they came and did nothing and now look what's happened," neighbor Nazih El Dir Ani said.
"If a child or young person had been attacked, I have no doubt whatever that that child would have suffered fatal injuries," Detective Superintendent Jim Johnson said.