A 19-year-old man was walking his dog on Tuesday afternoon around 3:00 p.m., when his pet was suddenly attacked by two loose Pit Bull Terriers in the Bankstown area of southwestern Sydney, according to News.com.au.
The teenager tried to rescue his pet from the dogs, but the Pit Bulls then started mauling his legs so savagely that he fell to the ground. As he did, the Pit Bulls turned their attention to biting him on the head and one bit off his left ear, witnesses at the nearby bus stop reported.
Residents of the area on Lehn Road in East Hills heard his screams and rushed to help the young man.
They finally managed to scare the dogs away. Paramedics responded to the emergency call and took the victim to Liverpool Hospital, where he is reported in stable condition.
The victim’s ear was found nearby and surgeons attempted to reattach it, according to officials at the hospital. The young man is also being treated for severe bites to his left leg, a spokesman for Ambulance Service of NSW said.
The Pit Bulls were captured after the attack, around 3.20 p.m. The owner was identified and is cooperating with police.
The owner said the dogs had escaped from his yard without his knowledge and they are American Staffordshire Terriers. Inspector David Firth, from Bankstown police told ABC702 News this morning, that it is his understanding that the dogs jumped or climbed over metal fencing.
"He has owned them both since they were puppies and…there was not any history of them attacking anyone in the past," Firth stated. He also advised that the breed is not on the restricted dog list and the dogs had not been declared dangerous. Residents in Lehn Road said they often saw the owner of the AmStaffs walking the dogs on leads.
In 2010-11, there were 252 reported attacks from American Staffordshire terriers in NSW, and 16,503 of the dogs were registered with councils, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Attacks are defined as incidents where dogs rush at, bite, harass or chase a person or another animal.
The five breeds that were responsible for the highest number of attacks in NSW in that period were the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Australian cattle dog, German shepherd, American Staffordshire Terrier and Rottweiler.
Veterinarian Peter Higgins, of Dogs NSW, said, " I think we've got to make it compulsory for people to do training. "Dogs are attack animals, he told the Sydney Morning Herald, “so if you take control, if you’re the boss, then a lot of these attacks will actually go away."
Dr Higgins said the breed of dog believed to be involved in this attack needs a strict owner. "They need a strong boss. If you’re not that sort of person, they’ll start doing their own thing,” he said.
Doctors at Liverpool Hospital are not yet sure whether the reattachment of the teenager’s ear will be successful.
Paul Scott, spokesman for the Bankstown City Council announced that the Bankstown Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation and that the dogs involved in the attack are being held at the local animal shelter.
Lt. Firth stated it has not yet been determined whether charges will be filed against the dogs’ owner.