Last Friday Blue Mountains City Council issued the dogs’ owner Cameron Farrugia with a “notice of intention to declare the dogs as dangerous under the Companion Animals Act”.
The owner must meet strict requirements if the dogs are to return home, including: erecting a secure enclosure on the property, prominently displaying dangerous dog warning signs at the property, and the dogs must wear a muzzle and be securely leashed at all times when outside the enclosure.
A council spokeswoman said the owner had until the end of the week to respond to the letter.
Putting the dogs down would only be considered by council if the owner failed to meet or chooses not to meet the requirements.
SIX WEEKS OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE ROTTWEILERS
In the past six weeks the council has received reports relating to dogs, of a similar description, roaming the streets in Hazelbrook.
One neighbour said she had reported the two dogs to the Blue Mountains City Council weeks ago after an attack on a Labrador in the area.
But rangers, who today seized the dogs, had apparently been unable to find the canines when the complaint was made.
Cameron Farrugia's two Rottweilers, seen here, running loose
Scarlet Johnson said she heard the Labrador being attacked in the house behind hers and rangers told her they couldn’t find the dogs.
“It was quite alarming when I heard it attacking the dog,” she said.
“The scream the dog was making was bloodcurdling — all the doors were closed, but I could hear it some way away from my house. It was very distressing.”
On another occasion a council ranger attended the Red Gum Avenue address, following complaints by neighbours of the dogs roaming, but the dogs were contained at the property at that time and the owner made no admissions, the spokeswoman said.
The council had also sent a letter to the Cameron Farrugia that failure to prevent their dogs from roaming, or being aggressive, could result in legal action.
Little Avah Gibbs and her mother Jenny, from the Hunter Valley, had been visiting the girl’s cousin Rhiannon and her partner, Cameron Farrugia, when she was mauled by the their two Rottweilers.
Rhiannon said Avah was supervised and that the dogs were only “playing” when she was seriously injured.
Blue Mountains Police Local Area Command Acting Inspector Mick Magill said the girl sustained serious facial injuries and numerous bite marks across her body.
She was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in a serious but stable condition.
“It was an afternoon scene in the sun playing with everybody and the child walked over to the corner and the dogs attacked the child,” Acting Insp Magill said.
“There was nothing untoward done by the child, she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“She’s a young girl with horrific injuries. They’re not life threatening but she will be scarred for life.”
(Blue Mountains Gazette - July 10, 2017)