HomeMan attacked by a pit bull and dingo/pit bull cross wins case

Man attacked by a pit bull and dingo/pit bull cross wins case

After a man and his dog was mauled by a pit bull and dingo/pit bull cross, his wife came running out to stop the assault.

A Supreme Court judge has ruled in favour of a man who contested a decision made by the City of Darwin to release the pit bull/dingo cross which left him with severe injuries that required surgery and hospitalisation.

On November 15, 2020, Darwin-resident Gregory Goodluck was playing with his dog, Miko, when they were attacked by two dogs who had escaped from their yard.

Mr Goodluck suffered severe wounds after Marley – the pit bull/dingo cross – bit his leg and ripped the flesh on his lower right leg, while the other pit bull (Tyson) “savaged” Miko.

Documents from the trial revealed the second attack was only stopped after Mr Goodluck’s wife intervened, killing the pit bull with a kitchen knife.

“That attack on the plaintiff’s dog only stopped after the plaintiff’s wife, hearing the plaintiff’s cries for help, ran from their residence and stabbed the assailant animal to death with a kitchen knife,” they read.

Despite this, the offending pit bull was returned to his owners after being impounded by the City of Darwin on the condition she desex the dog and repair her fence.

This was on the basis, the council was unable to confirm which dog had actually bitten Mr Goodluck. The council claimed “it was not possible to conclude that the dog did so ‘intentionally’” and assumed the attack happened after Mr Goodluck attempted to intervene when the other pit bull attacked his dog.

A behavioural assessment completed by PAWS also found the offending dog to be “fearful but not aggressive”.

Residing over the case, Chief Justice Michael Grant called it a “manifestly flawed” decision.

He said it was “unfounded” that there was no evidence that it was unclear which dog had bitten Mr Goodluck, with the victim identifying the dog several times.

“No reasonable decision-maker could have arrived at it in the circumstances I have described,” said Chief Justice Grant.

According to the documents, the owner of the offending dogs had received several reports about Marley and Tyson, with Mr Goodluck also serving the owner with two compliance notices in April and early-November in 2020.

Marley was also impounded again after it was found her owner failed to comply with the conditions of her release.

In the event of a dog attack, laws in the Northern Territory mean councils will place the animal on the Declared Dog Register as either a ‘category one’ or ‘category two’ dog.

Depending on the declaration, owners may need to use signage to identify the dangerous dog, or muzzle the animal when it’s in public places.

The council may also impose specific rules which could lead to penalty infringements or a forced removal or eviction in severe cases.

Under Australian legislation, the importation of pit bulls (also known as American pit bull terrier or pit bull terriers) is strictly prohibited.

Most states have also enacted laws which restrict the management and care of the breed and some crossbreeds, and require these dogs to be desexed, however these laws do not exist in the ACT or Northern Territory.


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