BALLARAT City Council has come under fire for not seizing a dog it had been told was dangerous, and which attacked a three-year-old girl four days later.
The dog was reported to the council last Saturday after witnesses saw it attacking an elderly man walking two small dogs in Sebastopol.
Witnesses say they notified the council of the incident on the day, but the dog was not seized and the owner was not forced to adhere to any safety sanctions.
In the same location on Wednesday it attacked a three-year-old girl who was walking past with her mother. The toddler was taken to hospital.
The dog has since been seized and will be put down.
The mother of the injured girl and witnesses to the previous attack have both hit out at the City of Ballarat, saying the second attack could have been avoided, had the council acted.
It pinned her face-down on the ground and bit her on the back before Mrs Seamons kicked it off.
“My first thought was to protect the boys in the pram then I heard Bellah screaming, and the dog had her pinned in the mud,” Mrs Seamons said.
Police attended the scene and the dog was seized by council rangers soon after, but Mrs Seamons was left wondering why nothing had been done before, especially when the dog had been similarly vicious less than a week earlier.
“It doesn’t matter if it is a child or an old man. It shouldn’t take the attack of a child for a vicious dog to be taken away, especially when they knew about this dog,” she said.
Other witnesses to Saturday’s attack by the same dog were also furious that nothing had been done by the council.
Carrina Appleby was driving along Beverin Street with her boyfriend on Saturday when she saw the same dog attacking the elderly man.
Her boyfriend jumped out of the car and scared the dog away.
She said she was horrified the dog was still free to roam until Wednesday.
“I’m a bit disgusted that we have to wait until a little girl gets bitten for something to happen,” Ms Appleby said.
“What I saw was absolutely horrible. I can’t believe it was allowed to happen again. I can’t imagine what the mother thought.”
A City of Ballarat spokesman confirmed council had received a complaint on the Saturday, but found there was not enough evidence to impound the dog.
“It was decided that there were not sufficient grounds to seize the dog, as no person or animal was injured and the dog had been secured by its owner in a meshed enclosure,” he said.
“Council takes a zero tolerance approach to dogs that cause serious injury to members of the community.”
Investigations into both incidents will continue.
The Courier tried to contact the dog owner but was unsuccessful.