Dubbo grandmother's ordeal prompts words of sympathy, indignation

RECOVERING: Ilma Murphy, 87, is recovering from a dog attack that took place opposite her home in Queen Street on Thursday morning. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE.
RECOVERING: Ilma Murphy, 87, is recovering from a dog attack that took place opposite her home in Queen Street on Thursday morning. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE.

The Daily Liberal’s Facebook community has responded with sympathy and indignation at the attack by a dog on a grandmother in Queen Street on Thursday morning.

Ilma Murphy, 87, is recovering after she fell to the ground when a “ginger cattle dog” went for her heel. Two men working nearby and a neighbour rescued Mrs Murphy who reported that the dog was “out of its yard everyday” and harassing other people in the street.

“Get well darling” and “get well soon Ilma” were among sympathetic posts left on this newspaper’s Facebook page along with an account of another dog attack and calls for action.

Jan Matterson wrote: “My nan used to walk every morning around 5am and two cattle dogs in her street almost mauled her to death. Her injuries were horrific to her legs and only just missed main artery. Please be mindful of keeping your dogs in yard.”’

Kristen Maree posted “if this was a child the dog would have been euthanised already so why is that not the case with an adult”. Merri Pryde called on Dubbo Regional Council to “take reports of off-lead dogs more seriously”.

On Thursday the council issued a statement when asked how it would respond to the incident. “Council takes all reports of dangerous dogs seriously and conducts an investigation in to such reports to determine if there has been any circumstances that contravene the Companion Animals Act and to consider an appropriate course of action,” it read. “Investigation may include interviews with respective parties and identification of registered animals. Investigations are conducted in accordance with the Companion Animal Act which restricts council from releasing details of any investigation in the interests of protecting the evidence and privacy of all parties concerned.” Mrs Murphy has been interviewed by a council ranger.

The Office of Local Government  reports that a dog attack “can include any incident where a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal, other than vermin, whether or not any injury is caused to the person or animal”. Reported dog attacks in Dubbo jumped from 14 in the three months starting April 1 last year to 34 in the three months starting July 1. Mid-morning Friday 102 people had taken part in a Daily Liberal poll asking “Have you been attacked by a dog in Dubbo?”. Fifty people had voted “no”, 31 “yes” and 21 “almost”.

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