Need doggone commonsense

DOZENS of dog attacks are happening in the region each month and locals impacted are pleading for laws to be changed to avoid what can be a devastating outcome for people.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesperson said they received 96 reports of dog attacks from January 1 to April 26 this year.

There were a similar number of attacks in the same period in 2022 with 110 attacks reported to authorities.

Glass House Mountains resident, Val Bartlett, is still recovering after being attacked when going for her daily afternoon walk in December last year.

A cattle dog ran from across the road and bit her on the leg causing serious injuries and requiring three days in hospital and weeks in a moonboot over the Christmas holidays.

Val said she was suffering ongoing nerve pain issues to this day.

She said although this hasn’t stopped her from continuing her daily walks, she is nervous around dogs now and is asking for owners to be aware and conscious of those around them, regardless of their temperament.  “I say to people – please, please put your dogs on a lead, even if there are no signs around to advise dog owners to put them on a lead, just do it to ensure everyone stays safe,” she said.

“I’m just glad it happened to me and not a child, their injuries would have been much worse then it was for me, and luckily my neighbour is a nurse, so she helped me out when it happened.

“There are many off leash dog parks around here that you can take your dogs to if you want somewhere where they can be off leash, just please don’t walk them on streets off leash.”

Val turns 79 in a few weeks, and the scars on her leg will be with her forever, as well as the constant pain it brings her.

“The scars are pretty nasty, but I’m still having ongoing problems because of the nerve damage, it’s there all the time and I can feel it pinching every now and then,” she said. Val’s main concern is the safety of the community and stopping more vicious dog attacks from happening, especially to young children.  Three of the last six Queenslanders who have been subject to dog bites since Easter, have been children.