A VICIOUS dog attack in Port Stephens last weekend has left its victim distraught, angry and drowning in medical bills.
Bill Finney, 70, was walking his dog Roger past the waterfront at Lemon Tree Passage last Sunday morning when an attack he describes as “grotesque” and “horrific” left him with a mauled and busted hand and a $3000 vet bill that’s still climbing.
Mr Finney, who was with his wife Tess at the time of the attack, said the dog, an American staffordshire cross pit bull, had been sitting unleashed next to a parked car when it attacked.
“It was low to the ground and it came straight at Roger, sort of pushed us sideways and latched onto his leg, and wouldn’t release him,” he said.
“It didn’t have a rope or a chain on it so there was nothing I could really grab, I was trying to rip it off Roger and keep my wife out of danger at the same time.”
Mr Finney, a well-known community member who deputy captains the local volunteer fire brigade, says the attack has left him and his wife shaken and struggling to sleep.
“You just ask ‘why?’ We weren’t hurting anyone,” he said. “You get flashbacks, you shut your eyes and all you can see is that bloody dog ripping into Roger [and] the blood everywhere.
“I get emotional every time look at him all cut up like he is, you know with dogs they become part of the family.”
Roger, a German shepherd cross border collie, has had to have a number of surgeries and is still having to visit the vet regularly.
Mr Finney said he was still “not out of the woods”.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to just shakes their head because he [Roger] wouldn’t hurt a fly,” he said.
Port Stephens Council is still investigating the circumstances around the attack, and it’s unclear whether the dog in question has been destroyed.
However, it’s understood the dog that attacked Mr Finney had been reported stolen only two days earlier from a home in Raymond Terrace.
Mr Finney had surgery on his hand after the attack, and is still having to visit specialists.
He said it has left him angry at what he believes is a relaxed attitude to laws around animal control.
“It’s like walking around with a loaded gun,” he said.
“I just think there should be legal proceedings and I hope there will be not just a slap on the wrist.”