The owner of a dog that attacked a 6-year-old boy on the Gold Coast on Easter Sunday has apologised for leaving the scene, and says he won’t stop council from putting down his pet.
Rob Puller was walking his 4-year-old English Bulldog outside a Currumbin cafe when 6-year-old Teddy Bracek asked if he could pat the dog.
Teddy said Mr Puller had given him permission before it jumped up and bit him on the arm. The child required stitches and two minor surgeries as a result of the attack.
Shocking CCTV footage also showed the dog attempting to bite Teddy’s ankles before jumping on the young boy.
Teddy’s father, Andy Bracek, said the attack left his son with a 10-12cm long arm wound that was 2.5cm wide and 1.2cm deep.
“It felt horrible. It ripped my arm,” the child told Seven News on Tuesday night.
“The dog jumped on me.”
“I thought the dog was just playing … but we soon realised he wasn’t playing,” Bracek added.
In the aftermath of the attack, Bracek blasted the owner for making a “half-assed effort to restrain the dog,” he said, speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
CCTV footage showed Bracek kicking the dog, as he tried separate his child.
“To be honest in that moment I felt like smashing the dog’s head in,” he said.
“But I’m still f***ing irate he didn’t come back to report the incident or give me his contact details.
“If he came back and sorted it, everything would’ve been okay but I’m pissed off and disturbed that this man has put his dog’s welfare before a child’s.”
Puller has since come forward and apologised to Bracek, offering to pay Teddy’s medical bills. He claimed that he hadn’t realised the extent of Teddy’s injuries and that he had returned to the scene a short while later but they had gone.
“I had a dog in my hand that just attacked a kid. He had a kid that was injured and it was very volatile so I just didn’t want to escalate it,” Pullar told 9 News.
“If that happened to one of my kids I would be equally as traumatised and enraged about it too. It’s completely understandable.”
Pullar said that the dog has been handed over to officials and that he would not stand in the way of it being put down.
Speaking to 7 News, retired police dog handler, Grant Teeboon said the bulldog’s owner was most likely at fault.
“The owner didn’t really appear to have much of a clue about his dog,” Teeboon said.
“There was nothing the child did that could be labelled as provocative. He did approach the owner, asked the owner for permission to pat the dog, didn’t put his hand out at first.”
Teeboon said there were initial clues that the dog was about to attack when it began “circling around the boy”.
“That’s a handler error. The owner should not have let that happen,” he added.
“He didn’t anticipate what the dog could do. He didn’t restrain the dog and he didn’t control the meeting.”
Gold Coast City Council has launched an investigation into the attack to determine whether the dog should be registered as dangerous and menacing or whether it should be put down. The incident has not been reported to the police.
A spokesperson for Queensland Police said officers are not involved in dog attacks unless the animal must be immediately put down.
According to Queensland law, dogs which have caused serious attacks may be declared dangerous which may require the canine to be desexed, muzzled or restrained. The council may also issue signage or fencing requirements.
Should the animal reoffend, the dog could be confiscated or put down by the council, with the owner also liable to a large fine.
Latest numbers from the Gold Coast show there were 547 dog attacks between January 1 to October 11 2021.