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Vicious Dog Attack in Adelaide Leaves Victims Hospitalised, Raises Concern about Dog Breed

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Colicchie, a shar pei cross pitbull, who has lived with his family, for eight years will be put down after viciously attacking his adult owner’s sister and brother. The 42-year-old woman and the 39-year-old man were rushed to hospital and required surgery for their injuries.

While the attack occurred, the victim’s six-year-old little boy locked himself in the bathroom, screaming for his mum. Also in the house was a two-month-old infant who was not harmed.

What happened? 

The terrible dog attack occurred at a Brompton home in Adelaide’s inner north on Tuesday night. It is unclear what, if anything, prompted the dog to attack. However, footage from 9News shows the horrific aftermath with blood smeared across mattresses, floors, walls and door handles as the victims attempted to escape and confine the dog.

Adelaide pitbull dog attack
9News shared footage of the aftermath of the dog attack. Source: 9News

According to a relative who witnessed the horrific incident, Colicchie dragged his owner around by the teeth before she was able to make her escape and lock the animal in the bedroom.

She was on the ground here and his teeth were into her arm,” she told 9News. “She got dragged around by the dog, it was horrible. Her eyes were rolling in the back of her head and I was just screaming.” 

Blood everywhere

Those in the house threw hot water on Colicchie which allowed the woman to escape and lock the animal in a bedroom.

The dog remained vicious, ripping at the wood and trying to get out of the locked door. Footage shows the door completely damaged with chunks of wood ripped out by the dog’s teeth.

My daughter had to hold onto the door so that he couldn’t come out but he had his teeth ripping at the door trying to open it,” the relative said. “He’s that strong, he’s lucky he didn’t get the door open.”

‘Don’t want dogs in my life ever again’ 

Neighbours heard the screaming coming from inside the house and called the police, arriving at the awful scene. The victims were rushed to hospital, where they remain. The little boy and the relative who witnessed the incident were still very shaken up. 

I want him put down. I don’t want dogs in my life ever again.”

Colicchie was described as a beloved pet who was with the family for eight years. The dog, who was unregistered, was seized by council officers and will be put down today.

pitbull dog attack. dog put down
Source: 9News

While any dog breed can turn unexpectedly, Colicchie’s attack adds to the number of attacks by pitbull breeds.

While the pet isn’t a purebred pitbull but rather a shai pei pitty cross, pitbulls and pitbull-type breeds have a reputation for being aggressive. American pitbull terriers top the list for the most dog attacks in Australia, with 10.3 percent of maulings attributed to them.

Unfortunately, the same characteristics that make pitbulls so effective in agility and canine sports have seen the breed raised by unscrupulous owners looking for fighting dogs. They have a strong bite force, will do anything to please their owners, and are fearless and tough.

This has led to them being commonly used for dog fighting which, in turn, has led to some pitbulls being aggressive with people. Although it is no fault of the pitbull itself, the history of aggression shown by the breed has led to many countries around the world banning the breed,” writes Nicole Cosgrove from PetKeen.

The pitbull terrier is a restricted breed in Australia and American Pit Bull Terriers are banned from importation to Australia. Owners have to be granted authorisation from the authorities to own one.


Any dog can turn

We don’t share these stories to scare but to help families be aware that things like this can happen. Dogs are wonderful pets and companions but parents still need to be aware of the risk of injury from dog bites and dog attacks.

We often hear stories about rogue dogs who do attack and, as hard as they are to read, we need to remember that these things do happen.

The Royal Children’s Hospital has produced a resource kit to help promote dog bite prevention. This is what they recommend:

  • Supervision. Always: A baby or young child should never, ever be left alone with a dog. If constant supervision isn’t possible, the best idea is to separate dog and child into different areas of the house/yard to minimise risk.
  • The ‘gentle’ rule: Teaching kids to be gentle from a young age helps them to establish the right kind of contact with their puppy pal.
  • Establish no-go zone: When a dog is eating or sleeping, it’s likely that it won’t want to be disturbed. Teach children from a young age to leave the family pet alone at these times.
  • Understand dog body language: A dog should be avoided and left alone if it growls, backs away, lifts its lips, stares at you or raises the hair on its back.
  • Permission: Whether the dog is well known to your child or not, always get permission from both you and the dog owner first.

For more information on dogs and kids, visit Royal Children’s Hospital. You can also check out our expert tips for introducing a dog to the family.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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