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Byron Shire
April 17, 2021

Dog attacks in Bruns

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Darcy Refal, Brunswick Heads

My registered dog that was on a lead experienced an unprovoked attack by two staffy/bulldogs on Brunswick Bridge last week.

The unleashed dogs ran across the road and pulled our dog to the ground; the force pulled her onto the road. Many people tried to help but the bulldog would not unleash its grip on her.

The owner, an inebriated, transient person with two unregistered, unleashed dogs left the scene and went into the national park. A kind person drove us home so that we could take our dog to the vet. Luckily she survived with 10 puncture wounds over her throat and upper body.

Only the day before, our guest’s dog was attacked on Brunswick Heads beach and also required vet treatment.

What it is going to take for Byron Shire Council, the police, and National Park rangers to take control of the feral dogs and owners?

The council say they are not allowed to go into the national park without the police. Yet what are dogs doing in the national park in the first place? It is a well-known issue with Council and I assume the police; it needs urgent addressing before a catastrophic situation occurs.

Thank you to everyone who helped, especially Rachel who drove us home.

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  1. In the last four years we have experienced 3 dog attacks. Totally unprovoked by our dogs who were walking along peacefully minding their own business. Two at Belongil and the third on a road in Ewingsdale last month. In the last attack one of us ended up in hospital with puncture wounds to the thumb, skin off both knees and antibiotics for a week. $850 out of pocket with vet fees and nervous about walking anywhere. The last attack was a targeted attack on our shy and quite staffy who suffered puncture holes to her backside while trying to escape the maniac. The owner turned and ran inside her house, has not given an apology of any sort or asked if we were ok? In two cases the owners of the dogs have not accepted responsibility – one saying it was an accident that her dog tore a chunk out of our dogs side and the second running away and avoiding the whole thing. Does seem the dog situation is becoming a little crazy. Take responsibility people and mind your pets!

  2. It’s not just dog owners who need to take responsibility. Byron Council has created one of the doggiest Shires around and like National Parks needs to step up and start enforcing their rules.

    National Park Rangers enforcing the rules seems to be a thing of the past. There is no presence anymore on busy weekends or holidays. As for Council, I have never seen a Council Ranger ever! For several years after I moved here in 2011 the Rangers were regularly sighted working in Brunswick Heads Reserve and on Xmas Beach so we rarely saw a dog in the reserve and visitors were generally well behaved. It was pleasant and family-oriented. And there was less rubbish on the road and around the carpark, and fewer weeds. But in the last 2 years the Park Rangers have disappeared, and predictably the numbers of dogs, illegal campers, parties, drunken yobbos, rubbish and beach fires have increased exponentially.

    Sure we all know this government hates the environment so the parks service is underfunded and short staffed, but having Parks (& council) Rangers enforcing their rules in our busy local reserves is a BASIC service and a NO-BRAINER otherwise it becomes a free-for-all as I observed in Billinudgel Reserve during Splendour with about 20 people camping in the dunes, with fires and dogs, with rubbish and toilet paper everywhere. So i tried ringing the office to report it – good grief what a time-wasting hassle of recorded messages and options to press. And even then I don’t think anyone went there to fine and kick them out.


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