A nine-year-old boy will receive a bravery medal for his efforts to help his father as he was being mauled by a neighbour's dog in July - a vicious attack that his father says has destroyed his life.
The City of South Perth is prosecuting the owner of the dog, suspected to be a type of American bulldog, which tore at Jai Cooper's arm and then turned on his father David when he freed his son. The dog savaged the Como chef's hand and body, the attack ending only when other people stepped in to help.
South Perth chief executive Cliff Frewing said Jai's courage in flagging down passing motorists during the terrifying incident, while bleeding from his own extensive injuries, had saved his father's life.
The dog was put down after the attack and the council yesterday confirmed it had charged the owner under the WA Dog Act.
Under the Act, if a dog chases or attacks a person or animal, any person found liable for the control of the dog commits an offence and faces a $10,000 fine.
The council's rangers nominated Jai for the WA Rangers Association junior bravery award and he will be presented with a medal at a ceremony today.
The dog had jumped the fence of a neighbouring yard and latched on to Jai's arm as he rode his scooter on the driveway of their Wooltana Street home. It then attacked Mr Cooper and a neighbour who helped the bloodied and struggling 33-year-old.
Mr Cooper said yesterday he was very proud of his son.
He said the attack, which had left him permanently scarred, had destroyed his life. Mr Cooper is facing financial ruin because he is unable to work for at least six months.
"My partner left me, I'm about to lose my house and I can barely use my right hand," he said.
Mr Cooper also said he and his son were still worried whenever they saw big dogs off the lead.
He is planning to take civil action against the dog's owner.
But he said he and his son had been buoyed by support they had received since the incident and the City had given Jai a small terrier-cross puppy.
Mr Cooper has set up the Jai Cooper Bravery Fund to help with expenses. Details of the Bendigo Bank account are: BSB 633 000 and account 150 519 585.