Disabled man mauled to death in vicious dog attack identified

The man killed in a savage dog attack has been identified as 61-year-old Leo Biancofiore who was in his backyard when he was mauled by an American Staffordshire Terrier.

He was found knocked over in his wheelchair at his Mill Park, Melbourne, home about 6.40pm on Wednesday after being attacked by his son’s dog, Junior.

His wife, Donata Biancofiore, 58, came to his rescue and attempted to fend the animal away, but ended up sustaining serious injuries to her upper body.

A neighbour sprayed water over the fence in an unsuccessful attempt to ward off the dog before police arrived and fired two shots in its direction to stop it attacking.

The animal remained in the house for hours afterwards before a ranger arrived to capture it. The owner reportedly has given permission for it to be euthanised.

Leo and Donata Biancofiore pictured with their son, Mark. Source: Facebook

Police believe the dog attack began inside the house before Mrs Biancofiore shifted her disabled husband outside to try and get away from the animal.

A neighbour told Herald Sun there was “no stopping” the “giant pit bull”, with another person saying it was “going nuts”.

A Victoria Ambulance spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the woman was treated for injuries to her upper body and taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The dog was not registered with the local City of Whittlesea council and there had been no prior reports to the council about the dog.

"This is a terribly sad situation and we offer our deepest condolences to the family," the council's director of partnerships, planning and engagement, Liana Thompson, said.

"The dog was euthanised last night and council will continue to assist Victoria Police with their investigation."

The dog was seen being removed from the home and loaded into the back of a van. Source: Nine News

Adult children of neighbours Radenko and Danielle Subotic sprayed water at the animal, hoping to distract it from its unrelenting rampage.

Mrs Subotic said she heard screaming coming from the backyard and then saw the dog on top of the defenceless man.

Mr Biancofiore was described as a “lovely, lovely man” who had recently agreed to throw a ball over the fence after kids accidentally kicked it into his back yard.

Senior Sergeant Glenn Parker said the partner of the man's son gave consent to destroy the animal.

"The dog belongs to the occupant's son; the dog's been here for quite some time," he told reporters at the scene.

"He (the dog) will be taken to a veterinarian, and my understanding is that the owner of the dog has actually consented to that dog being put down.

"It's an older dog, it's quite familiar with all of the members of the family and my understanding is it's out of character for the dog."

With AAP

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, download the Yahoo News app from iTunes or Google Play and stay up to date with the latest news with Yahoo’s daily newsletter. Sign up here .