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Dog attack brings back memories
Dog attack brings back memories

An Albany mother has recalled the chilling moment her four-year-old son suffered a horrific dog attack that left him with permanent facial injuries and extensive emotional trauma.

Cheryl-Lee Maher was inside her home when she heard screaming coming from her street.

Her sister was watching her children, two-year-old Zynell and four-year-old Jarman, playing in the front yard.

“I just had an instinct something had happened,” she said.

“By the time I got to the door, which would have been about 20 feet away…I knew my son was getting attacked.

“When I got to Jarman the dog was on his leg and it would not get off him, then I looked at his face and it was torn right up.

“There was eight of us there, but we just could not get the dog off him.”

The Staffordshire terrier-cross bit right through Jarman’s leg, puncturing his bone.

He was flown straight to Perth and has been in and out of Princess Margaret Hospital since the attack on January 29.

The four-year-old has endured eight operations, has a severe facial laceration and nerve damage to the left side of his face and is expected to be in a wheelchair for six months.

Ms Maher said her son remembered everything that happened.

“He remembers every step, he remembers everything and what we did and how we did it,” she said.

“He talks about me and how I was screaming and crying. I know that Jarman is never going to be the same.”

The dog has been euthanased. Its owner said the dog had pushed its way through a flywire screen door at his home. He said that he had been running after the dog when it attacked and he had injured a finger trying to pry its jaws open.

“I did the best I could,” the owner said. “I want to make up for its somehow, it was like a bad act of God.”

City of Albany senior ranger Rob Forster said it was the worst attack he had seen in eight years in the job.

It was one of 15 dog attacks in Albany in the past month.

Mr Forster said it was important people realised any dog was capable of attacking and owners needed to keep them registered, on a leash outside and muzzled if the dog showed any signs of aggression.

Ms Maher said their own family dog had to be re-homed because Jarman was too afraid to see it when he comes home to Albany.

“It will affect him for the rest of his life and that is the saddest thing about it,” Mr Forster said.

“His scarring will fade but the memories will last forever.”

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