Woman ‘attacked' by dog at Sydney park: 'Fearing for my life'

A young woman has described how she feared for her life while she says a dog "chomped down" on her limbs during an attack in Sydney's east.

Fiona explained how she was walking her Japanese Spitz, Pacho, through Clovelly's Bundock Park at around 7am on May 8 when a black, unleashed dog lunged at her pet with its mouth wide open.

While Pacho tried to run away, yelping as he was chased and lunged at repeatedly, Fiona said the owner stood there, a few metres away.

“I’m yelling at her to get her dog but she just stands there, shouting the dog’s name, refusing to get any closer," Fiona told a local Facebook group for dog owners.

With no one else around to help, Fiona got between both dogs and lifted Pacho into her arms.

Fiona's left arm with bite wounds and deep bruising after a dog attack.
Fiona was left with several bite wounds and deep bruising after she was attacked by a dog at a Sydney park. Source: Facebook

“I thought once I had him off the ground, the owner would get hold of her dog,” she said.

”But instead she remains frozen, while I struggle to hold my 12kg boy out of reach of this dog’s snapping jaws.”

“He’s now jumping up onto me continuously, completely hellbent on grabbing Pacho.”

This led Fiona to be bitten at least three times she says, leaving puncture wounds to both of her arms and deep bruising.

“I couldn’t defend myself and hang on to Pacho at the same time,” she said.

“I’m yelling for help but there’s nobody. The dog kept coming at us relentlessly for what felt like several minutes.”

Finally the owner managed to divert the dog’s attention.

The Japanese Spitz, Pacho
Fiona said she was walking her Japanese Spitz, Pacho, through Bundock Park when a black, unleashed dog lunged at her pet with its mouth wide open. Source: Facebook

While Fiona sat down to examine Pacho for injuries, the owner continued to play with her dog before she attempted to leash him 10 minutes later.

Owner of attacking dog apologises

Eventually, with the dog restrained, the woman began to apologise before she burst into “uncontrollable tears”, according to Fiona. The woman then called her partner, who arrived 10 minutes later.

“Despite seeing the bites, he was totally unsympathetic and dismissive, shutting down my request for contact details," Fiona claimed.

He told her he would "take action" and get the dog more training.

“[He] admitted this dog had bitten him in the past, yet suggested the incident might have just been a ‘misunderstanding’ and his dog was probably ‘just being playful’," she continued.

"I was deadset fearing for my life for a good few panicked seconds with this dog chomping down on my limbs, and that’s his response!"

Randwick Council investigating the attack

Hurt and angry, Fiona turned to social media to help track down the dog’s owner with the help of photos she’d taken after the attack.

In a post, which has since received hundreds of comments of support, Fiona said that as long as the dog was allowed to continue to roam freely with owners that have no control over him, he would be a danger to the public.

Bundock Park in Clovelly
The alleged attack took place at Bundock Park in Clovelly. Source: Google Maps

It only took 20 minutes for one Facebook user to come forward with the name of the owner, who is believed to be a local school teacher and surf lifesaving club member.

Fiona is now pursuing legal action against the dog’s owner while she’s lodged a report with Randwick Council.

In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, Randwick Council said it is currently investigating the incident and speaking with involved parties.

Other dog owners share similar stories

While many Facebook users expressed their horror over the incident, others volunteered their own terrifying story.

A woman told Yahoo News Australia the dog who attacked Pacho may be the same one that went for her own pet while they were out on a walk, six kilometres south of Bundock Park.

“It was in Maroubra in October 2020, and the dog pulled itself off the leash unprovoked and ran at my puppy to attack it,” she said.

“I too lifted my dog over my head to protect it. This dog carried on jumping and biting my dog’s legs and left scratches all over my tummy.”

“I’m not sure if it is the same dog – it was black and very similar — but being walked by a dog walker.”

“Needless to say, it’s left me and the dog with bad PTSD, and a very anxious dog that’s had to have lots of training to overcome it.”

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