A Perth man whose dog bit his Tinder date on the face has saved the animal from immediate destruction but has been put on notice that if it attacks again within three years, it will be put down.
- The attack left “a hole” in the woman’s face, requiring stitches and surgery
- Joshua Walker was fined $6,250 for the attack and not registering the dog
- The dog has been declared “dangerous” and must be “kept safe”
Joshua Walker, 28, pleaded guilty to being responsible for his eight-year-old American bulldog, Texas, when it attacked a woman he had invited in to his house in Morley in the early hours of Christmas day last year.
Perth Magistrates Court was told the bite left “a hole” in the woman’s face that required 21 stitches and plastic surgery.
Today Walker was fined $5,250 for the attack, as well an additional $1,000 for failing to register the dog and not providing the local council, the City of Baywsater, with its microchip details.
The local government also sought to have the dog destroyed, arguing the attack was so serious that it ought to be removed from the community.
Lost Texas ‘remarkably’ found
Walker had previously claimed that the dog was lost, but prosecutor Tim Houweling said he had been “happily informed” that “remarkably” the dog had now been located.
Mr Houweling said while the council was going to make a “dangerous dog declaration” for the animal, it was still the council’s position that it should be destroyed.
But Walker’s lawyer, Alex Smith, argued against the application, telling the court that since the attack, his client had engaged a trainer for the dog and had also moved to a home which had high fences.
He also said Walker was happy to accept the dangerous dog declaration and to abide by all the conditions that were attached to the order “to keep Texas in line”, including having a cage to house the animal.
Magistrate puts off destruction order
In her sentencing remarks, Magistrate Genevieve Cleary said the effects on the victim were serious and long-lasting, including finding it difficult to eat because the wound was near her mouth.
She said she accepted Walker warned the victim not to come into his home until he had put the dog away, but whether she heeded that or not was irrelevant because it was his responsibility to ensure she was safe.
“Owners of dogs need to take care … it is entirely the owner’s responsibility to ensure those who are in their house are protected,” she said.
Magistrate Cleary said while on balance, a destruction order was required, she agreed to to remit it for three years, mainly because the dog had now been declared a dangerous one.
Walker was also granted a spent conviction order, meaning the offences will not be recorded against him.