Four-year-old Jaxson Reddacliffe was attacked by a dog while unsupervised at a property in Mackay.
Four-year-old Jaxson Reddacliffe was attacked by a dog while unsupervised at a property in Mackay. Zizi Averill

Young boy suffers facial injuries in Mackay dog bite

EXCLUSIVE: A HORRIFIC dog attack has left a four-year old boy in hospital and his mother demanding Mackay Regional Council take action.

At 5.30pm, Sunday November 18, Rhiannon Lund was called by her son's grandfather. She was told her four-year- old Jaxson Reddacliff had been bitten on the face by a four-year-old Labrador at his aunt's property at Mount Pleasant.

Queensland Police confirmed they were called to the Knight Street address on Sunday November 18, but no further action was required.

Jaxson's aunt Melinda Reddacliff said she was with Jaxson and her family's dog Halo in her yard when the incident occurred.

She said Jaxson was playing with the dog, pulling at its ears and trying to ride Halo when the dog bit him. Ms Raddacliff said her dog was suffering from an ear infection at the time. She said this was the first time Halo had ever acted aggressively.

Ms Reddacliff claimed that Halo biting Jaxson was uncharacteristic of the family dog, who she said is used to being surrounded by small children, including her young blind daughter.

"He's never once done anything to anyone ever," she said.

According to his grandmother Donnalee Lund, Jaxson was treated with anaesthetic and stitches near his eye, on his cheek and in his lip.

Both Donnalee Lund and her daughter are Cardwell residents, living 165 kilometres north of Townsville. Jaxson's mother, Ms Lund said she felt frustrated and helpless throughout the whole drive south to Mackay Base Hospital.

"It was the longest drive of my life, because I wanted to be here with him," she said.

To make matters worse, she said she was not even told her son was in Mackay, saying "I thought he was with his father in Townsville."

During the long drive to Mackay, Ms Lund tried to talk to her son.

She began to cry as she described the call, saying "It was very traumatic... He just said that he was wanting mummy. He was screaming out for me. Which was hard when you're seven hours away."

Ms Lund believes Jaxson has been traumatised by the attack. She described how during his hospital overnight visit Jaxson was kicking and screaming in his sleep. "He was like a different kid," she said.

"It breaks my heart like to see him like that."

Ms Lund and her mother Donnalee Lund are demanding Mackay Regional Council put down Halo.

Jaxson's grandmother Donnalee Lund said, "I want to see the dog destroyed, and I'm a dog lover... It's a dangerous dog in my eyes."

But Ms Reddacliff is fighting to keep Halo alive.

While she is upset and "cranky" at her dog for biting her nephew, she doesn't want to see Halo be put down. She said the dog is loved by her family, saying "he's just a beautiful boy."

Ms Lund said she was frustrated that council was not able to confirm what would happen to Halo the dog.

"I said I don't understand why it's got to be a weird process. A dog has attacked and done damage to my son's face. Why can't it just be put down?"

Mackay Regional Council health and regulatory manager Craig Shepherd said after an in-depth investigation Halo would not be put down, or even declared dangerous.

"In making this consideration, the history of the dog was considered, as was the circumstances around the incident," he said.

He warned that owners should be careful around children, especially when pets are sleeping, feeding, or recovering from illness or injury.

"Keeping your dog confined and under effective control will greatly lessen the risks to others and the community."

It is understood by the Daily Mercury that putting down dogs is generally considered a last resort by the council.

Often dogs will be declared as dangerous and owners will be given strict conditions, including muzzling the dogs in public places, displaying signs, registering the dog with council and making efforts to make sure the dog does not escape.

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