A MAN is recovering in Gold Coast Hospital after being savaged by two mastiff-cross dogs in what the council says may be the worst known attack in Byron Shire's history.
The council's governance manager Ralph James said in a "terrifying experience" last Wednesday, the man's right elbow was "de-gloved" - the skin was torn away from flesh and bone - and he had puncture wounds to the right hand and upper left leg after he was attacked by the dogs while walking along the road at Billinudgel.
He will require extensive surgery.
The dog owners - a mother and son - organised for their pets aged 12 years and one year, to be euthanised the same day.
"The owners of the dogs have been very remorseful," Mr James said.
"To his credit, the male owner went to the residence within a quarter of an hour of the attack and apologised profusely and promised to have the dogs put down."
The pair will appear in Byron Bay Local Court next month facing fines of up to $55,000.
The court attendance notices relate to the attack, the owners not fencing the property to stop the dogs from escaping, and to the fact that neither of the dogs was registered with council nor microchipped.
"The tragedy is that this was an incident that could have been avoided.
"Unfortunately the property where the dogs were housed was not fenced, nor were the dogs restricted, such as being tied up," Mr James said.
There had been no previous reports about the two dogs to council or police despite an incident six days earlier involving the victim's wife who was reportedly rushed by the pets, he said.
"She'd been walking past the property and the dogs bailed her up.
"She ran and they chased her but they backed off when they saw her husband - the victim.
"This certainly rates as one of the worst attacks in the shire... and a strong reminder to all dog owners to be responsible pet owners."
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