Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dog attack death nobody's fault: father



The dog attack was an accident and nobody's fault

Nobody's fault???? How much socialization did these dogs have with kids before this? Nobody's fault.....wow.



The father of a three-year-old girl mauled to death by a dog says the attack was an accident and "nobody's fault".

Ruby-Lea Bourke was killed and her 15-month-old sister, Lilly, badly injured when they were attacked by two dogs in the home of their babysitter in the Riverina district of southern New South Wales.

Police say the girls' father is not ready to speak publicly and is focused on Lilly's recovery. Her condition is described as serious but stable.

"The dog attack was an accident and nobody's fault," he said through police.

The girls were at their babysitter Lorraine O'Donnell's house in Whitton while their mother went shopping.

Neighbours went to the Beechworth Street house in 11am after hearing barking and faint cries coming from the O'Donnell's house.

Marleen Aliendi's husband, Doug, and another neighbour rushed to Ms O'Donnell's house only to find the front door jammed.

After eventually breaking the door open with a crowbar, the men were confronted with two growling 25-30 kilogram dogs covered in blood.

One, an old sheepdog, was just barking but the other one wanted a fight, Mr Aliendi told Wagga Wagga's The Daily Advertiser.

"When I raised the jemmy bar they backed off and I chased them out of the house through the back door," Mr Aliendi said. "Then I saw the bodies in the hallway."

Mr Aliendi said he was shocked to see the body of Ruby face-down and her 15-month-old sister Lilly crying in the bathroom doorway while Ms O'Donnell lay injured and trembling in shock.

"She just kept saying 'I tried to save them, I tried to save them'," he said.

While Mr Aliendi phoned an ambulance, his wife and another neighbour carried the injured woman and child to safety.

"I didn't want to go back into the house after that," Mr Aliendi said. "What I saw in there I didn't want to see again."

Half an hour later, however, the couple faced another devastating scene when the mother of the two children returned to the house unaware of what had happened.

Mrs Aliendi said she had to hold back the traumatised mother from going inside and seeing her dead child.

"She started screaming and she said she wanted to see her little girl - something we all would have done," Mrs Aliendi said.

The mother was taken with Lilly in an ambulance to Leeton hospital and the baby was later transferred to Wagga Wagga Base Hospital.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said last night Lilly was "fine" and in a stable condition.

Ms O'Donnell who has injuries to her face and hands was transferred to Griffith Base Hospital.

The girls had been left by their parents with Ms O'Donnell and her partner, Ronald Conlan, to be cared for.

Neighbours yesterday described them as a quiet couple who kept to themselves.

A neighbour, Patrick Wheatley, said there were about five dogs at the home. A large yellow dog had attracted his attention previously.

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