What kind of people have
Almost half of all attacks occur in homes, and unsuspecting children are most often the victims, dog bite data prepared for the Herald Sun by Monash University's Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit shows.
Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh plans to further toughen laws against irresponsible dog owners but said education was also the key to reducing dog attacks.
Despite a doubling in hospital admissions to treat serious dog attack wounds over the past decade, the number of owners charged by police has fallen dramatically, with just 84 charges laid by police in 2011-12, compared with 233 in 2002-03.
More than half of the 1540 charges laid in the decade to June 30 last year were for attacks on people, mostly by dogs already known to be dangerous.
The toll includes at least 367 attacks on people - 239 by dogs already deemed dangerous.
In at least 218 of those cases, the dog owner permitted their dogs to attack and in 98 cases, owners were charged with wilfully urging their dog to attack.
In the past month, councils have reported hundreds of dog attacks and many have announced new plans to promote responsible pet ownership.
Last year, the Yarra Ranges recorded 235 reported dog attacks. Wyndham recorded 171 dog attacks, 69 on humans and 102 on other dogs, with just three in off-lead areas.
City of Moreland recorded 103 attacks - 27 in Glenroy, 15 in Brunswick and 13 in Coburg North - with five owners prosecuted and three dogs destroyed.
Councils and police have the power to seize dangerous dogs on the loose and have them destroyed.
Deeon's tragedy: family mourns toddler killed by cousin's dog
What kind of people have
Dog owner fined four months before jogger attacked
BREAKING NEWS REPORTER
JOGGER MAULED BY DOGS
Three American Bulldogs that almost mauled a jogger to death in Sydney's south-west have been euthanased.
The dogs, which attacked a man as he was jogging in Ashcroft on Sunday, "were voluntarily surrendered for destruction by the owner," Liverpool council said in a statement. "The dogs were euthanised today at council’s pound facility."
The council said the dogs' owner was fined in January for not registering them.
A 49-year-old man was undergoing surgery at Liverpool Hospital on Monday after suffering chest injuries so severe that paramedics could see his heart through his wound when they arrived in Maxwells Avenue in Ashcroft on Sunday.
The man had been out for an afternoon jog about 2pm when he was set upon by the three dogs, which are believed to have escaped from a nearby home through a hole in a fence.
The dogs pulled the jogger to the ground and mauled him for about five minutes, chewing through his chest and upper body as neighbours who heard the man's screams for help tried desperately to save him.
Detective Superintendent Jim Johnson said the owner was extremely upset and shocked when he went to the police station on Monday.
Superintendent Johnson said the owner may be charged with keeping a savage dog, which attracts a fine of up to $5500.
‘‘If a child or young person had been attacked, I have no doubt whatever that that child would have suffered fatal injuries,’’ he said.
There was much confusion about the breed of dogs involved.
Witnesses had described the dogs as pit bulls, but Farooq Portelli, Liverpool City Council's general manager, initially said the dogs had been identified as American Staffordshire Terriers.
He later issued a statement saying the dogs had been identified under the Companion Animals Register as American Bulldogs.
The dogs - two males, and one female - had been seized and were being held at the council's animal shelter. Police had called for the dogs to be destroyed.
Mr Portelli said the dogs were microchipped, but were not registered to the owner.
"Council followed up this matter and subsequently issued the owner with three fines (three dogs) on January 10, 2013, in relation to the unregistered dogs," Mr Portelli said.
"The police are heading the investigation and council will be holding the dogs on their behalf pending the outcome of their investigation.”
Chris Thompson, 40, was at his home on Maxwells Avenue, near the intersection with Cartwright Avenue, when he heard a man screaming for help.
He and his friend raced out to the footpath to find three dogs attacking the jogger, who was bleeding heavily from deep gashes to his arm, armpit and chest.
"I heard a bloke screaming out for mercy," Mr Thompson told Sky News.
"I come running out to my backyard and just seen these three pit bulls just had this bloke, virtually chewing him to pieces."
Mr Thompson grabbed a pot plant and attacked one dog, while the other man grabbed a pipe and a hammer to try to beat the dogs down.
"[I] just grabbed a pot plant and just cracked it over the dog's head," Mr Thompson said. However he said the dog didn't let go of the jogger.
The animals then turned on Mr Thompson's friend who was attempting to save the jogger.
"[He] went to grab one of the dogs and it's got his hand and pulled him down to the ground," Mr Thompson said.
It is understood that paramedics arrived to find the dogs had nearly punctured the jogger's heart. The animals had chewed through the man's chest and his upper body to the extent that paramedics had to administer intravenous drugs through his foot.
Paramedic John Brotherhood said the jogger had suffered some of the worst injuries he had seen in his 27 years as a paramedic.
"It's a very brave act by those two men to help the other fellow," he said.
The jogger was taken to Liverpool Hospital and was due to undergo surgery on Monday. He is expected to remain in hospital for some time.
Police said the second man who was injured in the savage assault was "a hero".
"He has come and assisted this bloke, he was being really savagely attacked," a police spokesman said.
A passing bus also is believed to have pulled up and passengers got off in a bid to help the jogger.
One witness told Channel Nine that he saw one of the victims covered in blood.
"The bloke walked down, he was covered in blood on the left arm and the right arm," the unidentified man said.
"I don't know what sparked them off but they were just turning on everybody. Anyone coming down, they went for them."
A council ranger later arrived at a nearby house and was seen dragging the dogs out to a van.
Police said in a statement that they would be "making an application for the dogs to be destroyed".
The NSW opposition has called for a full investigation into Sunday's attack.
Opposition local government spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis said the dogs should be put down and called for tougher laws, including stricter reporting requirements for owners of dangerous animals.
The owner of the dogs involved in Sunday's attack could face penalties ranging from a fine to two years in jail.
What kind of people have
THE state's justice system is all bark and no bite when it comes to punishing the owners of killer dogs, with no one jailed under the Companion Animals Act in five years.
More than 90 per cent of 1158 people convicted under the Act from 2008 to 2012 walked away with fines.
The courts are largely hamstrung by toothless laws that prohibit magistrates handing out jail sentences for most offenders. Under the Act only owners of dogs already declared dangerous by council rangers can be sent to prison and even then the maximum sentence is two years.
A LAW is only as good as the people