A 21-year-old man injured in a Bellambi dog attack last week was trying to escape two aggressive "wandering" animals when he jumped a backyard fence, only to be mauled by the resident canine.
Wollongong City Council has seized the two dogs responsible for chasing the man along a footpath near Nicol Place last Friday afternoon, but not the animal that actually attacked the man.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 gives "certain protection" to an owner whose dog attacks as a result of a person or an animal trespassing on to their property.
Witnesses to the incident told the Mercury the dog had taken a "chunk" out of the man's leg after he jumped the back fence.
He had been taken to hospital and was in a stable condition.
A Wollongong City Council spokesman said the two dogs responsible for chasing the man had been taken to the RSPCA shelter, where they would remain while an investigation was conducted.
On Saturday, the Mercury reported that Nicol Place residents had previously complained to the council about the dogs wandering on the street, for fear the animals might attack children.
A council spokesman confirmed that one complaint had been made, but "council's officer was not able to substantiate the complaint at that time".
An RSPCA spokesman said dangerous dogs were the responsibility of local governments, and the organisation had "very little jurisdiction" unless there was a clear animal-welfare issue.
In July, NSW Division of Local Government data revealed that Wollongong recorded more dangerous dog attacks than any other part of regional NSW between April 2012 and March this year.
The stats showed 29 people injured in "serious" attacks and 47 people involved in less serious cases.