I see another poor little child has been savaged by a family pet. According to the Times-
A Limerick family is keeping a bedside vigil for their two-year- old son, who is in hospital after being attacked by the family dog.
Reece O’Leary was in a serious but stable condition at Cork University Hospital yesterday after the attack in the back yard of his home on Tuesday night.
According to eyewitnesses, the dog, a husky, ripped the boy’s clothes off and threw him into the air several times.
The boy’s mother Mags, his father Ernst and sister Rhiann (5) were at his bedside last night. Locals said they had never seen the dog behave violently before.
Neighbour Jonathan Curtin (21) has been hailed a hero by residents in Carew Park after he beat the dog off with a shovel.
“He was throwing the child up into the air, the child was like a rag doll to the dog,” Mr Curtin said.
“The woman [Reece’s mother] was holding on to the child and the dog was holding on to the child as well. The woman was trying to pull the child and the dog was pulling the child in the opposite way. I went in with the shovel and stopped it.”
Reece was transferred from hospital in Limerick to Cork at 8.30am yesterday. He was being treated for head, back, arm, knee and upper thigh injuries.
Gardaí contacted the Clare ISPCA dog warden Frank Coote. The dog had calmed down by the time he arrived. The dog was brought back to the Limerick dog pound yesterday where it was to be destroyed.”
The Sun naturally as a Suntastic take on it, there is mention of ‘devil’ dogs, and includes the immortal line “The humble hero added: “I had to lock the door. Those dogs are bred for taking down bears*. I went in not really thinking about the danger. I was just trying to get the lad safe.” (*nonsense)
And finally, according to The Star, the dog was an ‘akita husky’ ( of course no such breed exists)
I feel sorry for the poor little child who has been mutilated. Naturally it’s a horrific story. But I would hope that FOR ONCE in this country, this case opens up a debate on the adequate care and treatment of dogs, and helps prevent this kind of thing happening again.
First off, according to the Clare dog warden, the dog in question was a Malamute and not a husky at all. So, here we have a large working dog, energetic, weighing up to 40k, intelligent, determined and difficult to train. They require an experienced owner, they require a great deal of exercise, they require stimulation and socialisation.
They are not on the restricted breed list. Nor should they be.
So here you have a large, young ( one paper says the dog was a Christmas present), with access to a small child. If this dog was unsocialised, or one of those poor unfortunate animals who resides the bulk of his time ‘outside’ in a small garden, well, it’s a recipe for disaster. I’m not saying this has been the case here, but I would like to know what WAS the case here, and what can be learned from it to prevent it happening again.
Dogs are not ‘evil’ or ‘devil’ anything, they are our companions, helpers and pets, but we daily do them a massive disservice in how we treat them. A pack animal, they do not do well left along for large periods of time, cooped up with energy to burn. The ‘fashion’ for wolf- like dogs is something I have noted too, as more and more huskies samoyeds, Mals and long-haired shepherd appear in our parks and streets. Often bought from sites like Donedeal from unscrupulous breeders by people who have no idea how to deal with the amount of dog they are getting for their buck.
I do not blame dogs for behaving like dogs, I DO think we need to scrap the restricted list, and put carefully in place a license/per/animal that is strictly enforced. I think people need to ask themselves honestly and with genuine truth why they want a dog, why they are getting a certain breed of dog and is that dog truly suitable for their family. If people stopped to think about what they were taking on and had to apply for a license for said dog before they got it, they might better ask themselves these questions.
I feel sorry for everyone involved in this situation, and I really hope to not read of any more children being harmed due to negligence