Pack of five pitbulls maul three people

2014-10-17 00:00

A DOMESTIC worker sustained serious injuries when she was mauled by five of her employer’s pitbulls on Tuesday afternoon in Northdale.

According to the owner, Niven Harilal of Gogas Road, his domestic worker was busy working at the house when the dogs attacked her. His wife ran out to control the dogs and was bitten on her leg.

Garden services workers who were passing by saw the commotion and heard the screams of the panicked domestic worker and ran to assist. One of the men also sustained dog bites.

Harilal owns the two 18-month-old parent pitbulls and three seven-month-old puppies from their litter.

“I’ve had these dogs from birth and I’ve owned pitbulls all my life. I’ve never had a problem with them before and I cannot explain why they attacked her. She’s been under our employment for a long time and she feeds the dogs so I don’t know. We also have a newborn baby so it is worrying for us too,” Harilal said.

Concerned neighbours called The Witness out of fear for their children’s lives as they often play on the road.

“These dogs are very vicious. If they were to get out the gate on a day when my child is playing outside, who knows what could happen,” a resident said.

An eyewitness said that she was just returning home from work when the incident happened. “The garden services workers were hitting at the dogs with spades and forks, but it hardly helped. Even when the men jumped into the back of a passing van, the dogs chased after them,” she said.

Harilal said he was willing to give his dogs away to the SPCA if his neighbours are concerned.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said the victims have not yet pressed charges and are recovering at Northdale hospital. “The victims were informed that they could open a criminal case after being treated and discharged from hospital. No cases have been opened at this stage,” Naicker said.

Jeanette Erasmus, CEO of the Pitbull Federation of South Africa, said it is not in the nature of a pitbull to attack humans. According to her, owners exploit the strength and protective nature of the dogs by training them to be “human-aggressive” so that they can protect the premises.

“It is not suitable to keep five pitbulls in a residential area,” Erasmus said. “Pitbulls work in packs so when something triggers one of them, they all will act. Pitbulls should be kennelled and proper training guidelines outlined by the federation should be adhered to strictly.”

Harilal said he had never trained his dogs to be aggressive. Instead, he had tried to keep the dogs family-orientated.

“The dogs are kennelled in the back yard during the day and we let them out into the front at night,” Harilal said.

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