Camperdown man ‘lucky to be alive’ after dog mauling

2018-11-21 15:30
Sam Eilers shows the scars on his arm and hand after he was mauled by four pitbulls belonging to his tenant on his property in Camperdown earlier this month.

Sam Eilers shows the scars on his arm and hand after he was mauled by four pitbulls belonging to his tenant on his property in Camperdown earlier this month. (Ian Carbutt)

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An elderly Camperdown man believes he is lucky to be alive after he was mauled by four pitbulls on his property earlier this month.

Sam Eilers (72) said on the morning of Friday, November 2, he was inside his factory when he heard dogs barking outside. He said the dogs belonged to one of his tenants renting the property at the rear of his factory.

“I grabbed my knobkerrie and went outside to see what the commotion was all about. Four young children were playing and I saw four pitbulls charging towards them.”

He said he thinks the owner of the dogs had not closed his gate properly and that’s how they escaped.

“I tried to chase the dogs away with the knobkerrie but they pulled me to the ground and started attacking me.

“I used my arm to protect myself and called for my son to come help.”

Eilers said his son came to his rescue and chased the dogs away using an iron rod. “If it wasn’t for my son, those dogs could have killed me.

“My son said the dogs’ mouths were covered in blood when he chased them away.”

His upper right arm and hand were severely injured.

He spent six days at Mediclinic hospital in Pietermaritzburg and underwent a three-hour skin grafting surgery where skin from his upper thigh was removed and used to cover up the open wound on his arm, which has left him limping and in more physical pain.

He said he was lucky to be wearing three layers of clothing, including a long-sleeved sweater and a jacket, when the attack happened, otherwise the bite wounds would have been much worse. “When I got to the hospital the flesh on my arm was literally falling off,” he said.

Eilers said the dogs’ owners could not produce rabies certificates for their dogs despite claims that the dogs were regularly vaccinated. He said because of this he is also undergoing rabies injections, which are very painful.

Eilers said when the owners of the dogs moved onto his property they only had two dogs. He said he had told them that they could only keep the dogs if they could keep them under control.

As time went by, Eilers claimed the tenants ended up having five pitbulls.

He said that since the attack the dogs have been moved to another property in Cato Ridge.

The owner of the dogs told The Witness that only one of their family dogs had bitten Eilers on his hand because he had a stick. She threatened legal action if an article was published, saying the facts Eilers gave are incorrect.

Asked for her version of events, she responded: “You can speak to our lawyer and go to the police station as the information he gave you is contradicting the report he made with the police … and if it does go to the newspaper just know that we’re going to sue.”

She said since the incident all their dogs have been re-homed but she declined to disclose how many dogs she and her husband had. The Witness was unable to contact her lawyer on Tuesday.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed that a case of keeping a ferocious animal on a residential property was opened at Camperdown police station for investigation following a complaint by Eilers. “The incident was also reported to the SPCA for their intervention,” said Mbele.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  dog attack
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