Saved from dogs' jaws

2017-09-11 10:05
Farouk Mohamed (74) has lost partial use of his left arm after being attacked by his friend’s dog. INSET: Fay Morris.

Farouk Mohamed (74) has lost partial use of his left arm after being attacked by his friend’s dog. INSET: Fay Morris. (Kerushun Pillay/upplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal ceramist and fine arts masters student Fay Morris (35) is in high care after a horrific attack by two Rottweilers that strayed onto UKZN grounds on Thursday.

SAPS Captain Khosi Khonselwayo confirmed that police are investigating a case of “keeping vicious dogs” in connection with the matter.

Morris underwent a three-and-a-half hour operation to clean her wounds. She has bites down the right side of her body from her ear, on her neck, arms and her right leg, which was badly savaged. Her hamstring at the back of her right leg is torn, according to her mother Mavis.

She also has grazes from top to toe along the left side of her body from being dragged on gravel.

Mavis said the hero of the tragedy is post graduate student Jaap Jacobs, who beat the dogs off, despite being bitten himself, and dragged Morris from their jaws.

According to paramedics, Jacobs was bitten on his leg.

“He saved her life there is no doubt about it. Otherwise Fay would be stone dead,” Mavis Morris said at Mediclinic Hospital.

Jacobs, who is said to be very traumatised, declined to be interviewed yesterday.

Mavis and Morris’s sister Lee-Anne, said it’s a miracle that she was not dead.

“God preserved her life and even though its all traumatic things could have been worse,” said Mavis. Lee-Anne said it was lucky the bites missed vital arteries and organs, adding, “we trust she will get better”.

Morris told them the attack was unprovoked.

“She just walked past the dogs … the next minute one dog got her by the back of her neck. She fell and the dog started shaking her. She was screaming but there was no one who could help. The second dog then started ripping her leg,” said her mother.

She said Morris had said some other students were also screaming but were helpless to defend her. The noise attracted Jacobs, who rushed out and beat the dogs with a stick.

“Fay remembers Jaap and the dogs fighting over her as he was trying to pull her from their grasp ... She was on the ground being dragged.”

She said Jacobs had eventually managed to get her daughter away from the dogs’ jaws and dragged her to a courtyard.

“Apparently the dogs ran off and drank water.”

Mavis feels the dogs must be put down as they are dangerous. “What if they got out again?” she asked.

The dog owner has visited the family at hospital to apologise. Cecil Thomas, whose son owns the Rottweilers said the family is “very sore” and sorry for the victims, but said no decision has been taken about the two-year-old dogs’ future.

He said they are “pets” and not vicious.

“They are inoculated and looked after … my wife and daughter have just been to Woolworths and Pick n Pay to buy chicken and special food for them and are visiting them at the SPCA,” he said.

He said his son’s yard and his own, where the dogs stay on weekends, are very secure. They have no idea how the dogs got out.

This was confirmed by SPCA PRO Maureen Vida, who said they had inspected the properties. She said the SPCA won’t release the dogs or put them down without a court order or owner’s consent. She said inspectors were able to get leads on the Rottweilers, which had calmed down when the SPCA got to the scene.

Vida added the SPCA has noticed an alarming escalation in dog bite incidents recently. A number of owners, particularly of pitbulls, had asked the SPCA to put down dogs after dog bite incidents.

She added the SPCA had been battling for three months to get a copy of the bylaws from Msunduzi Municipality, which is supposed to police matters like vicious dogs, rabies certificates and dogs straying from their yards. She said the SPCA is not a law enforcement agency and requires assistance from the police or municipality or a warrant from a magistrate to act.

‘Terrified of strange dogs’ after attack

Meanwhile a Pietermaritzburg dog groomer, Martie Coetzer is currently preparing civil litigation after she was bitten by four dogs in Boughton on May 4. She said she was collecting small Maltese dogs for grooming when the neighbouring dogs crawled under the fence and attacked.

As she held up her arms to save the little dogs from being savaged, the dogs bit deeply into them. It was lucky that the son of the elderly owner was present and heard the commotion, she said. She had 22 injections into each bite which had to be cleaned, and a full course of rabies treatment after she eventually discovered that the dogs did not have valid certificates.

“I am a dog lover but now I am terrified of strange dogs,” she said.

Coetzer is critical of police, the municipality and SPCA, saying no one wanted to take firm action against the dog owner.

The dog owner refused to comment when approached saying he was expecting a “letter of demand”.

Police spokesperson, Captain Khosi Khonselwayo told Weekend Witness that officers have “no right” to turn away anybody complaining about dog attacks and advised people to report to the station commander should this happen.

                                               Dog attack victim, Martie Coetzer with her own dogs Zak and Carla.

Man’s arm injured in pitbull attack

Interior designer Farouk Mohamed (74) lost partial use of his left arm after being attacked by his friend’s pitbull.

He was hospitalised for two days and required four rabies injections after the ordeal on July 30, and his arm will be in a brace for six months. 

He said the incident happened when he went to his friend’s house. The two had planned to go fishing. “The driveway gate was opened so I went in. There were two dogs there. One attacked me, tried for my jugular, but I blocked it with my arm.” 

Mohamed said afterwards he tried to lay a criminal charge but claims police turned him away saying there was “no case”.

Mohamed said he will not pursue the matter further in terms of legal action against his friend, but wants the dog to be put down “before it kills somebody”.

The friend, Abdullah Dawood, said they had plans to give the dogs away. He said the dogs had attacked “one or two” beggars who came onto his property in the past.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  dog attacks

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