A traumatized father from Henneman in the Free State was so upset about some comments on social media that he has removed video material that he shared on his Facebook page.
The material, filmed by Francois Slabbert’s security camera at his home, shows the family’s Rottweiler attacking his three-year-old son, Marco.
The incident occurred on Tuesday morning while Marco and the family’s maid, Liesbet, were alone at home. The video shows Marco standing in front of the dog and looking him directly in the eye. Then he gesticulated with his arms and the dog attacked him. Liesbet came running out and chased off the dog.
She immediately phoned Francois, who raced home and shot the dog.
“It wasn’t out of anger or revenge, but to protect the other people on my property,” he says. “Nobody knows if the Rottweiler would have attacked someone again.”
Francois, a professional photographer, says he was flooded with messages after sharing the video. A day after he loaded it there were “about 640 messages in my inbox and more than 360 frienship requests”.
He says it was impossible to respond to everyone or to accept the requests.
Most of the messages were from people who wanted to show their support for him and his wife, Odette, and wish them well. “But then there were the 5 percent or so who judged me because I’d shot the dog.”
Some people wanted to know why he hadn’t phoned the SPCA. Others threatened to lay a charge of animal cruelty against him. Still, others asked why he hadn’t rather given the dog away.
“It’s sad when people don’t think further than their noses,” Francois says. He contacted the local SPCA branch and was told that they would also have put the animal down.
“When a dog has attacked someone the chances are good that he will do it again.”
Marco was treated in the MediClinic in Welkom and discharged the next day.
Francois says Marco is fine. “He’s running around again and getting up to mischief.”
Are your kids really safe around your dogs?