DOG wardens in Lucan have impounded an American pitbull terrier amid fears that dogs are being trained to intentionally attack other animals.
A Gazette reader this week told how her dog had been mauled by a pitbull, while the owner themselves suffered cuts and bruises while attempting to save their dog in the incident which occurred in Hermitage Park.
The dog survived for 10 days before dying last week.
“I was just about to head home and we came across a dog that was on its own,” says the reader, who wishes to remain anonymous.
“It approached my dog, sniffed him, and the next thing I knew, it attacked my dog savagely. It ripped my dog apart.
“I tried to kick and punch the dog, poke it in the eye, do whatever I could to get it off my dog. I even tried to put my hand in the pitbull’s mouth.
“People were getting out of their cars, hitting the dog with golf clubs and poles, but he wouldn’t stop.”
The shocked dog owner says that they believe the attack took place as a form of “blooding” – a method of increasing aggressiveness in dogs, usually for coursing or dog fighting.
“Someone, who I believe was the owner of the dog, showed up and said he wasn’t the owner to me, but told someone else to leave his dog alone.
“I’ve heard stories of other dogs around Lucan killed by a dog fitting this description.
“A lot of kids saw what happened, and were overwhelmed by what they saw.”
The suspected owner of the terrier filmed some of the incident on a phone.
“What if this dog attacks a child next?” asked the Lucan resident.
South Dublin County Council confirmed that an American pitbull terrier had been impounded, but could not confirm that it was the same dog.
“An American pitbull terrier has been signed over to the dog wardens on Friday morning, May 31, and investigations are ongoing,” said a council spokesperson, but the victim of the attack said the owner is culpable.
“I’m relieved that it’s been caught, but it’s the owner of the dog that’s the problem here – it’s not the dog; that dog was probably perfectly fine as a pet.
“I would like to prosecute this guy as well, because the dog will be destroyed and he will just get another dog. That’s the problem here.”
Liam Moriarty, of the Hermitage Veterinary Clinic, said that the attack was the “worst I’ve ever seen”.
He said: “By the look of the injuries, it was a savage and sustained attack, and the poor dog had bites on every part of its body.
“His abdomen was ripped open, and his intestines were exposed and his bladder was out through the body wall.”
Inspector Pat O’Sullivan of Lucan Garda Station said that owners of dogs should abide by the law.
“All dogs are supposed to be on their restraint in a public place. The owners, when they are out walking the dog, are responsible for the dog and they’re responsible for what happens, regardless of what breed of dog it is.”