Parents call for action over dog attack
Parents in the Taughmonagh estate in south Belfast are calling for action after two seven year old children were allegedly attacked by a neighbour’s dog on Friday, August 19.
Nathan Blackett and Jake Blain were playing on a green in Finch Close when the dog allegedly jumped over its owner’s fence and knocked the two boys to the ground.
Nathan was allegedly bitten on the ankle by the dog. He suffered a wound which needed five stitches as well as several puncture marks up his leg.
The parents of the children have contacted their local Belfast City Council dog warden and are also putting forward separate petitions to Belfast City council, calling for the dog to be destroyed.
Nathan’s mother, Tina Blackett, says she will take legal action against the dog owner and has contacted her solicitor.
Ms Blackett said: “We might not get a claim for the attack on the children but that’s the least of my worries.
“My prerogative is for the dog to be destroyed because it is going to kill someone if things carry on the way they are going.
“Everybody in this estate is backing the petitions put forward in trying to get this dog destroyed,” she claimed.
“I am a dog lover myself; I have two dogs, and in my opinion, this isn’t the dog’s fault — it’s down to the way that it has been brought up.”
Ms Blackett claimed the dog had attacked people before but that they hadn’t filed an official complaint.
“It’s about time something was done,” she added.
Sonja Blain, Jake’s mother, explained how the alleged attack has affected her son: “If Jake sees a dog in the street now he’ll run away from it and go into the house because he’s absolutely petrified of dogs since the attack.
“He won’t even go down to Nathan’s house any more because they own a big dog. Last week he left his bike down the street and he couldn’t even go back and get it because he saw a dog and ran home, so somebody else had to go get it for him.
“I want that dog destroyed because I would be afraid of what could happen if it attacked a child again, they might not be as lucky.”
A Belfast City Council spokeswoman said: “Our dog wardens are investigating an alleged dog attack following a complaint from a member of the public who claims her son was injured.
“We have taken statements from those involved and also been in contact with the dog's owner. The investigation is still ongoing and it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”