Dog owner fined £500 after animal savaged warden
The owner of an 18-month-old Japanese Akita dog which attacked a dog warden and inflicted bites on him which required 28 stitches, was fined £500 at the Magistrates Court in Londonderry yesterday.
Caroline Corr from Eglinton was ordered to pay court costs of £206 after she contested the case against her brought under the Dogs Order by Derry City Council. Her dog Reben was destroyed soon after it attacked dog warden Malachy Duddy on April 21 last year. Mr Duddy suffered bites to his left foot and leg, as well as bites to his left forearm.
Mr Duddy told District Judge Barney McElholm that he called at Ms Corr's home after a request from her to take the dog away.
After a brief discussion with Miss Corr, he went to prepare his van for the dog's removal and Miss Corr walked towards him with her dog, which was on a short lead.
“Within a second he was on me. He locked onto my left foot. He tore through my steel cap shoe and started to shake my left foot.
“I felt blood and I fell to the ground with pain.
“Miss Corr was doing her best to drag the dog off me and she was squealing and was in shock.
“The dog got me to the ground and bit my left arm and pulled part of my forearm skin off.
“After the attack blood was dripping from my left arm,” he said.
Mr Duddy said after Miss Corr restrained the dog, he went to his van and phoned for help.
He said at no time had Miss Corr told him that the dog had behavioural problems.
Miss Corr told the court that she was very upset when Mr Duddy came to her home to take her dog from her at her request.
She said Mr Duddy walked towards her when she had the dog on an extendible lead.
She said the Akita was very protective of her and probably believed the warden threatened her.
The defendant said she “blamed Mr Duddy for the incident because of his intervention by approaching her and the dog instead of waiting beside his van”.
She said the dog had never attacked anyone before.
The District Judge rejected a defence submission that Derry City Council, in the person of Mr Duddy, had transfer and ownership and control of the dog once a £10 takeaway fee had been paid.
“The transfer or control of the dog would only have taken place once the dog was placed in the van”, he said.