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Etwatwa toddler mauled to death by security dog

The father of the little girl said he couldn’t celebrate his 47th birthday following the turn of events.

An Etwatwa family has been left devastated after their 20-month-old toddler died at a local clinic after being attacked by a neighbour’s Rottweiler.

The tragic incident happened on August 4 at around 15:00 when the child, Ayanda Nkosi, was playing with her siblings in Eleventh Street, Etwatwa East.

According to Ayanda’s father, Isaac Phungwayo, the Rottweiler was in a cage in a security vehicle belonging to the neighbour and the car was parked outside the neighbour’s property.

“It is alleged that one of the children from this house opened the vehicle door to let the dog out to drink water. It then attacked my child,” he said.

The father, who was at home a few metres away from the scene, said he found the dog’s jaw locked onto the child’s body.

“I fought the dog to try to get it to release my child. It took a while for the dog to let go. When I held my child, she was bleeding severely but surprisingly not crying.”

Ayanda’s mother, who had been in Springs, arrived home to accompany them to the clinic.

The heartbroken mother Sibongile Nkosi, who is still in a state of shock, said she is battling to come to terms with Ayanda’s death.

“She died in my arms on arrival at the clinic,” said the mother as she broke down.

She said Ayanda had wounds on her back, thigh and neck.

Also Read: Boy (5) dies after dog attack

The father said he couldn’t even celebrate his birthday on August 5 due to the traumatic events that unfolded the previous day.

He added that he was still confused about why his neighbours would open the vehicle knowing very well that there were children playing in the street.

“It’s sad that I won’t be able to see my child ever again. We were so close. She was always with me wherever I went. As young as she was, Ayanda was brilliant, smart and loved laughing.”

The father said he is struggling to sleep due to the trauma having seen his child mauled to death.

“Ayanda’s mother is not coping at all. She has lost weight, has no appetite and struggles to sleep.”

The family indicated that the owner of the Rottweiler had apologised and had contributed to the expenses for the funeral. Ayanda was laid to rest on August 9.

Her grandmother said she’d be relieved if the couple could receive counselling sessions with a professional to help them deal with their loss.

The family has opened a case at Etwatwa SAPS.

Dog owner responds
According to the owner of the dog, who identified himself as Thabo from Gorilla Unit, on the day of the incident he and his colleague had come from a school search targeting drugs.

He said he left the vehicle, a K9 van which has a built-in cage with the dog inside, outside the yard to buy food a few houses from where he lives.

“About less than 15 minutes later we got a call alerting us that the dog had bitten a child. We were shocked and in denial, that it can’t be our dog because it’s not a vicious dog.”

Thabo said he viewed footage of the incident, which showed the children were harming the dog inside the cage.

“When we asked the children why they were throwing stones at the dog they responded to say that they were playing with the dog.”

He refuted claims that his child was the one who opened the door for the dog, adding that it was other children who did it.

He said the dog is at home until investigations are completed.

According to Benoni SPCA Inspector Thomas Mohlake, the matter was not reported to the Benoni SPCA. Mohlake said it is not illegal for the owner to keep the dog after such incidents.

“It is important that the public report such incidents to the SPCA so that we can deal with it according by convincing the owner to sign over the dog to us (Benoni SPCA) for the safety of the dog.

“We do not want to face a situation where members of the community will take the matter into their own hands by killing the dog inhumanely or maybe stoning it to death.”

In the case where a dog bites and kills a person, Mohlake said the next step is reporting the matter to the police.

“The matter must be reported to the SAPS, because there is the Animal Matters Amendment Act, No. 42 of 1993, which is enforced by the SAPS. In most cases they use the Act to deal with the aforesaid incidence,” said Mohlake.

Rottweiler Breed Council
The chairperson of the Rottweiler Breed Council, Neil Perkins, said a Rottweiler is considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds with its origin dating back to Roman times.

“These dogs were kept as herders or driving dogs. They marched over the Alps with the Roman legions, protecting the humans and driving their cattle.

“In the region of Rottweil, these dogs met and mixed with the native dogs in a natural crossing. The main task of the Rottweiler was the driving and guarding of herds of cattle and the defence of their masters and their property.

“At the beginning of the twentieth century, various breeds were needed for police service and the Rottweiler was among those tested. It soon became evident that the breed was highly suitable for the tasks set by police service and, therefore, they were officially recognised as police dogs in 1910.”

Perkins said all dogs, not only Rottweilers, should be bred by knowledgeable, experienced and KUSA-registered breeders to ensure a higher level of selection and education for new owners.

“These breeders are required to adhere to specific minimum requirements for breeding that increase your chances of getting a well-balanced quality dog that is healthy and mentally stable. “

He added that training is an absolute requirement for Rottweiler owners.

“Training and socialisation starts with puppies from around the age of four months. A Rottweiler cannot be left in the backyard without being socialised and trained. All training needs to be done via recognised and experienced registered training clubs/officials. Incorrect training methods could create temperament issues.”

The Benoni City Times is awaiting comment from the police. It’s been a week now.

Also Read: Dog attack victim’s family needs financial support


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