Saturday, December 17, 2016

United Kingdom: Akita Rottweiler mix has attacked child and mail carrier. Why are they even considering letting the owner keep the dog?

UNITED KINGDOM -- A dangerous dog mauled a seven-year-old and bit a postman in the groin area in two separate attacks in Walsall.

The fate of the Rottweiler / Japanese Akita mix named Oscar is now in the hands of a district judge.

In two separate incidents, the dog left puncture wounds in a young boy's hand, while a 55-year-old postman had a cut to his groin and suspected damage to his urethra, as well as another injury to his arm.

The owner, 54-year-old Steven Russon, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control outside his home address on Lower Forster Street in Walsall on August 21.

Another defendant, Nicola Pegg, 37, also pleaded guilty to the same crime concerning the same dog, but committed on September 1 at her home address on Druids Walk in Walsall. The court was told she had been taking care of the dog while Russon was at a hospital appointment.

Describing the first incident at Walsall magistrates' court, prosecutor Rachel Smith said that a man was walking past Russon's property with his young son and daughter at around 2.50pm.

He noticed that there were two young women and a vehicle parked outside the house and they appeared to be loading items in the car with the front door open, from which the canine emerged.

Miss Smith said: "The dog ran into the street and bit the seven-year-old's hand, latching on with the bite for about eight to ten seconds. The seven-year-old was screaming and the father was trying to get the dog off him."

The court heard how Russon then appeared and got hold of the dog, taking it inside and shutting the door. He then reappeared with the hound and instructed the girls to take it in the car.

Miss Smith added: "He said to the father, what do you want me to do about it?"

The father challenged this, and an ambulance was called to attend to the youngster who had two puncture wounds to his left hand. However by this time Russon, the girls and the dog had driven away.

Attempts were made by police to trace and seize the dog, but they were unable to locate him.

Then on September 1, a postman attempted to make a delivery to Pegg's home, but encountered the dog.

"It bit him in the groin area and the dog hung on," said Miss Smith.

The dog then started jumping up in an attempt to also bite the victim to the side of his chest, and as he attempted to protect himself with his left arm it then bit that instead, leaving him with a bleeding wound on his forearm.

Russon was then contacted and turned up, with Miss Smith adding: "He offered him £50 and gave him his number. He [the complainant] didn't know why he did it."

As a result of this attack the postman had to go to hospital, where it was discovered that he had a one centimetre cut to the groin, bruising and swelling, and suspected damage to his urethra.

Representing the defendants, David Grice said that Russon denied any implication that he had given the £50 to the postman as a bribe. "He says the £50 was for a taxi to get him to the hospital as quick as possible," said Mr Grice.

The court also heard how a police report on Oscar, who has been in kennels since, identified that he obeyed commands and his behaviour was not a cause of concern. The police handler noted that 'territorial aggression' was common among these breeds.

Hearing the case, district judge David Webster asked for further clarification over a photograph provided of the injury to the child, and also the circumstances surrounding the £50.

Adjourning the case to be heard before him again on January 5, he said: "This is an offence which might require immediate destruction of the dog."

(Express and Star - Dec 10, 2016)

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