SOUTH AFRICA --A family from Steinkopf, near Springbok in the Northern Cape, is still in shock after a gruesome incident in which their American pit bulls attacked a relative on Saturday.
The dogs attacked Dawid Ballie, 50, when he tried to use the back entrance to get into his sister's house, Netwerk24 reported. Most of the injuries were to his face.
Fanie Cupido, Ballie's niece, said the dogs were kept at the back of the house and Ballie normally used the front entrance to get into the yard.
"We'd made the fence higher and there were no problems before. He [Ballie] normally is sober when he comes to us, but it wasn't the case on Saturday. It was then that the dogs attacked him."
Cupido said Ballie had been seriously injured.
"I can't describe what he looks like, it's gruesome. Most of the bite marks are on his face. We are still shocked by what happened."
According to Cupido, Ballie's 74-year-old mother was alone in the house at the time of the attack. His younger brother was playing soccer some distance away. Two men came to Ballie's rescue.
Dogs to be put down
"It could've been worse had they not intervened. They threw cold water on the dogs in an attempt to calm them down. However, as soon as they managed to get the one dog away [from Ballie], the other one attacked."
He said, according to doctors at the Dr Harry Surtie Hospital in Upington, Ballie's injuries were not life-threatening.
He would be transferred to a Kimberley hospital for further treatment.
The family is still stunned.
"The dogs are about 10 months old. We got them because my mom is alone at home most of the time and they are there for protection. There have been burglaries before, where the thugs made off with tools.
"We've locked up the dogs since Saturday's incident, because if they've attacked once, what prevents a similar attack from happening?
"We are just waiting to hear from the authorities, then we will have to put them down. I don't know what happened on Saturday. They are normally quiet. They also haven't shown signs of aggression in the past."
Police spokesperson Captain Sergio Kock said the dogs had also gone for Ballie's throat.
A police investigation into the incident continues.
(News24 - Feb 6, 2017)