Dog bit my daughter — gardai or council don’t know what to do
I am writing to you in connection with an incident which happened on the April 2 2012 (approx 7.10pm). My four-year-old daughter was attacked and bitten by a dog outside Supervalu, Loughrea. The dog, which was left unattended for approx one hour was attached by a loose lead to a small pole, with no muzzle. The Garda and ambulance were contacted. When the Garda arrived they tried to see if there was a tag with the owner’s details on the dog (which there was not. By law there should be). The dog then proceeded to attack and bite the Garda. Finally a young male appeared (he was the brother of the owner of the dog), and was then allowed to remove the dog and take him home. I asked the investigating Garda why this was allowed, he said that they had called for a dog warden, but there was no answer. He said that they had nowhere to facilitate such an animal or any way of getting him to the station (which is approx a 10 minute walk away).
The doctor who took care of my daughter Holly said she was very lucky, as he had seen many dog bites before and that this dog was not playing, he was out to seriously injure. The injuries are to her face and mouth. She was very lucky as the dog bites are less than a centimetre from her eye. She had cuts inside her mouth and nose, and her tooth has been chipped/damaged. By Tuesday evening Holly’s face was very red and swollen the bite had become infected, so she was put on antibiotics At this stage we don’t know what scarring she will be left with or emotional side effects. The doctor stated that this dog needed to be dealt with and put down, as once they get a taste for blood it is proven they will attack again.
It has now been over a week and the dog is still alive. The council say it is not the job of the dog warden as it happened on private property. Although it is private property as such the public have access to it as it is a pedestrian area a few feet from the main entrance so SuperValu. They also say they have no jurisdiction over a private dwelling so they can not enter the house where the dog lives and remove it. They say that if they had got the dog outside SuperValu when the incident occurred they could have dealt with it, so depending on who you speak to they are actually contradicting themselves. I asked them why they didn’t take the call from the Garda when the incident occurred and they say they were never contacted. The council have washed there hands of this and say it is a civil matter which the gardai have to deal with.
So whilst these two groups of people, who are meant to be there to protect and serve the community are fighting over who is right or wrong, a dangerous dog is being left to go and attack again. I have been in contact with everyone I can think of from Ciaran Cannon, Moagie Maher, Superintendent Enda Walshe (Loughrea Gardai), East Galway Dog Warden, Galway County Council Enviroment office, to no avail.
My daughter will not sleep on her own and keeps asking me about the dog. I promised her at the time of the attack he would never be allowed to do it again. My other children were also present and witnessed it. I also have another independent witness, who has still not been contacting regarding taking a full statement by the Garda. The dog owner was contacted the following day but was not willing to do anything with the dog, as he did not believe his dog was a danger. He admits he has no dog licence and the dog was not fully under control, as it should be at all times.
After the incident in Limerick, which was high profile and seemed to be dealt with immediately and effectively, we naturally assumed that Galway would be the same. I did not want the people of Galway thinking that if they are unfortunate enough to be in this position that it will be dealt with professionally and in a timely manner. There are serious questions to be answered here because as you can see someone is not telling the truth or doing their job. I have never come across a situation were two government bodies can not come together for the good of the public and deal with a situation.
On a final note, when I went in to make my statement (Thursday 5, 2012) to the investigating Garda, I was asked at the very beginning had I paid my €100 household tax charged, as he was thinking this is why the Council would not deal with the situation. I wish I hadn’t now, what a waste of money that was.