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Dogs’ reign of terror in suburb

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“The ambulance only arrived after 11pm and all the EMS personnel could do at that stage was to certify that he was dead before he was taken away by forensic services”

A 46-YEAR-old man has been killed and three children mauled in a spate of dog attacks in Colville.

The victims were attacked by different dogs in separate incidents.

Colville resident, Ricardo Martin, was attacked on Sunday and died a few hours later while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

The other three victims include an 18-month-old toddler, who is still recovering at the Gariep Mediclinic Hospital, where she is in a stable condition, and a 12-year-old boy, Rourkshin van Wyk, who was treated at the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital and discharged.

It is believed that a fourth person was also bitten in the past week although no further details on this attack are available.

Residents in Colville yesterday said that they were living in fear and believed that the aggressive behaviour displayed by the dogs could have been triggered by crackers and fireworks that have been set off by children in the area since the start of the school holidays.

The residents called on communities to be aware of the impact of crackers on animals.

According to members of the community, none of the victims provoked the dogs.

Martin was apparently walking in the street on Sunday afternoon, around 5pm, when the dog bit him on the arm.

According to eyewitnesses, the dog was normally chained inside the yard but had managed to get free and attacked Martin.

Martin’s family members said he arrived home in great pain from the dog bite on his arm, adding that part of the bone was exposed.

“The dog had ripped off a piece of the flesh on his elbow, but he was not bleeding much.

“He was crying from the pain and said he was feeling nauseous and dizzy,” they added.

They said he also complained of pain in the chest before vomiting. He then went to lie down.

The family said they tried to phone the ambulance several times, but their calls were not answered.

According to them, they only managed to get through to the provincial ambulance service after 8pm.

“His wife, who is pregnant, noticed that he was lying still and was cold. His mouth had also turned blue.

“The ambulance only arrived after 11pm and all the EMS personnel could do at that stage was to certify that he was dead before he was taken away by forensic services,” his sister-in-law said yesterday.

The family is now left to make funeral arrangements which, they added, was a financial stress as Martin, who is survived by his two children, a six-year-old and 22-month-old baby, was unemployed.

The mother of the 18-month-old toddler, who is currently recovering at Gariep Mediclinic, meanwhile described how they had to pry the little girl out of the jaws of the pitbull dog on Monday.

The family, who live in Absalom Street in Colville, was visiting neighbours on Monday morning around 11am and the dog was chained up in the yard.

According to the mother, they did not notice that the child was going closer to the dog until they saw the animal attacking her.

“We are not blaming anyone – the owner assisted in loosening the dog’s hold in order to release and save the child.

“He was very upset about what had happened and was himself bitten in the process,” said the mother.

The third victim, 12-year-old Van Wyk, who lives in Delta Street, was playing marbles in the street with his friends on Monday afternoon when a dog emerged from a nearby yard and bit him on the leg.

The boy said he was too shocked to kick the dog at the time.

“He was treated at the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital where he received five injections. The wound was also bandaged.”

The SPCA could not be contacted yesterday to determine whether any of the dogs had been removed.