Pet dog terrorizes residents in Bhubaneswar; locals demand action

Bhubaneswar: A pet dog has imperiled the lives of local residents in the Patia area of the capital city here. The residents of Tapaswini Colony here are seeking appropriate action against the canine as it mauled an 8-year-old kid recently.

While pet dogs are tagged as ‘man’s best friend’, the dog in question has been charged of being a repeat offender. It has bitten residents four times in less than two years.

In the latest case, the 8-year-old was hospitalized after it suffered ‘Category 3’ bite.

Yesterday, one Sucheta Mohanty Khattoi of Tapaswini colony in Patia area, shared in a detailed social media post narrating how her son was brutally attacked by their neighbour’s dog. As mentioned in her post, her son was riding his bicycle in the colony around 4 pm on November 6 when her neighbour’s dog, an Akita breed, came at the kid and bit him bloody. “He has seven punctures—three on his stomach and four on his back with other brutal marks. According to the doctors it was ‘Category 3’ bite. He had to go through a 25-minute surgery with more than 10 stitches and more than 30 injections followed by cauterization of each wound and anti-rabies vaccines. He was in pediatric ICU for 24 hours for further observation. It was that brutal and life threatening,” wrote Sucheta.

The distraught mother said that her hospitalized son is in deep trauma and so is the entire family. Sucheta further mentioned that the dog has earlier chased and bitten several members in the society and at least three among them had suffered a ‘Catergory 3’ bite just like her son did. Many residents in the society had earlier approached the owner of the pet dog, whom Sucheta narrates the latter to be ‘aggressive and wild’, but to no avail.

“We have been asking/ requesting and pleading our neighbor and her husband to take that dog out of our society for the safety of each society member. The request was also physically made by all the society members going to their house on Tuesday. But there is no response. Considering it was a ‘Category 3’ bite, the hospital has also filed a medical report at the Saheed Nagar Police station followed by a FIR in the Infocity Police Station but still they want us to wait without understanding the urgency and safety of all society members,” Sucheta’s post further read.

The mother of the hospitalized child also said that six days have passed since they had filed the complaint but they are ‘still waiting’ for the cops to take any legal action in the matter. “Today it is about my son, tomorrow it can be about your loved ones. Requesting pet owners to put muzzle before taking them out and only own a pet if they are responsible enough. Requesting License holdres to investigate properly before giving the pet license. Requesting every other department to take strict action against such incidents. Praying for my son’s speedy recovery,” wrote a disheartened mother of the injured seven-year-old. Expressing her gratitude to doctors at Apollo Hospital treating her son, Sucheta ended her note saying, “Hoping and Praying the Dog is taken out of the society as soon as possible. Because every time it barks, we (my child, me, my husband and my family) go through that entire trauma once again.”

Responding to the unfortunate incident, Dr Sohini Mohapatra, Assistant Professor at National Law University, Cuttack said that in such cases the responsibility as well as liability is primarily on the caregiver of the animal. “Every animal, especially, domesticated house pets such as dogs also have behavioural issues and patterns. It is for the caregiver to understand the same and ensure that the pet does not become a threat to others around. Co-existence is the key for animal-human interactions, and it is important that the pet is trained and brought up in a manner that it understands the same,” Mohapatra said.

Elsewhere, Odisha Kennel Club president Subrat Kumar Prusty said, “A dog is indeed a man’s loyal friend. However, the irresponsible nature of the owner often turns the pet ferocious. If this dog has bitten several people in the locality earlier, it suggests it has not been brought up in a friendly environment. In that case, instead of keeping it at home, the dog should be shifted to a shelter house.”

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