LETTER: Dog attacks child at Taghum Beach

From reader Karen Guilbault...

LETTER: Dog attacks child at Taghum Beach

Please advise dog owners that dogs are not allowed on public beaches in Nelson for good reasons. A dog owner allowed his dog off leash illegally at Taghum Beach, and now an 8 year old has three scars and emotional trauma from a dog attack.

On August 4, a local 8 year old boy was chased, knocked down and bitten by a medium size dog on Taghum beach. My grandson was racing along the beach with his friend. He saw the dog come out of the water and begin to chase his friend. For a moment it looked innocuous, until the dog latched on, snarling and biting. The boy went down and the dog continued to bite, while the boy screamed and kicked. The owner arrived and pulled the dog off. I took the injured boy to his father’s house and they went to Emergency. At Emergency he was given a tetanus shot and oral antibiotics. The wounds were quite nasty looking, a deep puncture wound on his shin, and a three inch bite/bruise on his thigh. The boy’s parents called the police and Animal Control. The owners were fined and the dog is now required to wear a muzzle in public.

Dogs can behave unpredictably when excited by children running or shouting. At parks and campsites they can display territorial behavior that they don’t display at home. This could have been even more serious, even tragic.

Please prevent injuries to others by keeping control of your dog. Do not assume that your dog is not capable of aggression.

Karen Guilbault

Nelson