A mother and her child were hospitalised with severe injuries after they were attacked by a dog at Ta’ Qali park last week.
The incident happened on 4th March at around 9am when a family was attacked by a rottweiler after they finished exercising at the park.
“The dog chased down my son aged six and gored him like a rag doll. My wife, the true hero that she is, jumped on the dog and fought with him until he released our son from his jaws,” Garvan Keating said on Facebook as he recounted the incident.
The attack occurred near the picnic tables at the entrance of the park.
“While she managed to free our son and give him time to escape to safety, the rottweiler turned on her – biting her neck, narrowly missing her jugular vein which could have proved fatal. Her arm was severely mangled in the attack,” he said.
Photos uploaded on social media show the extent of the damage caused to both the mum and the son, with signs of significant bruising and bleeding.
The dog owner, who only acted after someone shouted at him, quickly ran away after separating the rottweiler from the family.
“The owner and his dog ran away without offering any assistance, despite seeing them covered in blood. My wife and son both had to be hospitalised,” Keating continued.
Both the mother and her child received the necessary attention and care at Mater Dei, with the family thanking the staff at the hospital and three women at the park who stayed and helped by comforting their daughter as she witnessed the incident and called an ambulance.
The son was kept at Mater Dei overnight while the mother continues to suffer from more long-term injuries, even facing the possibility of conducting a small procedure on her arm.
Although a police report has been filed, the incident poses the question of how safe it is to allow dogs off the leash in public parks, especially in an area where no CCTV cameras have been installed.
“For parents with young kids, we urge you to be ever vigilant when using Ta’ Qali park, in the blink of an eye – even taking a walk in the park can no longer prove safe, as we have come to experience,” Keating said.
With police having very little information about the assailant, the family is now appealing to the public to share any information they might have about the man and his dog, to avoid such incidents in the future.
“I don’t want to wake up one morning and see that another child has been mauled because this dog has been allowed on the street,” Keating said.
The man in question is believed to be 5’7/5’8 foot and in his late 50s/early 60s with grey hair. If you have any information, please contact the police immediately.
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