Killer pitbull runs amok

Pitbulls are known for their vicious temperament.

Pitbulls are known for their vicious temperament.

A dog lover has been left distraught after a stray fox terrier she planned to adopt was savaged to death by a pitbull at San Franġisk Animal Welfare Centre.

I feel so guilty because if I hadn’t made that call it would still be alive

“How can it be that one animal can kill another at an animal hospital? It is a case of pure negligence,” an emotional Francois Chetcuti told The Sunday Times.

The anguish of the Swieqi resident is made worse by the fact that she had called the Animal Ambulance herself to collect the dog, as she was concerned for its well-being and did not have the means to take it to a vet herself.

She had found the tiny fox terrier curled up near her patio door on November 10 and took an immediate shine to it.

“It was adorable and so timid; I made it very clear to the Animal Welfare people that I wanted to adopt it. The only reason I called was because I was worried it was sick and also because I wanted to make sure my kids could interact with it safely. Now I feel so guilty because if I hadn’t made that call it would still be alive,” she said.

The Animal Ambulance operated by the Animal Welfare Directorate always takes sick or injured stray animals to San Franġisk at Ta’ Qali for diagnosis and treatment. Ms Chetcuti called the centre several times to check on the dog’s welfare but on the afternoon of November 11 she was given the news it had been killed.

Ms Chetcuti says it took her five days to receive some sort of explanation as San Franġisk did not consider her to be the owner of the dog. She claims she was eventually told by a woman working at San Franġisk that the dog had been savaged to death by a pitbull brought to the centre by a member of the public as it was tied up outside of a pen.

“When contacted, the Animal Welfare Directorate confirmed the incident. A spokesman said dogs are tied up outside their pens as they are being cleaned if there is not another free pen to move them to.

“While the nurse was doing this (cleaning the pen) the pitbull broke free from his collar and went to fight with the other dog.

“The nurse grabbed the fox terrier and lifted him off the floor. The fox terrier in turn bit the nurse who immediately let him go due to the pain inflicted on his upper arm. The pitbull then immediately attacked the fox terrier,” the spokesman said.

Pitbulls were in the spotlight earlier this month after a baby girl suffered facial injuries and significant scarring during an attack by a cross-breed belonging to her family. This led to calls fto introduce legislation on ­muzzling.


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