A Hanover Park family is grieving after a 3-year-old boy was mauled to death by a pit bull.
According to the police, the boy, Luqmaan Jardien, who was deaf and mute, climbed through the front window of his home on Monday October 26.
His parents are also deaf and mute and did not hear the dog attack their child.
However, the boy’s uncle, Dawood Stuart, who lives in the house, heard it and rushed to his nephew’s aid, but the dog bit him and would not let the child go.
He pulled the boy inside and closed the door on the dog’s neck, but it kept biting, until another man who lives on the premises came to help.
The dog died in the melee and only then let go of the child who died on the way to Hanover Park day hospital.
The boy’s janaazah was on Wednesday October 28.
Hanover Park Neighbourhood Watch spokeswoman, Kaashiefa Mohammed, said the boy’s death had shocked and saddened the community.
The boy and the dog had got along well, so it was a mystery why the animal turned violent, she said.
According to Philippi police spokesman, Captain Lance Goliath, the boy was the couple’s only child and the dog belonged to a neighbour, but the couple asked for it to stay on their property following several break-ins.
“Once we receive the post mortem results we will continue our investigation. We have arranged for trauma counselling for the family.”
Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokeswoman, Belinda Abraham, said pit bull owners understand the breed’s personality, treatment, and behavioural patterns.
Dog bites were most frequent in children aged 2 to 4 – because the concept of boundaries was foreign to them – and pit bull dog-bite injuries in children under 6 were most often to the head, face and neck because of the proximity of a child’s face to the dog’s mouth, she said.
“Pit bulls are wonderful companions, but they do come with a great deal of responsibility.”
Puppies bred from aggressive parents tended to be vicious, so a prospective pit bull owner should check that before adopting, she said. Socialising puppies from as young as three weeks, with positive and gentle contact, was also important.
“Isolated dogs, lose coping skills, trust and tolerance towards people. Children running past fenced-off dogs ‘tease’ them on a regular basis to the point of them being a tragedy waiting to escape. The vast majority of dog owners punish their dogs inappropriately. Too often, people hit their dogs for reasons the animals cannot understand. Human aggression often causes canine aggression.”
Pit bulls were not inherently dangerous but could become so through a lack of training, abuse, neglect, irresponsible ownership and breeding, she said.
“If they are treated with respect and trained properly, pit bulls will be less likely to exhibit negative traits. All dogs bite, but when a pitbull bites, their robust jaw strength, tenacity and high tolerance to pain can result in catastrophe.”