Mui Wo dog that bit baby won’t be put down

Mother angry husky that attacked her child is allowed to live and fears it may happen again

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 December, 2012, 10:09am

The mother of a 14-month-old girl bitten on the head by a husky says her daughter is still having to live right next door to the dog that attacked her after the owners refused to put it down.

Sharon Le Roux, whose daughter Emily was mauled as she sat in her child's seat on the back of a bicycle outside a supermarket in Mui Wo nearly two weeks ago, said the government was failing to protect residents.

Daisy Terkildsen, who lives next door to the Le Roux family in the Lantau town, was walking two of her four huskies on a leash when one leapt on Emily, who was rushed to hospital with a 3cm wound on her head.

"How can it be that a baby is attacked and nothing happens? In many countries, if a dog bites a human being it's immediately put down," said Le Roux.

"The whole system doesn't seem set up to do anything. We're worried another child might be bitten tomorrow," she added.

A spokeswoman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said that an investigation was under way to see if the owners could be held responsible. It had ordered the husky to be kept inside the house for seven days after the attack and officers were monitoring it, she added.

"We feel extremely bad about what happened," said Daisy Terkildsen's husband Terkild, but added he was not willing to put the dog down as the huskies were like children to his wife.

"We will see if it can be trained," he said.

Under the Rabies Ordinance, the owner of a dog that bites a person can be fined HK$10,000. A magistrate may classify a dog as dangerous if it causes injuries by attacking in the absence of provocation and the courts can order the dog to be put down in the case of a serious attack.

According to the AFCD, records from the past year show the dog was not known to be dangerous. Neighbours say otherwise, claiming the Terkildsens' huskies - a type of powerful work dog traditionally used to pull sledges - have killed and attacked other dogs and pets.