A PROMINENT vet is warning that a young child could be killed or seriously injured by a large dog which has reportedly attacked several smaller dogs on the north side of the city.
John O’Dywer, who runs a small animal hospital on Henry Street, says a number of the dogs which were attacked either died or sustained horrific injuries.
It is believed the dog in question is an Akita breed.
“A good few dogs have literally been bitten in half, we had one dog in here last week which was alive but his lungs were hanging out,” said John, who explained that Akita dogs generally weigh around eight stone (50kg).
“This is a serious dog and anything like a Jack Russell or a terrier, he is literally biting them in half,” he said.
John told the Limerick Chronicle he has treated a number of small dogs over the past few weeks - all of which were reportedly attacked by the same dog in the Moyross area.
“He is up there running around loose and he is a disaster waiting to happen. He could literally bite your arm off,” warned John.
While, not every incident has been reported to the authorities, it is believed that up to a dozen small dogs have been attacked over the past few months.
Such is the concern over the recent incidents, Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW) has issued a warning on its Facebook site to the owners of small dogs living on the north side of the city to be vigilant.
An appeal was also issued to parents to ensure their children are supervised at all times.
“Normally if they (Akita dogs) attack another dog it would be very dangerous or indeed if it attacked any person - particularly a child or an eldery person it could be very serious. A child could be out or an elderly person could be walking their dog and put their hand in to stop an attack,” said Marion Fitzgibbon.
She added that it is upsetting to see some of the injuries which have been inflicted on the smaller dogs.
“It is awful and terrible to see dogs being attacked in this way and being so badly injured.”
While a number of dogs have been brought to the vet for medical attention by their owners, others have been rescued by volunteers and staff from LAW after they were discovered in an injured state.
It is understood that a dog, which was rescued last week was so badly injured that it had to be put down.
A spokesperson for Limerick City Council told the Limerick Chronicle that while the dog warden was unaware of any complaints about dogs being attacked in the Moyross areas, he would look into the reports
Sgt John Flanagan of Henry Street garda station said gardai have not received any complaints in relation to the out of control dog but he urged anyone who has concerns to contact the gardai.
“To have a dog, that perhaps is dangerous out there is not acceptable because the risks are too high,” he said.