Ingrid Wilson, the 58-year-old woman who was brutally attacked by three pit bulls just over two weeks ago, has accepted compensation of $200,000 from the owner of the animals instead of pursuing charges.
Her son, Darius Simon, told Stabroek News that his mother is slowly recovering after she had the more than 70 stitches she received in wake of the attack removed. He added that the woman is still feeling tremendous pain and is unable to speak properly because of the severity of the injuries to her mouth.
Simon also explained that his mother has declined to press charges against the owner of the dog since she wouldn’t be able to go through the hassle of the court proceedings. As a result, she has decided to accept the compensation of $200,000.
Wilson was on her way to a son’s nearby home around 6 am on August 26th, when she was viciously attacked by three pit bulls that escaped from a neighbour’s yard through a gate that was not closed properly.
The three dogs pounced on the woman, who fell to the ground. They bit her to the face, neck and arms and the attack only ended after another neighbour, John Grant, intervened and fended off the dogs with a piece of wood.
Wilson was then rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where she was treated for large bites to her arm and sides of her face. As a result, the woman received more than 70 stitches.
The attack on Wilson has reignited calls for there to be legislation on the ownership of “dangerous dogs.”
Speaking to Stabroek News, animal rights activist Syeada Manbodh said that there should be provisions that give the owners of dangerous dogs certain responsibility over the animals.
“They should be made liable or pay a fine for the damage being done and also I find owners of dangerous dogs have flimsy leashes to walk their power dogs and they should also be aware that these dogs are like a gun and they are lethal and if you don’t keep them under control anything can happen,” she explained.
Manbodh said legislation should be put in place so that if owners are found guilty of negligence, then they should be mandated to be liable for the hospital bills or whatever else is deemed necessary.
Asked if she thinks there should be a total ban on persons owning “dangerous dogs,” Manbodh said no. “I don’t believe there are bad dogs, just bad owners,” she observed.
The recently passed Animal Welfare Bill prohibits individuals from inciting or training animals to be aggressive against humans or other animals (except in the case of working and hunting dogs under the supervision of qualified persons) or training animals to fight or in any way associate with animal fights, including organising, attending, betting and advertising. Persons who commit these offences are liable for a fine of $100,000 and six months in jail.
The bill also gives the Agriculture Minister the power to make regulations “stipulating the requirements for and the manner of keeping dangerous or potentially dangerous animals.”