Circus dog bites boy

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

The co-owner of Circus Sydney has been prosecuted after her dog attacked a child.

Yvette Scholl, who runs the circus with her husband Alexander, was fined €400 with expenses of €185 by Sligo Court. Judge McGuinness said he would spare the dog from being put to sleep provided that a sum of €2,000 was handed in to court for the injured boy.

The court heard that the dog, a three-foot tall cross between a Rottweiler and a German Shepherd, described as aggressive by a dog warden, chased a group of children while the circus was located on Donegal Road on 1st March.

The dog, named Boss, jumped on one of the children, a seven year-old-boy, and he “was generally mauled” according to a witness. There was a tooth mark on the boy’s elbow along with lacerations to his face. Boss was taken away and held at a dog pound while the case went to court.

Despite assurances from the defendant that the dog was kept chained next to the elephant as a companion, one witness, a watchman who worked nearby, told the Gardai that he had seen the dog roaming around the circus.

Dog warden Mr McDaniel said the dog was not very approachable and that during the week the animal was in the pound Boss came at him aggressively. He said he had a job trying to feed the dog as he kept running at the kennel fence and the warden had to use a dog pole to keep him back.

Scholl was summoned for offences under the Control of Dogs Act for failing to have her dog under effectual control and for having it in public while not being led by a dog chain or leash by a person over 16 who was capable of controlling it.

Judge McGuinness had originally decided that the dog should be put to sleep, but following intervention from the injured boy’s mother, who did not want that, ordered that the dog be returned to Scholl on the condition that Boss was micro-chipped and muzzled. Hilda Canbullu said while her son Sait was deeply traumatised after he was bitten in the arm by the dog as he played near the circus she did not want the dog put down.

Mr Kelly, solicitor for the defence, said that there would be civil proceedings arising out of the incident and that insurance was in place to take care of this.

(Irish Independent, 9 March 2007 and Sligo Champion, 14 March 2007)

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