Jack russell terrier dies after attack by 2 mongrels

Jack russell terrier dies after attack by 2 mongrels
The deceased dog was very dear to its owners' family.

It did not deserve to die this way.

That is how Madam Gloria Koh, 56, and her family feel about their jack russell terrier's death.

Ranee, their beloved pet of 13 years, died last Sunday.

Madam Koh, a company director, and her family believe that it was a dog attack on April 7 that killed Ranee.

That evening, their domestic helper Jothilakshmi Mohan Kumar, 41, took Ranee on a daily walk in the neighbourhood.

Known as Jothi to her employers, the Indian national was near the junction of Dunbar Walk and Greenfield Drive when she spotted three big dogs about 160m away, at the other end of Dunbar Walk.

The dogs, about the size of golden retrievers, were of mixed breed, she recalled. They all wore collars, an indication that they were pets.

Seeing that the dogs were not leashed and coupled with her fear of big dogs, Ms Jothi hurried away from the mongrels and walked in the opposite direction.

At that moment, two bicycles whizzed past her.

She then turned back to look at Ranee and what she saw horrified her: the jack russell terrier, which was leashed, was in the jaws of two of the three mongrels she had seen just a few minutes earlier.

"I thought we would be safe because we were so far away. I did not hear the dogs at all. Within one second, everything happened," Ms Jothi told The New Paper on Wednesday.

"My mind went blank from shock. My hands were shaking. I don't know how it could have happened."

Ms Jothi suspects that the large dogs had been chasing after the cyclists who had zoomed past her just before Ranee became their target.

Certified dog trainers told TNP that some dogs could be agitated by moving objects, like cyclists.

Construction workers who witnessed the incident said they were shocked.

The brief attack happened right next to a construction site at Dunbar Walk and the workers had been waiting for a lorry to take them back to their dormitories.

One of the workers, who wanted to be known as Alomgir, said: "I saw two big dogs running very fast towards the small dog before they bit it."

The Bangladeshi, who is in his 30s, said that he turned away the moment he saw blood dripping from the mouth of one of the big dogs.

STRUGGLE

It took five construction workers and three residents in the neighbourhood to free Ranee from the attacking dogs.

The construction workers tried to pull Ranee out of the mongrels' jaws, while the residents tried to put the large dogs on leashes.

One of the five construction workers, Mr Md Wazid Miah, said it was about five minutes before the dogs were separated from each other.

"There was no barking. After the dogs were separated, we asked the lady to go into the construction site with her dog and locked the door.

"We were all quite scared. The two big dogs looked like they were crazy," Mr Wazid, 35, said in halting English.

Ms Jothi and the jack russell terrier continued hiding until the mongrels were put on leashes and taken to a park nearby.

Madam Koh and her husband were both not at home when the incident happened.

The mongrels' owner, who was notified about the incident by the three residents who had helped, offered to take Ranee to a vet nearby.

TNP understands that the mongrels had escaped due to a faulty house gate.

The attacks left Ranee with gashes on both sides of its body. A trip to the vet revealed punctured wounds on its intestines.

Ranee went through a five-hour operation that night.

"It had this big operation and two days later, I saw that its tummy was distended.

"She wasn't really responsive," said Madam Koh's husband, a doctor who declined to be named.

Five days after the attack, Ranee died.

Madam Koh said her two sons and one daughter, who are all studying overseas, were distraught to learn of their pet's death.

Her daughter, 19, has never cried so hard, she said.

Although Madam Koh and her husband are still waiting for the results of Ranee's necropsy, they are convinced that their beloved pet died due to the attack.

"It's obviously from the injury. Otherwise, she's very active for her age," said Madam Koh's husband.

"She's such a useful, curious dog. She wouldn't allow even one mouse to come in from the neighbouring houses."

Showing TNP an X-ray film of Ranee's body, he pointed to the swollen area beside the spine.

"This part is swollen because its intestines had spilled out of the body," he said.

"The injuries were so severe that such big portions of the intestines were cut and sewn back, pushed back (into the rib cage), stitched up and so on.

"Sometimes, dogs are not able to stand the stresses of such a big operation. Ranee also had multiple organ failure and was put on steroids."

Ms Jothi has walked Ranee every day for the past seven years, but said that the day of the incident was the first time she had seen the mongrels.

She made a police report on April 8, a day after the incident, in case there were repeat attacks.

A police spokesman confirmed that a report was made. TNP understands that the case is now with the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).

BEYOND COST

Madam Koh said the mongrels' owner offered to pay for all the expenses incurred, but she felt that this incident has gone beyond the issue of cost.

It also concerns the safety of the neighbourhood, she said.

"Ranee was very dear to us. What would happen if it had been a baby or the elderly? They may not be able to survive the bite," she said.

Her husband added: "It's scary for people, too.

"If I were a jogger, I would be scared. Nobody goes around carrying a stick for defence.

"I know people are very attached to their pets, but certain pets are dangerous. They must be put down or there are other ways to limit their aggression, like training."

The mongrels' owner, when contacted, did not wish to comment.

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