Dog bites boy at Gardens by the Bay, owner claims she's not liable for injury

Dog bites boy at Gardens by the Bay, owner claims she's not liable for injury
PHOTO: Facebook/Cynthia Tan

One woman's family outing at Christmas Wonderland in Gardens by the Bay ended prematurely after a dog attacked her son.

In a Facebook post, Cynthia Tan said that the incident happened near the Supertree Grove on Tuesday (Dec 12) at about 9.45pm.

According to Tan, her four-year-old son had been walking towards the 'snow' during the Blizzard Time show when he "suddenly knelt on the floor crying hysterically".

"After he calmed down, he told me a dog had bitten him," the 41-year-old wrote.

"There was no provocation, and he was innocently walking past."

Tan said her husband confronted the dog owner who admitted the attack, but the latter claimed that she was not liable for the injury since "it happened in a public place".

The dog owner fled the scene before police arrived.

In her Facebook post, Tan also asked the public for help in identifying the woman in the photo she shared.

Speaking to AsiaOne on Wednesday, Tan said that her son is recovering well after he was admitted to KK Women's and Children's Hospital on Tuesday night. 

As her son has autism, she is finding it hard to calm him down. 

"He now insists on being carried and is afraid that if he gets down to walk, a dog will come out of nowhere to attack him again," she shared.

"Before my son was attacked, we saw the dog provoking a golden retriever. Something needs to be done about its aggression."

Adding that her son's medical treatment cost around $140, Tan said that she intends to seek compensation from the dog's owner. 

In the comments section, several netizens criticised the dog's owner for her irresponsible behaviour. 

"They are giving a bad name to dog owners," one of them wrote, while another said that he would not be surprised if Gardens by the Bay bans visitors from bringing their pets. 

Christmas Wonderland's organiser Blue Sky Events told AsiaOne on Thursday that the incident was not brought to their attention on Dec 12.

"We were sorry to learn about it from social media," they said.

The organiser urged pet owners to exercise responsible pet ownership by keeping dogs on a leash in public areas, and to muzzle certain breeds.

According to Gardens by the Bay's visiting guidelines, dogs are permitted at the outdoor gardens but not at the conservatories, OCBC Skyway and the children's garden.

Visitors are also required to keep dogs on a leash and muzzle breeds specified under the Animals & Birds rules, which include Bull Terriers, Rottweilers and German Shepherds.

Dog owners are liable to a fine up to $5,000 if their pet bites another person under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act.

If the person suffers an injury, dog owners will also have to pay compensation of up to $2,000.

Dog owners may also be liable for negligence and have to pay compensation if their actions or omissions resulted in their pet becoming unleashed and causing injury to another person.

ALSO READ: 4-year-old boy allegedly bitten by French bulldog in Sembawang, neighbour says 'it likes to play with children'

chingshijie@asiaone.com

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