Fearing for their lives, neighbours and bystanders could only watch in horror as a 65-year-old Durban pensioner bled profusely while a pit-bull mauled him.
Allan Lorton, of Knight Road, Sherwood, died of his wounds on Tuesday.
His wife, Linda, 64, said her neighbours’ pit-bull had crawled through a hole in the wall – possibly to attack her three Toy Pomeranians. She was at work at the time.
“My husband heard a commotion and went outside. The pit-bull went for him and he tried to shake the dog off. He held it by its collar and got on his knees,” she said.
She said he screamed and screamed for help and the neighbours came running.
“He was bleeding profusely, but none of them could do anything because they were afraid the dog would attack them.”
All they could do was watch in horror, she said.
However, someone called the dog’s owner and the police.
“The owner came over and she could not stop her dog either. The police then arrived and fired shots in the air, trying to scare the dog off my husband.”
But the dog was unmoved and carried on attacking. Its owner then told the police to shoot it. It took eight shots before the animal died.
While they waited for an ambulance, which arrived an hour later, a neighbour who was a nurse did mouth to mouth, attempting to revive Lorton.
However, he had lost a lot of blood and died.
Paramedics certified him dead at the scene.
Linda added that the owner of the pit-bull had taken her second pit-bull to the SPCA to be put down.
“She has been supportive to our family and she put the other dog down because of what happened.
“She has children and she was worried about their safety, too.”
Linda said she and her family were distraught about her husband’s death.
The couple have an adult son, who declined to say anything.
Linda described her husband as an animal-lover and a kind person.
“He always took care of our dogs and took them for walks in the parks every day. He would play with them inside the house.”
Linda said her community needed to do something about pit-bulls in the area.
“It is like a fashion statement to walk around with pit-bulls. People are always walking around with the dogs and they do not realise how dangerous they are. Something must be done.”
Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said yesterday the Sydenham SAPS had gone to the scene on Tuesday.
“An inquest docket has been registered to investigate the circumstances surrounding Lorton’s death, while a criminal case docket has been registered to investigate the keeping of a ferocious dog.”
Charmaine van Rijsbergen, of the KZN Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club, told The Mercury yesterday that if the dog had been trained to attack then that is what it would do.
Asked what might have prompted the dog to go for Lorton, she said that was not an easy question to answer. It depended on how the owner had treated and raised the dog.
“I do not know the conditions that the dog lived in.
“It could have been provoked. The dog could have had a tumour.
“It is really unfortunate what happened to Mr Lorton.”