A 37-year-old Benoni mother who was attacked by their family dog has been taken out of an induced coma and has lost her right arm.
Linda Venter, 37, and her 11-year-old son were attacked by their dog Zeus who is a cross between a bull terrier and a Great Dane on August 29.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Philip Stoneman, who is Linda’s brother-in-law and a chaplain for Trauma Support SA, said he received a panicked call from Linda’s eldest son Brendan, 14, on the day of the incident.
“He phoned me in a panic stating that his mother was having a heart attack and that I must get the paramedics. I immediately asked for assistance over our radio, giving the address,” Stoneman said.
“While responding to this address, my son phoned Brendan back who (then) told him that Zeus was attacking his mother and not letting her go. My wife had just been there, having dropped off Brendan a few minutes earlier,” he said.
“As we can ascertain, Linda was in the back garden hanging up the washing while Brayden (11)was playing rugby, as has been the norm.”
Stoneman said the dog went to attack Brayden.
“It is unclear why, and Linda tried to protect her son. She used her right arm to protect her throat and tried to fight off the dog,” he said.
Stoneman said by this time the neighbours had arrived and tried to get the younger son to safety and the dog away from Linda.
He said within minutes first responders and paramedics arrived and Linda was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition. Brayden was also taken to hospital.
Venter had sustained severe injuries and was placed in an induced coma until Tuesday.
“Linda’s right arm had to be amputated due to the severe nature of her injuries,” he said.
Stoneman said she was finally able to speak.
“The younger son sustained injuries to his arms, legs, head and has been discharged from hospital on Tuesday (September 5).”
The dog, according to Stoneman, was euthanised by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Benoni that same day.
He said the dog had been with the family for over four years and was a loving pet that never showed any aggression.