Traumatised widow tells of pit bull horror

By Wendy Nzama Time of article published Jan 13, 2005

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A Kloof resident is still in shock after her dog was killed and she was injured by two pit bull terriers on New Year's Day.

Vivien Goldsack, 82, was returning home from walking her dog, a 3-year-old black-and-tan Dachshund called Jasper, which was on a lead, when two pit bull terriers, without warning or provocation, ran from the garage of an unfenced property and attacked her dog.

Goldsack sustained a grazed knee and a bruised rib, and required stitches for injuries to her left wrist.

"Jasper suffered a terrible ordeal. I have had him for three years and he was my companion because I live on my own. I lost my son and husband.

"My dog lay on its back in submission, but the pit bulls continued ripping him apart," said Goldsack.

She said the dog owners had promised to replace her dog and pay for her medical bills, but this had not happened.

All they had done was produce certificates proving that their terriers were rabies-free.

However, Goldsack said her main concern was that a day-care centre was run from the premises where the pit bulls were kept.

"How safe are the toddlers who are kept there if these dogs can attack me while walking on the pavement? I appeal to the authorities to investigate this matter to prevent an even more disturbing occurrence," she said.

Clint Nickols, the owner of the pit bulls, said he had told Goldsack he would replace her dog. He said that the dogs had escaped when his paraplegic father had opened the garage door to go out.

"The terriers are kept two fences away from the road and it was an unfortunate incident that the lady and her dog were attacked.

"I feel sorry for what happened.

"My terriers are not vicious," said Nickols.

He said his two children, aged 3 and 4, also attended the day-care centre on his premises, adding that he guaranteed he would never let the children at the creche near the dogs.

Kloof SPCA Manager Colin Petersen said the organisation could not act in this case.

"We can only intervene where there is cruelty to a dog," said Petersen. "This case is a council problem and a civil case, as in who will pay for damages."

He said that the pit bull terriers might have been aggressive because of a lack of exercise, adding that all dogs should be confined within premises and should not be in the street.

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