THE owner of the pitbull that claimed the life of 82-year-old Lillian Bunsee was released late Monday night as police are seeking to have a coroner’s inquest in the matter.
According to police, the man would not be charged under Section 17 of the Dangerous Dogs Act, which carries a $200,000 fine or imprisonment for ten years. Instead, officers are seeking to have an inquest conducted to ascertain if any liability could be placed on the owner of the dog.
According to neighbours, Bunsee had never ventured close to the dogs as she had been attacked in the past. One of the dogs reportedly escaped from its kennel and again attacked her, this time killing her on Monday morning.
Bunsee died as a result of asphyxiation consistent with strangulation.
Neighbours said shortly after 9 a.m., they saw Bunsee on the ground of her La Seiva Road, Maraval home with the dog tearing away at her body.
The dog was one of approximately ten which were bred and being given aggression training in preparation for sale by two of the woman’s relatives.
Residents said they tried throwing stones at the animal in an attempt to stop it but their efforts were unsuccessful.
Investigators said several police officers who were on patrol nearby went to the scene after receiving a report and were only able to have the dog stop biting the woman after opening fire on the animal, shooting it six times.
A video, shot and posted by Trini Moments on Facebook, of the incident was shared 858 times by 5.15 p.m. yesterday.
The 30-second video shows the dog ferociously biting the elderly woman. The video had 63 likes and 134 comments at that time as well.
The dog only moved when a man threw concrete blocks at it from atop a nearby roof.
Trini Moments defended the video, saying that Bunsee had already been killed when they arrived.
The group claimed that Bunsee used to “beat the dog with a stick and tell it shut up”.
Minister of the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, who is also a veterinarian, told the Express in a telephone interview that the mauling is “heart-wrenching”.
“As Minister of the People, I know that the elderly are the vulnerable of the society, they have their own disabilities and capabilities that render them less capable to fend off an attack,” he said, adding that the absence of regulation does not mean that owners should not be responsible.
The Express contacted Jones Animal Clinic yesterday and spoke to one of their veterinarians on duty who wished not to be identified. The vet said that the dogs generally ought not to be blamed.
The vet said that of all the dogs encountered, the Pompek is the most aggressive.
She agreed that pitbulls should not be trained to be aggressive, mostly because of the power they have and if they become aggressive the combination is lethal.
She warned that a dog with the power of a pitbull should not be trained to be aggressive.