Saturday, May 14, 2022

Girl, 3, brutally mauled by a guard dog who only understands German commands

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Daniel Barge adopted an “aggressive” protection dog from a rescue center in Wales and took it for walks near a playground, despite being warned to keep it away from children

A three-year-old girl was brutally mauled by a guard dog who only understands German commands, a court heard.

The toddler was enjoying a walk when the dangerous Dutch Shepherd pounced on her in front of her horrified grandparents at Barry Sidings Countryside Park in Pontypridd, Wales.

She was attacked so badly that she required surgery under general anesthesia at Cardiff University Hospital of Wales in August last year.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard that owner Daniel Barge, 33, had adopted the dog, named Chief, from a rescue center just four days earlier and speaks no German.

The dog, which resembled a German shepherd, was trained for protection and security work and came with a warning that he was “not good” with children.

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Chief smashed his teeth into the girl’s neck and back, leaving her with scars that will stay with her until she is a teenager.

Her mother said she was afraid of animals with claws and still has flashbacks and nightmares, reports Wales Live.

Barge was freed from an immediate prison sentence after admitting to being responsible for a dog that got dangerously out of control in a public place.

Prosecutor Jeff Jones said: “The dog was trained in Germany and the new owner was told he could easily overshoot.

“He was told to keep it away from children’s playgrounds and sandboxes because it was not good for children.

“Barge was walking the dog around the park on a harness when he knocked the little girl off her feet.

“He grabbed her back and neck and started shaking her for about 15 seconds while she was on the floor. Passers-by and the girl’s grandfather struggled to get the dog off her, his grip was so strong.”

Barge and other people in the park yelled at the dog, but the only English commands he understood were “heel” and “sit.”

The court heard that Barge and his mother, Melanie Harries, paid the Llanelli rescue center £150 for the 10-year-old dog.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard the horrific incident caused Barge to have a nervous breakdown and he spent 10 weeks in a psychiatric hospital.

Peter Donnison, defending himself, said Barge was “deeply saddened and remorseful” and arranged for the dog to be euthanized immediately after the attack.

Barge was given a two-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay the girl £500 in compensation for her injuries.

Judge Richard Twomlow told him: “This was a terrible incident for the little girl and for her grandparents who were with her.

“They had no reason to believe that the dog would behave in such an extreme way. But given the victim’s age and injuries, this exceeds the detention threshold. A prison sentence is imposed, but it is suspended on probation.”

The judge said the £500 award was not meant to reflect the seriousness of the little girl’s injuries.

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