An 18-month-old boy from Beja, who was attacked by a family dog last Sunday, died from his injuries two days later in hospital in Lisbon. The dog is set to be destroyed on Monday, 14 January.
The boy was attacked in his home by the family’s pitbull-cross on Sunday afternoon (6 January) and died from his injuries two days later, on Tuesday morning.
The nine-year-old dog belonged to the toddler’s uncle, who lived in the house with the boy’s parents and grandparents.
Speaking to Lusa News Agency the young victim’s granddad, Jacinto Pinto, said the dog had been “in the dark” in the kitchen when the toddler went into that room and “fell on top of it.”
Surprised by the animal’s reaction, Mr. Pinto says the attack “has no explanation” because it was a “gentle” dog that “had always lived with children” and in its nine years had “never” attacked or hurt anyone.
In Portugal a pitbull-cross is considered a ‘potentially dangerous’ breed.
The dog was collected by Beja’s municipal vet on Monday after PSP police requested its removal from the family home.
The animal is being kept at the Inter-municipal Kennel of the Association of Alentejo Municipalities for Environmental Management (AMALGA).
“The boy fell on top of it and it attacked. How or why after nine years of living with the family? It is in the nature of all dogs, especially those that are crossed with potentially dangerous breeds like the pitbull”, explained Beja municipal vet Linda Rosa, adding that when the dog was collected it was “very tranquil and showed no aggressiveness.”
Mr. Pinto said he was glad the dog is going to be destroyed and that “a year or so ago” he had gone to AMALGA to ask for it to be put to sleep as he “didn’t have the conditions to keep the dog at home.”
Linda Rosa said there was no other solution besides the dog’s destruction as “it is a dangerous dog, it has attacked, the boy was in a bad way in hospital and therefore it will have to be put down.”
As required by law the dog will be held in a specific observation pen for eight days after which “it will be put down”, the vet explained, reiterating: “it is a dangerous dog” because it “attacked a child” and therefore “the outcome is euthanasia.”
As a result of Sunday’s attack the boy was seriously injured and taken by his own mother to Beja Hospital at around 7pm.
Later that night, at approximately 8.30pm, the boy was transferred by helicopter to Lisbon’s Santa Maria Hospital due to a “serious head injury” from which he died two days later.