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Feb 4, 2011

Dog owner says attack on toddler was an accident

On Wednesday a mixed breed dog attacked three year old Lupita Padilla, who wandered off and ended up under her neighbor’s house in the Jerusalem area behind the Lord’s Ridge Cemetery in Belize City. The young girl was severely bitten on the neck and face and is tonight recuperating at the hospital. News Five spoke to the owner of the dog who says that he wasn’t at home at the time of the incident but has been keeping close contact with the mother of the toddler. He wasn’t prepared to appear on camera, but says that he has been assisting with the medical bills, and the fate of the dog has not yet been decided.

Voice of: Dog Owner

“I was told this dog was having a girl there for several minutes and until I came—it was in the evening, I understood more clearly what this dog had done and the damage that he had received?”

Jose Sanchez

“There were original reports that your dog was not vaccinated. That’s not correct is it?”

Voice of: Dog Owner

“No, that’s not correct. This dog was vaccinated. Last year he received his vaccinations and I mean, I have been taking care of this dog from since he was young. I have 2 dogs as you can see there—one is seven years old and the other is two.”

Jose Sanchez

“Both dogs were they loose?  Some people are asking where were the dogs when the thing happened.”

Voice of: Dog Owner

“Well both are chained and they were always chained and I always secure them so that they could not have any way of finding their way to lose off the chain. They are very well secured because like that two-by-four that I have down there. I mean they have to try like to bring down that house so that they on that 2 by four. They have to bring down that house so that they could get loose. You know, I never had an incident whereby these dogs would be trying to attack somebody or trying to burst through those chains. But I know these types of dogs are dogs who can do damages to children and to people, but I mean…”

Jose Sanchez

“Now the dog has bitten a child. Have you spoken to a veterinarian? I know some people say if the dog has the taste of human blood, it must be put down. Have you spoken to a vet?”

Voice of: Dog Owner

“Yes. I have spoken to a veterinarian because I was thinking about putting this dog down yesterday, but unfortunately they told me that they would need to have this dog for ten days confinement. So at this point, they cannot but this dog down so I am just waiting for this dog to see about what would happened about it, but honestly, I am still undecided about if I am going to be putting down this dog.”

Jose Sanchez

“Now, your neighbors live a few feet away from your house and the baby obviously came by and was playing near the dog. Have you spoken to them? What have they said?”

Voice of: Dog Owner

“Yeah, I have spoken to them and thankfully this child is getting better and to my understanding this little girl didn’t receive any injuries to her neck or any vital places, but yes she received bites and bruises and she is recuperating very fast right now as I understand. She will be released on Saturday in the evening. And I mean we are assisting the people when it comes to the medical expenses and any necessities that they need and the relationship that me and this neighbor have is very good and I don’t think it will be any dispute or anything because we have clear understanding that this was definitely an accident. I mean, the girl to my understanding just fell there in this cage like place that this dog is in.”

The dog had been slashed on the head to release the child.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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13 Responses for “Dog owner says attack on toddler was an accident”

  1. RadicalBelizean says:

    Has this poor animal been taken to the vet to care for it’s wound? Either the dog is allowed to live and you care for the wound he received. Otherwise, please relief him or her of its misery, and put it down. Another thing is the condition these dogs live: how long are they chained for? Boxed under that small space under the house? Are they allowed to have some exercise, taken to the seaside in the evenings and run around etc I do hope so. Or they are just used to protect the property and so no real care is given? Just given the very basic which consist of leftover food and water and that’s it. Belizeans, pet owners, please reward your dogs for looking after you and your home. Come on this is man’s best friend no matter what happens in your life the loyalty a dog gives is incomparable. Do we have an animal welfare group? Where are they with regards to this incident? Government can do their part too, by making sure these people have to take out a license for dangerous dog ownership, which means they paid for it, ensure that they get all their shots, neutered, and give owners information on how to take care of these bred of dogs. Maybe it should be extended to all owners of dogs, and so we won’t have strays in the streets because only those people prepared to look after their pets properly will be allowed to legally have dogs. People without the license are fined. All in the welfare of man’s best friend.

    Before you all ignorantly shout what about the baby, of course there is concern about the child’s progress. I will say nothing about adult responsibility to care for the child, as I am sure the mother gone through enough. Sometimes we have to speak out for those (animals) without a voice in our society.

  2. Islander says:

    If we are prepared to blame pitbulls and rottweilers for criminal behavior then we must also be prepared to say that hispanics and blacks are the cause of crime…That its a genetic thing and not the way either the dog or human being is raised.

    See how ignorant that genetic argument is?

  3. BZNinCALI says:

    Let’s not equate a dog’s life with that of a child’s. Hats off to the owner for taking responsibility for the medical expenses but don’t create conflict with the neighbors by keeping this animal alive, someone will shoot or poison him if you do nothing. Now we are hearing that the child fell in this area which now tells us that the same thing would have happened to an adult in the same situation. The fall was an accident, the dog bite was not.

  4. isee says:

    I see from the picture the dog is uunder the house. D dog protected it’s territory. Perhaps d child fell on the dog. It is truly an accident. A teen would not have been able to fall from the step.

  5. isee says:

    I see from the picture the dog is uunder the house. D dog protected it’s territory. Perhaps d child fell on the dog. It is truly an accident. A teen would not have been able to fall from the step. The door is on the left off the top picture. Lucily f child didn’t fal off the london bridge

  6. Leon Leon says:

    Channel 5 can you investigate how Belizeans are required to make sure their dogs are not a danger to the public: (1) shots requirements and all that goes along with the welfare of a dog (2) Who is monitoring these animals (3) The role the government is playing in this – if any (4) Do we know where some of these dogs come from? (4) Once a dog enters Belize from another country, what follow-up is done with this animal and it’s owner? My heart goes out for the toddler, innocently injured.
    Fingers can be point in all directions, but how do we know which is the right finger?
    Waiting to read updates of this story.

  7. Elias says: promoting positive breeding of pit bulls in Belize for structure and temperament.

    the dog is not to blame, the neighbor is not to blame, the little girl is not to blame but i question, where was the guardian of the little girl when the girl wandered off to the neighbor’s yard? Should we call Child services or a vet to put down the dog?!?!?!

  8. BZNinCALI says:

    Elias, why not both?

  9. lilypad says:

    oh gosh, the poor dog. dont we train our dogs to bite. if not why have them at all?
    i have two, and if you dont wander into my fence yard they dont bite at all.
    sorry for the kid, but who was watching this baby, where was the mother, or sitter? watching novelas or tv show perhaps.
    lets be reasonable, dog doenst have the fault. come on, our dogs do a good job.

  10. Earl Grey says:


  11. xtasy says:

    The dog did not attack its owner, it attacked what it perceived to be a threat to its territory. Pitbulls are fierce protectors of their territory and unfortunately this little girl strayed onto its property. It wasn’t like it was off its leash, so why should he hav to suffer for what was not its fault? I say, get the dog some help for that wound, keep it on its chain as normal and to the guardian of the child, pay more attention to where your child is at all times.

  12. fromafar says:

    i’m with Elias on this one.

    or shall we blame the UDP/PUP/George W. Bush/Obama?

  13. The People Had Enough says:

    fromafar; maybe we blame it on the rain. elias you got it; where was the guardian of the child.

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