Tuesday 23 May 2017

Mum mauled by Akita dog for two hours 'played dead' just to stay alive

Olivia Donnelly, pictured with her youngest son, Tiernan (4), recovers from injuries inflicted by her father’s Akita dog. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson
Olivia Donnelly, pictured with her youngest son, Tiernan (4), recovers from injuries inflicted by her father’s Akita dog. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson
Olivia Donnelly's youngest son, Tiernan (4) is recovering from injuries inflicted by her father’s Akita dog (similar to the one pictured here)
The scars on Olivia Donnelly’s leg. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

Elaine Keogh

A mother-of-three has told of her terrifying ordeal in which a Japanese Akita repeatedly attacked her during a two-hour mauling.

Olivia Donnelly, from Manydown Close in Dundalk, Co Louth, said she "played dead" to get a respite from the vicious mauling which almost saw her lose her left arm.

The dog was owned by Ms Donnelly's late father Mickey, who ran the Readypenny Inn near Dundalk for 18 years until his death from a heart attack on November 4.

Just 10 days later she was calling to the premises to check on puppies that were born to a female Akita, when the male Akita named 'Bran' attacked her. The puppies were with their mother in another part of the yard. Ms Donnelly said she had not even got near the pups when she was savaged.

"He had either got out or jumped the fence and suddenly he was there. I didn't even see him until he had my arm in his mouth. I tried to get away and then he started on my legs."

The worst injury was to her left arm when she tried to pull away from him.

"He swung me all around the yard. I don't know at what stage I copped on that if I played dead he would just circle me."

She said the dog would return and "come in to bite me but not to savage me ... it was as if he was seeing if I was alive".

"I began to gradually crawl to the back door, it took two hours. At one stage, he came in for a big attack again ... That was when he grabbed my (left) arm and I could see him ripping it and I could see it in his mouth.

"I dropped to the ground to play dead. It was 20 minutes until I moved.

"He noticed I was moving and went for my arm again." Ms Donnelly managed to drag herself to the back door to raise the alarm with family members. She underwent surgery at Beaumont Hospital to save her arm. The dog was later destroyed.

She warned people to be aware of the dangers of Akitas. "They look like cute, wee teddy bears but they were trained bear killers. It is in their genes, it is their instinct."

Irish Independent

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