Sunday 15 December 2019

Pictured with the family dog that mauled her: surgeons fight to save woman's arm after vicious attack

Paola Sahovic with the dog that attacked her

Deirdre Reynolds

Surgeons are today battling to save the arm of a young woman savaged by her partner's dog at her home.

Paola Sahovic was at home in Mitchelstown, Cork, with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier when neighbours reportedly heard screaming at around 9.15am on Monday.

Rushing to the house just doors away on Upper Cork Street, gardaí found the 22-year-old being mauled by the animal in the back yard and were forced to draw their batons.

Witnesses say it took five officers to free the victim from the jaws of the dog - which has since been put down - before she was rushed to Cork University Hospital for emergency surgery.

It is believed that surgeons were able to save one of the woman's arms, and are currently working to prevent the second from being amputated due to serious injuries.

Ms Sahovic, a dog lover who described the animal as her "best friend" on Instagram, is thought to have moved from Croatia to Ireland to be with her boyfriend at Christmas.

She was reunited with the black and white cross-breed owned by her partner - who has been living and working in north Cork since the summer - after it arrived in the country only last Friday.

Sometimes used as guard dogs, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are one of 11 restricted breeds in Ireland, meaning they have to be kept on a short lead and muzzled in public.

But the 1998 regulations legislate for the control of the dog only in public places, and not in private homes.

Cork County Council veterinary officer Edmund O'Sullivan last night warned: "You cannot relax in the presence of all dogs, but in the case of restricted breeds, it's more important to be so careful."

Irish Independent

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