An animal rights group has called for pardon on the dogs that killed former Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua’s grandson last week.
The World Animal Protection group in a statement sent to the Nation condoled with the Gachagua family as they called on authorities to only take action on the owner.
In the Thursday incident, two-year-old Wilson Ngatia was playing outside his grandmother’s house in Ring Road Estate when the six exotic breed of dogs from a neighbouring compound gained access through a hole in the fence and attacked him.
Attempts by Gachagua’s widow Margaret Karungaru to rescue the boy were futile.
Eventually, with the help of neighbours, the dogs were subdued and the boy was rushed to Outsapn Hospital but died while receiving treatment.
“The death of Wilson Ngatia, the two-year-old boy who died after he was mauled by [the] neighbour’s dogs in Nyeri is unfortunate and sad,” the statement read in part.
Nyeri Central OCPD Muinde Kioko on Friday said the animals were placed in the custody of a government veterinary officer for monitoring.
“We have to monitor and observe the dogs and that is being done with the help of a vet.
“If we find that they are constantly violent they will be put down,” the OCPD said.
However, the agency argues that the owners should be held responsible for the death and not the dogs.
“Just like humans dogs have fundamental freedoms, which if violated can lead to unusual aggression to the extent of attacking and killing people including their owners,” Dr Emily Mudoga, the Companion Animals Campaigns Manager at World Animal Protection, says.
The agency faulted dog owners over how they treat their pets.
“Locking up dogs all day and denying them enough food, water and sunlight for hours leads to stress and anti-social behaviour.
“Failure to socialize your dogs with humans, especially children, and having quality human interaction even if they are guard dogs can make them aggressive, leading to unprovoked attacks.
“In addition, undue harassment and mistreatment such as beating, kicking or shouting can lead to dogs having a negative attitude to all humans they encounter,” she said.
So far, the owner, Anthony Gathara and handler John Njuguna Muriithi, were on Friday charged with recklessness and negligence.
Vet monitoring the dogs to determine if they are constantly violent.