Man bitten by dog in not so warm welcome to neighbourhood

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Man bitten by dog in not so warm welcome to neighbourhood

A St. John's man says he didn't get the greeting he expected when he was introduced to a neighbour's dog.

Cyril Byrne said he had just moved into a second floor apartment in a house on Gower Street last Thursday when his first-floor neighbour dropped by. 

"The guy came knocking on my door," Byrne said. "'Come and introduce you to the dog,' he said. 'A friendly dog.'" 

"So I said, sure I'll come and meet the dog. I have to come in and out of the building. And I went to pet the dog and the dog snapped right on my hand, man. Just like that," Byrne said.

Byrne unwrapped his right hand to display some scarring on the back, and a puncture wound near the middle of his palm.

"Sunk his tooth right in there, man," said Byrne. "Saturday morning, I was in intense pain. I was crying."

Byrne said he told the dog owner he would have to go to the hospital to get a tetanus shot.

"And then I went back to my apartment and I phoned the police, too, because I can't go in and out of the building if the dog is going to bite me like that."

Cautionary tale

"The officers seized the dog for a period of 14 days, under the Animal Health Protection Act.," said Const. Geoff Higdon, media relations officer for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

"We are currently investigating the situation to determine what the next course of action will be." 

Byrne said the dog was fairly large. "This dog is about up to your waist. Up to your mid-thigh, anyway." 

Higdon said the investigating officer reported that the dog is a King shepherd-Rottweiler cross. 

He said if the owner is charged, the matter could end up in court.

"Usually it will result in a hearing at provincial court. And then a judge can determine what the best course of action is — whether the dog would be rehoused or refostered, up to euthanization," Higdon said.

Byrne said he's been told the dog had bitten someone else. The police are trying to corroborate that.

For his part, Byrne said he wanted to go public with what happened to him as a warning to others.

"There are a lot of dogs out in the park in the summertime. A lot of children in the park in the summertime. Don't be petting strange dogs," he said.

"And I want to warn the owners of the dogs. You are responsible for that dog. That dog bites somebody, you're liable to be charged."