Dog that bit child in Sibu is family pet, says SRDC chairman


The child was bitten by the family’s own pet dog. File photo for illustration purposes

SIBU: The dog that bit a child at the Salim-Stabau area here on Thursday was a family pet, says Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) chairman Sempurai Petrus Ngelai.

He said the confirmation was made after their Public Health and Environmental Department officer Mathew Paran investigated the matter.

“The child has been admitted to the hospital as informed by the council’s public health and environmental officer Mr Mathew,” he told The Borneo Post today when asked if the child was bitten by a stray dog.

Sempurai pointed out that SRDC has repeatedly advised pet owners to take precautions including confining their dogs within their house compound.

He also mentioned that SRDC’s dog unit carried out an operation today at the area, where the child was bitten by his own family’s pet dog.

“A number of stray dogs around the area were caught this morning.”

Sempurai assured that the operation to remove stray dogs is ongoing, adding that it was a joint effort between SRDC, SMC’s dog unit and other local authorities like the Kanowit District Council as well as other nearby councils.

“Our dog unit has already come up with the operation lists based on zones and reports of the stray dogs. To be honest, it is not an easy task for the council’s dog unit as sometimes you will face difficulties in differentiating strays and people’s pets.

“As such, I once again urge members of the public to be responsible pet owners by looking after them and confining them within their house compound or cages. We all know that there is a rabies case nearby SRDC’s boundary. As such, everyone’s cooperation is very much needed at this moment,” he said.

He also assured that SRDC is working hard with other agencies to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“We must also be vigilant at all time to keep out rabies and dengue,” he emphasised.

“As we all stay at home during this movement of control order (MCO) period, everyone must play their role to look after their surrounding including their pets. Accidents do happen when our children are at home for more than two weeks during this MCO, including the possibility of getting bitten by our own pets.

“That is why we need to monitor what our children are doing at home as well as outside our house compound,” Sempurai advised.

Meanwhile, last month, a five-year-old girl was attacked and bitten by a stray dog in Jalan Sentosa.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a recent statement that the bite wounds were not washed with clean water and soap immediately after the incident.

The Health Ministry confirmed that the girl’s death on March 26 was due to rabies.