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Did that title catch your attention? Well sit down and relax as you sip your cup of tea to learn more. I love crime, I love Psychology of Crime and Criminals too and you guessed right, watch a lot of crime shows on Investigation Discovery on DSTv. I watched a series that aired some time back about a woman who was marauded by a dog to death. Her name Diane Whipple, those who love crime will want to google on that to find out more. 

The one below is a story that never made the headlines, unfortunately. 

There is a vast land belonging to a Mzungu near my neighbourhood, I won’t reveal where for security reasons. This man Mr. Smith has property like all Mzungus living in Kenya. Then one day his big dog attacked a 12 year old boy who had sneaked through a little space in the fence to steal some mangoes which ripened but remained un-eaten by Mr. Smith. You guessed right, this boy never got around to eating his mangoes in peace. Instead, a German Shepherd or something resembling that attacked him. Njoroge, one of Smith’s workers came to his rescue.

A big scandalous case ensued in the area where Mr. Smith was taken to the Chief’s court by the boy’s mother. This angered the man so much he threatened, ”he can die in hospital or wherever, little thief”. But the chief saw the sorry state of the woman and managed to make Mr. Smith agree to help foot for the boy’s hospital bills and even pay for his school fees. The boy’s payment, to be a kijakazi as he schools and receives treatment. Good, it ended well.

But,

There is another one, this one happened when I was a little older to understand things and not on a Mzungu’s land. It was during a work stint in the small Officer Commanding Station in a Town. A man came complaining that his neighbour’s dog attacked him. He had done nothing to provoke the monster which came charging at him violently. Managed to put this six foot man on his foetal position and bit him. He called out for the owner who sluggishly ”appeared”, he peeped. The owner said, ”Nani alikuleta”?

Though the case looked laughable, it was taken to the police and the man had a lawyer waiting to charge Mr.  Aggrey a sum of up to one million Kenya shillings for the dog bite. His attempts to plead with the man to settle out of court simply angered the man who said, ”this man doesn’t like to pay debts no wonder he got a dog to kill me”.

I know you want to hear how this went, of course, the Magistrate awarded the bitten man his wishes plus full treatment with money from this man’s pocket. People were shocked. Which brought a great debaters contest of who should have been responsible for the dog? Was the victim on the wrong? Should he have screamed loudly for Mr. Aggrey to hear him well? Or should he, let’s name him ”Mr. M” have taken to his heels when he saw no sign of Mr. Aggrey or his malicious smile or the dog greeting as he approached?.

Who should be responsible when an animal has lodged a vicious attack against a stranger or relative? Is it the owner or the supposed trespasser? What about if in this case, he was a KPLC Kenya personnel or the Water Company or any other uniformed personnel? What if a neighbour’s child liked to tease this dog then one day it decided to unleash it’s terror? Who should we blame?

Have you ever witnessed an event as scary as this? 

My daughter has a Maltese Breed pup which tends to be very tail wagging. One day, a neighbour’s boy kept calling her name, ” Cindy, Cindy”. She barked like a big German Shepherd, ran, charging towards this boy. Despite my daughter trying to call her to calm her down, the boy was chased, luckily he dashed into the house without any bites or accidents. I became very furious and yelled, ”Kama angekuuma, ungejilipia matibabu, mimi nina immunization sheet yake so si mbwa was rabis na ulikuwa unamsumbua. Next time, Jipange”. This sounded so rude in the eyes boy’s mother she threatened to sue me, I never pleaded with her just answered, ”Go ahead ma’am”.

Now, what do you think about dogs and the law and the owners? Do you believe a dog owner should be responsible for their dogs? This topic brings a lot of heat and fuel, agony because some people have lost their arms, legs and calf due to dog bites. Please explain more what the law should be all about. Should this law be limited to dogs or to include any attacking creature?

This has made me think about another topic, Chickens. Wait for it as you comment.

 

 


stephanie

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2 Comments

Sandra · 30th March 2017 at 8:44 pm

Found your article very captivating having suffered a similar incident. What does the Kenyan law say about this?

    stephanie · 15th April 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Hello Sandra, The Kenyan Law is quite fuzzy about dog bites, once I get something that is interesting to the readers, I will update this post accordingly.

    For now, I believe once a dog has bitten someone, the owner is usually responsible for all the charges the victim has endured. Of course, this will vary from case to case. For example, if you can prove the victim provoked the dog to charge at him or her, the case has already created a reasonable doubt and may be thrown out and the victim pays his own bills.

    In most Kenyan cases, ”Get a good lawyer”.

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