Byline: By JOHN MAGUIRE and ANDREW GREGORY
THE mother of a seven-year-old boy mauled by a circus dog told
yesterday why she begged a judge not to have it destroyed.
Rottweiler Boss bit a chunk of Sait Canbullu’s arm as he
played near his home in Ballytivnan, Sligo.
At the local district court last week, Judge Oliver McGuinness
ordered the vicious dog be destroyed.
But the animal’s life was spared after mother-of-10 Hilda
Canbullu desperately pleaded for mercy for Boss.
Ms Canbullu told how she couldn’t face seeing the dog put
She said: « There is nothing more important than life.
« I come from a family of 15 and I am expecting my 11th child
and I have a bull-staff dog as a family pet. I just could not bear to
see an animal put down.
« The court gave us EUR2,000 as compensation but this was not
about the money. Money can’t buy you another child and I was just
so glad the two security men were around to help save my son Sait. That
is the most important thing of all. »
Hilda told of her panic after hearing about the attack, which
happened shortly before 7pm on March 1.
She said: « When I heard he was bitten I did not know what to
think as we are a very close family.
« We rushed out of the house to the field where he was shaking
and crying so I put my arms around him.
« There was a hole in his arm where the dog had sunk his teeth
in and his face was covered in scratches where the animal had dragged
him into the bushes.
« We took him to Sligo General Hospital where he was given an
anti-tetanus injection. But when we brought him home he could not settle
and had nightmares. He was so shaken that he was even afraid of our own
Hilda also revealed that no one from the circus had asked about her
She added: « The circus lady thanked me in the court for
pleading for her dog’s life but nobody from the group even asked
about how Sait was.
« I don’t know if the dog will attack somebody else or not
but I do know that he was roaming around before the attack.
« Hopefully the circus lady will keep her word and keep her
animal well muzzled. I would not like another family to suffer at the
hands of this dog. »
The Sydney Circus was ordered by Sligo District Court to pay
EUR2,000 to Sait without prejudice to any civil proceedings.
Inspector Gerry Connolly insisted it be paid in cash as gardai were
unsure where the circus was heading next.
WOUNDED: Hilda Canbullu’s son Sait shows the bite he received
from the dog Photo: James Connolly / PicSell; REPRIEVE: Yvette Scholl