Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 November 2019

Abu Dhabi pet owner thanks 'miracle' worker vets who came to aid of savaged dog

Staff at German Veterinary Clinic broke off their Eid holiday plans to treat dog badly hurt in street attack

Samer Ol-Ogidi has thanked vets for abandoning Eid holiday plans to treat his pet, Yoko, after a brutal street attack by a larger dog. Victor Besa/The National
Samer Ol-Ogidi has thanked vets for abandoning Eid holiday plans to treat his pet, Yoko, after a brutal street attack by a larger dog. Victor Besa/The National

A pet owner has praised Abu Dhabi vets who broke off their Eid holiday plans to come to the rescue after his dog suffered life-threatening injuries in a vicious street attack.

Samer Ol-Ogidi was walking his 12-year-old Havanese dog, Yoko, at about 6.20am on Tuesday in Al Reef when she was set upon by a larger dog, believed to be a German shepherd, which had broke free of its owners' leash.

The small dog sustained a number of serious injuries, including a broken jaw and severe lacerations.

Both dog walkers tried to remove the larger dog’s jaws from Yoko, but severe damage had already been caused in an attack that lasted just a few seconds.

“After the attack I drove quickly from Al Reef to Khalifa City [...] while Yoko was bleeding to death in my hands,” said Mr Ol-Ogidi, who owns pet grooming service Pooch Parlour.

“Because of her age and her small size compared to the German shepherd that attacked her, my mind quickly spiralled into dark places.”

Everyone willingly abandoned their Eid holiday plans and rushed to the clinic

Samer Ol-Ogidi

Mr Ol-Ogidi called the German Veterinary Clinic, who he is affiliated with as a pet stylist, in Khalifa City.

Dr Katrin Jahn responded to an out of hours emergency number, and abandoned her holiday plans to provide emergency treatment.

She also called in anaesthetist Simba Bamhamire and head nurse Nora Shackleford to prepare Yoko for emergency surgery.

Yoko received within half an hour of the attack, a swift response that has given her the best chance of recovery.

“They immediately declared code red within their team and everyone willingly abandoned their Eid holiday plans and rushed to the clinic,” said Mr Ol-Ogidi.

“The head nurse was wonderful in managing me, as the dog owner in an inconsolable state.

“I was covered in Yoko's blood and she managed to calm me down and clean me up.”

The efforts of German Veterinary Clinic staff (from left to right) Nora Shackleford, Dr Vito Castellana, Dr. Katrin Jahn and Simba Bamhamire has been hailed as an Eid miracle by thankful pet owner  Samer Ol-Ogidi. Victor Besa/The National    
The efforts of German Veterinary Clinic staff (from left to right) Nora Shackleford, Dr Vito Castellana, Dr. Katrin Jahn and Simba Bamhamire has been hailed as an Eid miracle by thankful pet owner  Samer Ol-Ogidi. Victor Besa/The National    

Mr Ol-Ogidi said the American owner of the dog involved in the incident has followed up to check on the welfare of Yoko, although there is no indication he will cover the cost of the veterinary bills.

The dog had four hours of skin reconstruction surgery, followed by another three hours of bone and jaw reconstruction by head surgeon Dr Vito Castellana.

Yoko is now recovering, wrapped in bandages.

Although German shepherd dogs are not on the list of banned breeds in the UAE, dogs considered dangerous need to be kept on a muzzle and leash in public.

Dog ownership laws, revamped in 2017, state all dogs must now be licensed, registered and kept on a lead at all times in public.

A prison term of between three and seven years can be handed to anyone found using a dangerous animal to attack another person causing permanent injury, and for life if the attack is fatal.

Other penalties include fines of between Dh10,000 and Dh400,000, and detainment of the animal.

Banned dogs include all types of pit bull, wolf-dog hybrids, American Staffordshire terriers, Japanese tosa, Brazilian and Argentinian mastiffs and crossbreeds of any of those dogs.

Other breeds recently added to the banned list include the American bully, rottweilers, breed or hybrid, doberman pinschers and boxer dogs.

“The owner of the dogs told the clinic the two animals were rescued from a dog fighting ring, so he knew they had the potential to be aggressive,” said Mr Ol-Ogidi.

“The passion, love and care for all animals and pets that the German Veterinary clinic team demonstrated in this critical time was beyond measure,” said Mr Ol-Ogidi.

“It was an Eid miracle that happened right in front of us.”

Updated: June 5, 2019 06:36 PM

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