Mon, Feb 20, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Stray dog problem in Taichung leads to hospitalization

By Chang Hsuan-che and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An elderly man in Taichung’s Houli District (后里) was hospitalized on Jan. 7 for a month after being bitten on both hands by a stray dog while farming.

The man, surnamed Gu (古), said a group of stray dogs has been causing trouble for residents in the district’s Gongguan Borough (公館).

He said he was bitten while working next to a levee on the Daan River (大安溪), near where the dogs often gather in large packs. They also congregate at the district’s Taian railway station, he added.

Gu said people sometimes feed the dogs, adding that children and elderly people should be particularly vigilant to avoid the dogs given their numbers and aggressiveness.

Gongguan Borough Warden Feng Yung-huai (馮詠淮) said he has repeatedly asked the Taichung Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office to address the problem of stray dogs in the area, adding that their numbers have been increasing.

Feng said he is grateful that Gu was not attacked by the dogs as a pack, which could have resulted in the man’s death.

Feng advised parents to warn their children against playing near the river.

Gu said the dog that attacked him was large and yellow, adding that he was bitten while attempting to defend himself.

He said he drove himself to the Taichung Metro Harbor Hospital for treatment.

Gu sustained severe lacerations to several fingers, with one finger on each hand requiring amputation.

His left forearm, upper arm and wrist were also severely cut and inflamed.

Doctors said he would need to return for reconstructive surgery.

Animal protection office director Lin Liang-ju (林良儒) said the office would dispatch a team to capture dogs that pose a risk, adding that the office would also communicate with local pet owners.

The office plans to neuter the district’s strays animals as a preventive measure, Lin added.

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