DUNDALK IRELAND - A JAPANESE AKITA ATTACKED A FAMILY MEMBER RELENTLESSLY FOR ALMOST 2 HOURS CAUSING HORRIFIC INJURIES - SHE NOW WANTS TO WARN ABOUT THE POTENTIAL DANGERS OF AKITAS
A woman who nearly lost her arm after being mauled by an Akita dog has warned people over the danger of
the "restricted breed". Mum-of-three Olivia Donnelly faces another eight operations next year on her left arm,
which was ripped wide open in a relentless two-hour attack. She was savaged by her father’s dog, A MALE JAPANESE AKITA, when he got into the yard of the Readypenny Inn pub near Dundalk, Co
Louth. Her father Mickey ran the pub until his death there last month.
Olivia said: “The dog had either got out or jumped the fence and suddenly he was there. I didn’t even see
him until he had my arm in his mouth. I tried to pull away and get away and then he started on my legs. I was
black and blue. I have bite marks all over my body.”
Olivia said her dad got Bran, who has since been destroyed, three years ago and he also had a female Akita
who was gentle and recently had pups. She was mauled on November 14 as she was going to check on
the new arrivals. The worst injury was to her left arm when she tried to pull away from him.
Bran grabbed and “he swung me all around the yard”.
She added: “I don’t know at what stage I copped on that if I played dead he would just circle me.
“I began to gradually crawl to the back door, it took two hours. At one stage he came in for a big
attack again. That was when he grabbed my left arm and I could see him ripping it and I could see it in
his mouth. I dropped to the ground to play dead. It was 20 minutes until I moved. He noticed I was
moving and he went for my arm again. I don’t know how I did it but I looked the dog in the eyes and
said, ‘Bran I have had it’. After that, he never touched me and I dragged myself to the back door.”
When family members who were inside realised what was going on, they tried to get him away from
her but to no avail. Olivia has no memory of what happened from the time she got to safety in the kitchen until she woke up in Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital.
She expressed her thanks to staff at the intensive care unit and said doctors have saved her left arm.
Olivia, from Dundalk, added: “He had ripped every artery out of my arm and all my veins so everything
had to be put back in from my leg into my arm. I am very lucky to have my arm.”
She has extensive stitching to her left leg and skin grafts and will need eight operations next year. Olivia,
who has kids Keelan, eight, Oisin, six, and four-year-old Tiernan with fiance Patrick Kane, said she
was only getting over the death of her father when the attack happened.
Now she wants to warn people about the potential dangers of Akitas. Olivia said:
“They look like cute wee teddy bears but they were trained bear killers. It is in their genes, it is their instinct.
Be very, very careful if you get an Akita.”
Despite all she has been through, she said she would go through it again to have her beloved father back.
Olivia added: “He was a rock. If you needed anything he would be there. I so miss his phone calls.”
Louth county vet Garrett Shine said: “Any dog can bite but there is a reason why the list of restricted breeds
was drawn up and it is because if they go ‘wrong’ they go seriously wrong.
“Of course any dog can bite, and I am aware there is a school of thought the restricted breed legislation
should be revoked because it is the ‘deed’ and not the dog. You can get a Japanese Akita or a pit-bull
or a staffie and most of the latter are well socialised.
“But they have power in their jaws and unlike getting a nip from say a little Jack Russell, these dogs have
power and if they go off they are like bombs.”