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Hope for Mickele

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Hope for Mickele

Plastic surgery scheduled for boy mangled by dogs

BY SHARLENE HENDRICKS
Staff reporter
hendrickss@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

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Five-year-old Mickele Allen, who was seriously mangled by dogs in St Ann on Sunday, is scheduled to be transferred to Bustamante Hospital for Children today for plastic surgery to his head.

The boy’s mother, Pauline Johnson, who was at her son’s bedside at St Ann’s Bay Hospital all day yesterday, told the Jamaica Observer via phone that, despite Mickele’s serious injuries, he has been very responsive and doing better than expected.

“I just fed him, so he is able to eat, and he has been talking with me as well. Tomorrow they are going to take him to the Bustamante Hospital for plastic surgery to his head,” the distressed mother said, adding that she was finding it hard to cope.

Johnson explained that on several occasions she had complained to a resident in the community whose dogs she said would often attack passers-by.

Meanwhile, head of the St Ann police, Superintendent Carlos Russell, told the Observer that the owner of three of the dogs that have been implicated in the attack has been identified, and efforts are now under way to remove the animals from the community to have them impounded.

“We have confirmed that at least two of the dogs involved in the attack belong to the residence of this owner, and we are looking to impound these dogs,” Superintendent Russell said, adding that the police have been having a challenge catching the animals.

The superintendent said a local pound was unable to take the dogs, and as such the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) has been contacted for its assistance.

Efforts to reach the JSPCA were unsuccessful up to press time; however, Assistant Superintendent of Police Jermaine DeLattiboudere, who was on the ground when the Observer visited the area yesterday, explained that the owner, whose identity is being withheld, has been assisting in their efforts to capture the dogs.

“The owner has been trying to catch the dog but he is also having some challenge. But if we do not get the assistance of the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals then we will have to employ ingenious ways of catching them,” DeLattiboudere said.

He also said the lack of perimeter fencing in the community has been noted as a point of concern.

“We plan to have community meetings to educate persons about how to prevent their dogs from harming others, like putting up perimeter fencing as this is something we notice is lacking in the community,” said the superintendent.

Camille Robinson, a resident who spoke with the Observer, said she is now fearful for her children who, on occasion, also walk to the shop and have had encounters with the dogs.

“They always bark and run out when people passing by. You have to take up stones to scare them away. They are very fast and wassy,” said Robinson, who is the mother of a four- and 12-year-old.

“I’m really scared after seeing how the dogs bite up the little boy. Mi nah let them out by themself again,” she said.

Meanwhile, the owner of the dogs, who also spoke with the Observer, complained that the boy should not have been travelling that distance from his house to the shop alone.

However, Superintendent Russell told the Observer that there is no intention, at this time, to charge the boy’s parent with child neglect.

“We want to do a fulsome investigation, but I don’t think that that is something we want to do right now. The boy needs his parent to be there as he is in the hospital. But neglect is a point of consideration because the child could have been better protected,” said Russell.

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