Woman Savaged by Dogs

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK A woman was almost killed when she was savagely mauled by three boerbull dogs at a guest farm near the town of Omaruru on Tuesday. She managed to save herself by playing dead. Katrina Kheibes is now recovering from injuries all over her body at the Katutura Hospital in Windhoek, and she considers herself so lucky to have escaped the ordeal because she will be turning 41 on August 26. It all happened on Zipser Guest Farm, situated a few kilometres from Omaruru, when Kheibes was called by the farm owner’s wife, Diana Pienaar, to wash dishes and perform other household chores on that day. As this was not the first time for Kheibes to go to this farm since her husband also works there, she felt she would be safe to come and work. “I really thought the dogs will not bite me since I have been there many times before,” said the traumatised woman, wiping away tears as she retold the story. While she was busy in the kitchen, farm owner Louis Pienaar and Kheibes’ husband went into the veldt and Diana left to buy groceries in Omaruru. So that meant Kheibes was left all alone on the farm. The gruesome attack happened when she briefly stepped out of the house. “I was so shocked as the first dog bit me on the head and all over. I’m now in a lot of pain,” said the soft-spoken mother of six children. “Even though I was crying for help there was no one around to help me and the more I moved the more they attacked. I really thought I was going to die,” she added. In the end she saved herself by playing “dead” and lying still. “It was only when I stopped moving that they would not bite me and rather fight amongst themselves,” said Kheibes whose whole body is wrapped in bandages. She was still shaking from the horror of the ordeal. Eventually, while the dogs were busy fighting amongst themselves, she took the chance and ran back into the kitchen and closed the door. She was only able to get help after the farm owners came back and called the ambulance. The dogs inflicted deep wounds all over her arms, breasts, head, legs and even scratches on her back. According to the sister in charge of Ward 2B, Dorcas Katjimune, although her condition is now stable, she is severely traumatised and needs counselling. “The skin on her head is torn off and she was attacked all over her body,” said Katjimune, adding that she is been treated against rabies and tetanus. She is also on antibiotics and is constantly on painkillers. According to the patient, the three dogs have always been kept loose in the farmyard at the guest farm, but are said to have also attacked a lamb and a small pony before. Meanwhile, Dr Wolfgang SpÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¤th of the Windhoek Veterinary Clinic, said it is characteristic for boerbulls to allow you into the yard or house and then attack as you leave. He noted that it is not characteristic for farm dogs to attack livestock, but if they have attacked once they will do it again. “I have seen many of these incidents with bull terriers and boerbulls and I advise usually that they be removed, or to keep them locked up until evening,” said Dr SpÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¤th. As for now, the Pienaar family are willing to support Kheibes as she recovers from her ordeal.

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