Posted: March 27th, 2015
A seventeen year-old boy has received a five-figure settlement of compensation for a dog bite after it was ruled that an animal rescue centre was negligent.
In November 2009, Rhys Loy was cycling home from school in Raheny, Dublin. On his way, Rhys, who was just twelve years old, at the time, was bitten by a five year-old dog that was being walked by Anecy Sholling, his foster owner.
Rhys was then taken to the Children’s University Hospital in Temple Street. He had suffered a superficial laceration to his calf, and at the hospital the cut was stitched together. However, Rhys returned t the hospital on many further occasions to have his dressings changed and his wound cleaned.
Acting on her son’s behalf, Sinead Byrne made a claim for personal injury compensation against the dog’s owners, Deidre and Gina Hetherington, who work at the PAWS animal rescue shelter in Co. Tipperary. Sinead also organised a warrant for the dog to be euthanised.
However, the Hetheringtons denied that they were liable for Rhy’s injuries. They claimed that Ms Sholling had adopted the dog, a collie named Charlie, from them many moths before he attacked Rhys. They also claimed that they did not know the location of the dog, as it went missing after it escaped the Gardai trying to execute the warrant.
The claim was heard earlier this month at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard a testimony that Ms Sholling was fostering the dog when it attacked Rhys, and that she had returned it to PAWS after the incident had occurred.
It was determined that the dog had indeed been owned by the rescue centre when it attacked Rhys, and Judge Groarke found in Rhy’s favour. He ordered Deirdre and Gina to pay Rhys €7,500 in compensation. The judge also commented that he did not believe that it was coincidental that Charlie escaped capture.