This one-year-old girl was bitten to death by her family’s own pit bull.
A trail of blood, a pick axe, a heap of bloodied bricks, blood-smeared chairs and a broken broom tell the heartbreaking tale of little Faith Hendricks’ tragic fate at her home in Kalkoentjie Street, Mount Pleasant, on Friday morning.
Faith was killed after the pit bull grabbed her by the neck and shook her about “like a ragdoll”.
She was rushed to hospital where she later died of her injuries.
Her ouma, who was bitten when she tried to take the child from the dog, is still recovering in hospital from injuries to her arm and leg.
Faith’s heartbroken oupa, Victor Hendricks, 61, says the tiny tot was playing in the backyard under the watchful eye of her granny Evelyn Hendricks, 53, when his dog, Bruno, suddenly broke loose from its chain.
“I don’t know exactly what happened but the dog must have broken loose and attacked her,” says the shocked man.
“Neighbours called me and when I came home I found my wife lying in the doorway.”
He adds that the children were never allowed close to the dog.
Neighbour Cedric Hull, 36, says he heard shouts and what sounded like dogs fighting at about 10am.
When he rushed down the road and looked through the gates, he saw the dog shaking the defenceless meisie around by her neck.
“I felt so helpless because we couldn’t get in to help,” he says.
Neighbours threw bricks at the animal in an attempt to get it off the baby.
“When the granny tried to grab the baby, the dog bit her too,” says Cedric.
That’s when cousin Victoria Hendricks managed to grab Faith and ran into the house with her.
Cedric says mense begged cops who arrived on the scene to shoot the dog but they allegedly refused.
“When Uncle Vicky (Victor) came, he managed to put the dog in the Animal Welfare’s van and they took it away,” says Cedric.
The toddler’s father rushed with her to Hermanus Hospital where she later died.
Hermanus Animal Welfare Society’s Kennel and Clinic Manager Lenke Elferink says the badly injured dog, a type of pit bull crossbreed, had to be euthanised.
“The law states that an animal which causes injuries (to people) that require medical attention should be euthanised,” explains Lenke.
“Besides this the dog’s injuries, including a punctured lung, fractured chest, ruptured spleen and stab wound in the gut also necessitated it.”
Lenke says they received a number of calls from panicked mense asking them to come out and put down similar types of dogs.
“People are very emotional because a child is involved and are now asking for innocent animals to be euthanised,” she says.
Instead she has called on owners to rather have their dogs sterilised to make them less aggressive.
Victor says he is glad his dog was put to sleep.
“Ek sou daai hond self vrekgemaak het,” he says.
Captain FC van Wyk says according to reports, the dog attacked Faith “for no apparent reason”.
“She had bite marks on her body and head,” he adds.
An inquest docket has been opened.
Evelyn was taken to Worcester Hospital where she underwent an operation to repair damage to her arm.
Victor says: “Haar arm het soos ’n nat lap gehang. But doctors said she is doing well after the operation.”
He adds that his wife also had a hole in her leg where the dog bit her.
The oupa says he is devastated after his granddaughter’s death.
“Ek kan baie harregat wees maar sy was my hart se punt,” he says.
“I don’t even want to walk around because everybody wants to sympathise and I just can’t handle it.”