PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – The mother of an 11-year-old child who was mauled to death by the family dog on Thursday is describing her as a hero, saying that Rachel Bhagwandeen had, without hesitation, sought to protect her nine-year-old brother.
“Rachel pushed her brother. He ran out crying and told me that Rachel got bite up. I saw my baby girl with her hands stretched, saying, ‘Mummy, Mummy,’ and I could not do anything. The dog was shaking her like a rag doll. I started to kick the dog for it to bite me instead,” the mother, Seema Bhagwandeen, told local media.
The dog, a mixed-breed American bull/American bully dog, mauled the child inside the bedroom of the family’s home in Vistabella, San Fernando, east of here.
Media reports said that the child was visiting extended family when the tragedy struck. Rachel and her brother Jaylon were watching television and the dog, Buddy, walked into the room. Rachel pushed Jaylon to the door and told him to run for his life.
“I do not know how it happened. I do not know if the dog jumped the gate and followed her inside,” the mother said.
The owner of the dog, who is Bhagwandeen’s nephew, had left the house moments earlier and reports said that the animal got out of its kennel and entered the house.
The ordeal lasted a few minutes until the dog’s owner returned and secured the dog.
“It was an accident. I understand that because I know that my family would not harm my child. She grew up here, so the dogs are supposed to know her. I do not want anyone to say this was intentional. This is no one fault,” the mother of four said.
“I am a child of God, and I know God will give me the strength to go on. I know God is in control.”
Police said they expect the dog to be put down.