At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today 53-year old Renata Burdajewicz pled guilty to her dog biting 62-year old Margaret Ross on the body to her injury while in the common stair at Clovenstone Park on May 21 this year.
Fiscal Depute, Sarah Lumsden, told the court that Mrs Ross had been visiting her son, who lived upstairs from the accused, and was coming down the stairs when she met the woman and her large Caucasian Shepherd dog, “Azun”. The dog was on a lead and wearing a leather muzzle.
The Fiscal added: “The dog made a lunge at Mrs Ross and bit her on the left hip and maintained its bite until the accused managed to pull it back off. The dog then immediately bit Mrs Ross on the left calf and again had to be pulled off”.
“Mrs Ross was screaming and could not go back upstairs to her son’s without passing the dog again, so she went downstairs, got outside and flagged down a passing police car.
“She showed the officers her injuries – bite marks on her hip and a jagged cut on her leg which was bleeding”.
Mrs Ross was taken to St John’s Hospital in Livingston where wounds were treated and she was given a five-day course of penicillin.
When interviewed by the police, Mrs Burdajewicz told them that the dog normally had two muzzles – a leather one and a cage one. She said the dog, which she had inherited from her mother in Poland, “liked to dominate, did not like strangers and tended to act in an aggressive manner if strangers came towards it”.
She said she had given it tablets to calm it down and sought advice from a vet.
Ms Lumsden then told Sheriff Lilian Patrick that the dog had attacked a police officer in May last year. The officer had been in the accused’s home and has gone to a walk-in cupboard where the dog was kept. “The dog bit him on the arm and leg leaving three wounds which required exploratory surgery for possible nerve damage”.
The Fiscal told the Sheriff that “with a heavy heart” she was seeking an order for the destruction of the dog, saying: “I submit the dog constitutes a danger to public safety”.
Defence solicitor, Natalie Paterson, told the Sheriff that her client was aware the dog could be aggressive and had seen a vet about it. Sheriff Patrick commented that the attack on Mrs Ross must have been terrifying.
“There has to be a public interest decision” she said. “She must realise it can’t be returned to her”.
Sheriff Patrick added: “I have no choice, but to make an order for the destruction of the dog”.