Dogs maul owners in horror attack

Blood on the wall - blood splatters on the front door of the Calitz home bears testimony to the severity of the attack


A RICHARDS Bay couple will be spending Christmas in hospital following a vicious attack on them by their own dogs on Monday.

Empangeni Visible Policing Commander, Colonel Danie Calitz, and his wife Sharon, the Chief Personnel Officer at Empangeni SAPS, are recovering in Netcare The Bay hospital after they were mauled and seriously injured by their dogs in an attack that has left the entire family stunned.

At around 6pm Sharon was watering her garden with a water bucket, when their three-year-old Boerboel Rufus struck, tackling her to the ground.

‘I remember falling to the ground and sort of curling up into a foetal position,’ she said on Tuesday, speaking from her bed in the Intensive Care Unit.

‘I thought I was going to die and I kept screaming for Danie to come and help me. The dog was just so strong, he pushed me over so easily.’

Their second dog, a six-year-old half-wolf named Ulva, then also joined the attack.

Danie heard his wife’s panicked yells and rushed outside.

He was greeted with a nightmarish scene – his wife on the ground with both of his dogs in full attack mode, biting her on the head and legs.

‘I immediately grabbed Rufus by his choke chain and forcibly pulled him off Sharon.

‘He just turned and bit me on my right arm, before struggling to get back to her.’

While fighting to contain the Boerboel, Danie’s right arm was torn to shreds and he too was thrown to the ground and bitten on the head.

‘I yelled at Sharon to get inside the house, as our other dog was also biting her on the legs, and thankfully she managed to get up and get away.’

As soon as Sharon was out of sight, both dogs immediately calmed down.


Battered, bruised and bleeding, Danie drove them to the hospital.

‘I looked at Sharon and I could see she had been badly hurt,’ he said.

‘But she was looking at me and she thought I was worse off than her. There was just blood everywhere.’

Sharon spent two hours in theatre on Monday night and Tuesday in ICU after sustaining severe head wounds that required more than 200 stitches, as well as bites to her hands, back, legs and arms.

She again went into surgery yesterday (Wednesday) morning.

Danie’s right arm was in a bad shape and he also sustained serious bite injuries on his head. He too will require further surgery.

Why dogs attack

According to Empangeni SPCA Inspector Roland Fivaz, we might never fully understand why dogs attack their owners.

‘People must just remain cautious, especially when dealing with ‘power breeds’ like this,’ he said.

‘They should watch for the tell-tale signs and react accordingly.’

After some consideration by the family, it was decided that Rufus and Ulva would be removed from the Calitz home.

They were put down on Tuesday.

While not looking forward to their Christmas in a hospital ward, both Danie and Sharon hope they will at least get beds next to each other to celebrate life and Christmas together.

Kyle Cowan

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