The eight-year-old boy who was intubated after being attacked by dogs on Tuesday is now off the ventilator and is in a stable condition, according to paediatric surgeon Christos Mina.
Talking to CNA, Mina noted that the child is out of danger but it will take several weeks for him to fully recover.
On Tuesday afternoon, the eight-year-old was intubated at the Makarios children’s hospital and underwent a two-hour surgery performed by a team of paediatric and plastic surgeons.
Initial reports indicate that the young boy may have been attacked by up to three to four dogs while playing in nearby fields with his brother at about 8am, with locals calling an ambulance soon after.
One person heard shouts and cries as the attack happened and rushed to the scene, scaring away the dog and providing first aid.
The child was first taken to Limassol general hospital but due to the severity of his condition, having suffered head injuries, he was transferred to the Makarios hospital in Nicosia.
Doctors there said his condition was now stable, but he would need up to three operations.
Limassol police officers and municipality officials have so far identified one dog – a rottweiler – while efforts are under way to locate the other dogs.
The dog which has been inspected does not have a microchip, according to police sources, and is now being held by municipality officials.
Police spokesman Christos Andreou told Sigma that police officers identified two rottweilers at the site but one ran away, with officers believing that the one which escaped may be the dog involved in the attack.
Andreou warned that the dog is on the loose and may attack again, as he urged members of the public to be cautious and alert the authorities should they spot any wild dogs in the area.
The incident occurred near the child’s home.
The Animal Party said that the attack is yet another incident stemming from the government’s inaction to enforce the law.
“The situation is out of control and everyone just does whatever they want because they simply do not feel the presence of the authorities, who bear a major responsibility for what is happening around us,” the party said.
Assigning blame to owners, the Green party on Wednesday in an announcement said that incidents of dog-to-human attacks are rare and result out of their owner’s omission in implementing the law.
“Based on the Animal Protection and Welfare Laws and Dog Law, there are obligations that owners must meet but unfortunately, do not. Abandoning dogs, although a criminal offence, is a phenomenon observed on the streets every day,” the Green’s announcement reads.
“Also, the law mandates for owners to hold a registration certificate and to permanently chip their dogs, also not widely observed thus making their abandonment easier,” it added.