MANILA - A DOG deployed at a Philippine shopping mall to sniff out terrorists has attacked and mauled a woman customer, authorities said on Wednesday.
The Manila shopper, who was with her child, told local television stations she was hospitalised with bite wounds between her eyes, across the bridge of her nose, and on her forehead when set upon by the Belgian Malinois.
Police officer Paulo Ortega told GMA network that the woman sought and got permission from the bomb-sniffing dog's handler to pet the animal last weekend.
'According to the handler, the dog allowed the woman to touch it. But when she sat down to continue the petting, that's when it bit her on the face.' The victim's child was unharmed.
It was not known if the dog was put down. The canine unit involved was owned by a private security firm contracted by the mall operator.
The Philippine coastguard, which deploys its own canine units at strategic locations in Manila to deter terrorist bombings, confirmed the incident on its website. It said its handlers had been instructed to take extra precautions 'in view of the recent K9 attack wherein a lady victim in a supermarket... was badly bitten in the face by a K9 that went wild'. -- AFP
[Ok. First, working dogs are not pets. Second, even if they were pets, why do people assume that such dogs would tolerate a stranger's handling. Thirdly, the handler shouldn't have agreed to let the woman approach the dog. Sure the dog doesn't bite... the handler. Maybe her perfume smells bad to the dog. Maybe she owns cats. Maybe she has a dog at home. In any case, it is not professional behaviour to allow strangers to interact with a working dog. I hope the dog was not put down, and dog handlers maintain a higher level of professionalism.]