Dog bought on Facebook kills woman’s brother, attacks husband on day of funeral

A U.K.-based woman is grieving after a pet dog brought tragedy to her family, as its bites first killed her brother and then caused her husband to lose his legs.The tail of an Akita at a dog show in Birmingham, United Kingdom.The tail of an Akita at a dog show in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

According to Wales Online, Barry Harris, 46, bought the dog from a private Facebook seller in London this past May. He reportedly paid £1,500 (just over $2,000 USD) for the 15-month-old Akita named Ted.

It was not the severity of Ted’s bites, however, that caused the injuries. Rather, it was the bacteria inside the dog’s mouth, which was introduced to the victims’ systems via his relatively mild bites, that led to their deadly infections.

“If a dog bite pierces a person’s skin, bacteria from the animal’s mouth can get into the body,” explained a 2019 report on dog bites by Medical News Today. “If the bacteria stay in the body, they can cause an infection, such as tetanus, rabies, or sepsis.” The 62-year-old Pauline Day, the sister of Harris described Ted the dog as a “big softie” and a “giant teddy bear,” per Wales Online.

Less than six weeks after Harris brought Ted home, however, the dog bit his owner on the arm. Harris had reportedly been trying to retrieve an animal bone from Ted’s mouth at the time of the incident. Soon after, the bite became swollen and he developed cold sweats. Three days later, Harris died from cardiac arrest caused by the infection.

The family’s nightmare continued about a month later when, on the day of Harris’ August funeral, Ted bit the hand of Day’s husband, Mark. The next morning, he awoke with “legs like blocks of ice,” reported Wales Online. In the following days, he came down with a 102-degree fever and was taken to a hospital. There, he went into cardiac arrest and multiple organ failure.

Doctors confirmed that Mark’s severe illness was “100 percent” caused by a bacterial infection, originating from a dog bite. When Day learned of Ted’s connection to her husband’s condition, she had the dog euthanized.

Mark, meanwhile, has reportedly been in the hospital since August. He’s already had his left-hand fingers amputated and will lose both of his legs next week, reported The Independent.

Day has since looked into Ted’s paperwork, originally provided by the private seller, and discovered that the dog had not been vaccinated. “They gave him a false history,” she said.

Notably, the bites were not particularly severe on their own. “Ted literally just broke the skin on my husband and my brother,” said Day, who described the incidents as the dog merely “nipping them.”

“It’s like something out of a nightmare. You just don’t believe this has happened,” said Day, per the news outlet. “The shock of my brother was one thing and then my husband. It’s just surreal.”

“It was the softest dog but it had food issues. Whenever it was near food it was so aggressive,” she added. “We think it was mistreated as a puppy.”

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