Man's best friend | 

OAP Donal Rogers ‘very happy’ after winning battle to save dog Kim who bit woman

A judge ordered for destruction of the Jack Russell to be stayed and instructed ordered that dog control measures be put in place by her owner

Donal Rogers and his dog Kim

Donal Rogers and Kim

Eugene MastersonSunday World

A pensioner who won a last minute reprieve to stop his pet dog being put down after she allegedly bit a passing pedestrian admits he is “very happy” the case appears to be settled.

Celebrities such as Kate Beckinsale and Ricky Gervais are among thousands of well-wishers who’ve congratulated Donal Rogers in the past several hours for saving Jack Russell Kim’s life.

Mr Rogers (85), from Roscommon, must now pay complainant Breid Green €5,000 compensation, as well as her €1,500 costs.

Judge Karen Fergus in the Circuit Court ordered for destruction be stayed and instructed ordered that dog control measures be put in place by her owner

The judge added that If Mr Rogers is able to satisfy the conditions laid down by the court within four weeks the order to destroy Kim would be permanently stayed.

Greene is understood to have strongly denied comments online that she is an “animal hater” and stated that she had only wanted to make sure that nobody else would suffer a bite in the future from Kim.

She also hit out against what she described as “demonisation” of her character on social media and Judge Fergus said that she fully accepted Ms Greene’s bona fides in the matter.

The case will return to court in a month, in order that the court can be satisfied that the conditions laid down for a permanent stay on the destruction order have been met.

“I am very happy,” a relieved Mr Rogers (84) told the Sunday World. “It’s not over, it has to be dealt with again. It’s coming up for mention again.

“I presume the stay will be extended, provided of course that the court order is complied with, which I intend to comply with.

“I have been advised not to comment on the order or anything like that. It’s a major turn of events when there was a stay put on the down decision.”

Donal Rogers and Kim

Asked how Kim is, he smiles: “Kim is 120pc. I bring her for a walk every day.

“I was advised to do a dog training course, and I have her on a dog training course and she is coming off the course today and will be tested tomorrow.

“I also now have electric gates, which will be closed all the time.

“She gets treats all the time. I have a variety of food for her and she gets a good feed in the eventing time, and I’m advised that’s the way to feed her.”

Kim is aged six and was born in August 2016. Donal also has a six-year-old sheepdog, Oscar.

Over 170,000 people signing a petition to save the animal, including Ricky Gervais.

Ricky Gervais in After Life

The highly publicised case arose after the former garda’s pet nipped Ms Green her on her leg while she was walking past his house, near Strokestown, Co Roscommon.

When asked in August at her home in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, by the Sunday World whether it was true that she had two previous court actions which led to the destruction of two other dogs in similar circumstances Ms Greene politely replied: “I really don’t want to comment.”

A destruction order was initially made arising out of an incident when Kim the bit Ms Greene as she was walking the Strokestown Famine Trail on the afternoon of March 6 earlier this year.

The incident occurred outside the entrance of Mr Rogers' home at Bumlin, Strokestown, Co Roscommon.

In her evidence to the court, Ms Greene said no warning or growl was given by the dog before she was bitten on the leg.

She claimed she bitten from behind, that the dog tore the trousers she was wearing and inflicted her with a bite that required eight stitches.

She further told the court she required medical treatment for her wound at hospitals in Roscommon and Co Tipperary.

Arising out of the incident, Ms Greene, who made an application to the Roscommon District Court under the 1986 Control of Dogs Act, obtained in late April an order from the court directing the dog be delivered to a dog warden in the county to be destroyed.

The district court held the dog was dangerous and was "not kept under proper control".

Mr Rogers, who opposed Ms Greene's application, appealed that decision to the circuit court.

The appeal was brought on grounds including that no evidence or history was given about the dog before the district court, that no evidence was accepted from Mr Rogers, that the doctrine of the one-bite rule was not taken into account by the district court judge.

He also argued before the circuit court that the Ms Greene "appeared to be an animal hater", had refused any offer of a settlement from Mr Rogers and was adamant that the dog be destroyed.

Ms Greene, who is in her 60s, is well known in Clonmel as a local Toastmaster and the pensioner was also a peace commissioner.

“I’m not commenting in any way,” a wary Ms Greene said when we called to her neatly kept semi-detached home in Clonmel during the Summer.

Asked if she had any sympathy for Mr Rogers, she stressed: “I said I’m not commenting in any way.”

She made her remarks after we initially asked her was it true that she was involved in two prior court cases which led to the destruction of dogs, but would neither confirm or deny it.

Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais, whose stardom exploded thanks to his role as David Brent in hit TV show The Office, had joined the ‘Save Kim’ campaign.

Over 178,000 people signed a petition against the dog’s destruction and over €14,000 has been raised for Mr Roger’s campaign.

“This is so sad and frustrating,” Gervais said in a tweet to his 15 million followers on Twitter in relation to the case. “Anyone out there know how this dog can be saved? #SaveKim.”

Last night he gave a thumbs up emoji to the news of Kim’s reprieve.

Actress Kate Beckinsale shared a pictured of Donal and Kim to her 5.5 million followers on Instagram in recent hours: “Some good news! And thank you to all of you who signed the petition! Big love to Donal and Kim,” she posted.

Mr Rogers told us he had several dogs over the years and Kim and Oscar are “great friends”.

“They get on together, they eat out of the same dish,” he noted.

He said Strokestown Park House has become a tourist attraction due to a famine museum being opened in the building.

Kate Beckinsale. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

It and an adjacent famine heritage trail appear to have attracted Ms Greene to travel with a group from Clonmel to visit Strokestown earlier this year.

Part of the trail goes by Mr Rogers’ house.

“Ms Green and her husband, who told me his name was a Mr White, apparently saw about the trail on the internet,” he explained.

“There was a group of them organised and they came to Strokestown on a Sunday morning and they came around the road nearby house.”

Mr Rogers said he had just arrived home from mass and was relaxing inside. His dogs were able to get out onto the road through an open gate.

“The next thing I heard a knock on my front door, which was behind the door where they were lying on the lawn,” he recalls.

“Those people had come along silently and the little dog woke up and saw the people on the road and her instinct as a Jack Russell was to rush out and nip them.

"She rushed out and nipped the person in the back of the leg and ran back into the lawn again.”

He said always had proper control of the dogs and Kim “never did anything like that before”.

He said when he answered the door, Mr White was standing back from the door.

“As somebody said to me he wasn’t afraid of the dogs to come in and knock on the door, the dog had no effect on him,” he stressed.

“He said to me in a calm and mannered tone, ‘your dog has bitten my wife’. I immediately apologised to him and said ‘I’m very sorry that has happened, does she want to go to the hospital, because I will drive her to the hospital.’”

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