Woman mauled by dogs

June 15, 2021
Bavette Watson-Balfour is recovering after being mauled by two pit bulls.
Bavette Watson-Balfour is recovering after being mauled by two pit bulls.
Watson-Balfour’s bandaged leg.
Watson-Balfour’s bandaged leg.

In another horrific dog attack, a 61-year-old St Ann woman was mauled by two pit bulls while on her way to work last Saturday.

Bavette Watson-Balfour suffered several bites and was rushed to the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital where she underwent emergency care before being released on Monday. Watson-Balfour's co-worker, Nigel Heslop, was also injured after he and others tried to assist her. It is the second serious dog attack in St Ann in seven months, after five-year-old Mickele Allen was seriously injured last November 2020 in St D'Acre, near Alexandria.

Watson-Balfour, who lives in Eltham, Ocho Rios, was making her way to the agriculture ministry's Eltham Training Centre, where she has worked for the past 33 years, when the dogs pounced, sometime between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Heslop, a groundsman at Eltham, heard Watson-Balfour's cries for help and rushed to intervene. With help from the watchman, Robert Walker, and another co-worker, they eventually managed to subdue the dogs and caged them in a garbage receptacle. Heslop was bitten on the left arm and his cell phone was damaged after one of the dogs bit his thigh.

Gates to the premises where open

According to co-workers, the animals were later taken by personnel from the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Walker said when he reached the location, he saw that the gates to the premises where the dogs' owner lives were open. "There were three dogs but one was chained right at the gate," Walker said. Another co-worker said when she saw Watson-Balfour's battle with the dogs, she cried out 'God help her'.

"Then I saw her hold the two dogs, one in each hand. She later told me that while the dogs were attacking her, she just felt a burst of strength and just reached out and grabbed the animals as they were biting her," she said. Watson-Balfour's sister Shereen Watson-Tennant thanked God for giving her sibling the strength to survive.

"She was bitten all over, in her head, above her eyebrow, on her legs, thighs, arms, eye. I felt so horrible. But I give God thanks because she is alive," she added.

Watson-Tennant said her sister is on antibiotics and is to do follow-up visits to the health centre, and also to visit an ophthalmologist to check on her right eye.

Watson-Tennant said: "She is speaking to us but she is in pain and her blood pressure skyrocketed. It's down but not to perfection. It's very traumatic because she's saying when she goes to sleep it's been played all over in her head, so it's traumatising for her and for us too. She was covered all in blood she had to be wrapped in sheets and sheets had to be placed in the car that she was taken in."

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