THE BLACK DOG is not named, its age and gender undisclosed, and its breed guessed as a mix of German Shepherd and Doberman. The dog, with four other dogs, was owned by one George Mayol, 63, who as a bachelor lived alone in a small house in Sitio Molila in Barangay Lawaan Ono, Talisay City.
Mayol would feed his goat daily but last Thursday (September 28, 2023) he hadn’t been seen for three days outside his house. And the goat’s occasional bleat for food must have also prompted neighbors to find out why.
They found him dead, inside a makeshift toilet near his house, with multiple wounds in his face, feet and back, which would’ve required, one news report said, 56 stitches.
THE KILLER. Police called to the emergency said the wounds were apparently dog bites and, immediately, they tagged Blackie (may not be its real name) the killer.
That, even before investigators could collect evidence at the crime scene and from the bodies of Mayol and his dog. No autopsy was done. No forensic tests were made, especially on any blood splatter on Blackie or bit of skin in its mouth or claws. Scene of Crime Office (Soco) people have not commented about any such tests.
Lovers of dogs and constitution-enshrined basic rights were stunned.
NOT HAPPY. Obviously, they were not happy with the police investigation. They fear the dog could be a scapegoat for the crime, when Mayol, they argue, actually owned a goat. Why pick on the dog and not on a real goat?
Besides, there were five dogs in Mayol’s house but they promptly put the Killer tag only on Blackie. Blackie, in July 2022, also allegedly attacked Mayol, inflicting injuries that only sent him to the hospital but showed the dog was capable of deadly violence. After that, Mayol’s brother was said to have advised him to give up the dog.
Blackie has a “criminal record,” which was why the dog quickly, to many people, became the criminal. Police didn’t bother to use the less offensive word “suspect” for Blackie and “dogs of interest” for the other dogs at the crime scene.
MORE THAN ONE KILLER.tMayor’s four other dogs were seen by the neighbors running around, making a lot of noise, in the compound. They must have been agitated by Blackie’s attack on the master or they themselves took part in it.
The scene of dogs in a rage or in celebratory mood may indicate that more than one dog, not just Black, took a bite or bites. But police might not bother to determine which dog actually killed Mayol.
Unlucky Blackie was promptly deemed the killer, because of its alleged past history of violence against its boss. In that 2022 incident, Mayol’s scream for help drew neighbors who rescued him from the attack.
The outpouring of sympathy for Blackie may be as premature as the police identifying Blackie as the probable criminal. Blackie could be in it and could even be the leader of the pack.
DOGS COULD NEVER DO IT? Another “too-soon” moment by some dog lovers was when they said that a dog “could never do” such a doggone dastardly act.
Dog experts say otherwise. Check out news archives and read incidents of dog attacks on the owner or family member, though not necessarily the fault of the dog. A dog can maim or kill its master although in some instances it’s the owner to blame: recklessness in selecting the breed, absence of training for the dog, avoiding situations that can trigger the attack, and, worst, maltreatment of the animal.
POLICE PROMISE. A police corporal who investigated the Lawaan Ono incident said they’ll
follow all leads. They have not discarded the possibility of foul play. they intoned. Seriously, dog lovers retort.tTo serious dog fans, police seem to have disregarded a number of rights -- including presumption of innocence and right to due process -- for Blackie and its buddies.
I noticed that some news reports didn’t preface the accusatory verbs “killed” and “murdered” with the usual “allegedly.” SunStar Superbalita was outstandingly careful: “ang iro nga gipasanginlan nga nipatay sa iyang amo.”
Blackie, with the other “killer dogs,” is reportedly detained in the city’s “impounding facility” or dog pound. A lawyer publicly worried over the news that Blackie will be put to death without being heard. It’s not known though if he quickly put on his coat- and- tie and with his law books rushed, even though pro-bono, to help.