NJ Doctor's Dog Attacks Another Child

His prize-winning dogs have attacked a total of five children, biting the ear off of one little girl

By Karen Araiza
|  Friday, Apr 29, 2011  |  Updated 1:24 PM EDT
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NJ Doctor's Dog Attacks Another Child

Philadelphia Inquirer

This is Pluto, one of Dr. Taffet's prized Rhodesian Ridgebacks, but not the same one accused of the recent attack.

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A Haddonfield doctor's "potentially dangerous" dog has allegedly hurt another child. Duke, one of Dr. Robert Taffet's prized show dogs, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, bit the ear off a three-year-old girl two years ago.

"It's sad. It's a shame this keeps happening to kids," Solicitor Mario Iavicoli told the Philadelphia Daily News.

The latest alleged attack happened around the Easter holiday at Taffet's home, according to the Daily News. Duke allegedly bit a girl's shoulder. The victim, a friend of Taffet's daughter, was treated for puncture wounds.

The parents of the little girl whose ear was torn off wanted Duke put down, but a judge spared the dog's life, saying Duke "nipped" the little girl (who had 65 stitches to re-attach her ear) and that most of the damage happened when she fell.

Duke's father, Rocky, was accused of hurting four children and one adult, according to the New Jersey Law Journal. In one of the cases, Taffet, an orthopedic surgeon, treated the 14-year-old victim. According to court records:

At defendant's [Taffet's] request, Jacqueline never reported the attack to authorities for fear of having Rocky put to sleep since defendant told her there were previous incidents with the dogs. Defendant, an orthopedic surgeon, treated Jacqueline for her dog bite at his medical office and attended to her for several days thereafter, making a number of house visits to dress and squeeze the fluid from the wound. Rocky's bite resulted in a scarring depression in Jacqueline's left shoulder, causing her embarrassment, and requiring scar reduction surgery and injections from a dermatologist due to deep irritation of the wound site.

Rocky, who apparently had anxiety, was treated with Saint John's Wort, according to the Law Journal report.

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