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Dogs that killed the late Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua grandson ‘were on heat’

 The last supper administered:  Pity almost felt tangible for animal pet lovers as they witnessed vets tasked to kill the seven ferocious dogs that the mauled 2 year old

It has been a tumultuous year for the family of the late Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua. The scars have barely healed from the pain of losing the larger than life politician when his grandson, Wilson Ngatia Karungaru, was mauled by dogs. The dogs have since been poisoned by a government veterinarian.

The boy, whose burial is slotted for this weekend, was the grandson of Gachagua from the resolute Margaret Karungaru, one of Gachagua’s two widows who retreated to a private life at her home in Ring Road Estate, Nyeri County. She lives with her son Jeff Karungaru, his wife Susan and their two children aged four and two.

This tragedy comes barely a month after the National Land Commission (NLC) revoked the title deed for a 1.2-acre piece of land in Lang’ata owned by the family and for which a near Sh1 billion in compensation for the land and 80 apartments, was in the offing. The family obtained a court order temporarily suspending NLC’s revocation, and then Wilson was killed.

“We have had sleepless nights since my grandson was killed, I am just glad that the owner has agreed to let the dogs be put down in the most humane manner, despite killing our Ngatia in the most horrific way,” said Margaret who heard the grandson screaming from the kitchen where he was trying to walk using walls as toddlers do.

The dogs were guarding a construction site near the Gachaguas home but were left to roam the neighbourhood after the handler was unable to lock them up in their kennels.

The dogs are said to have gained entry into the home after digging a shallow trench on the hedge fence surrounding the home.

The family is still coming to terms with Wilson who died while receiving treatment at Outspan Hospital’s ICU.

Nyeri Deputy Governor Mutahi Kahiga visited the family and blamed the incident on negligence while dismissing explanations the dogs strayed as they were on heat.

“Somebody somewhere was careless. Why are guard dogs unrestrained at 10 am? There was negligence and being on heat does not take away responsibility,” Kahiga said.

Anthony Gathara, owner of the dogs, presented himself to the police and explained that they were under the care of John Muriithi, one of his employees.

Gathara and Muriithi were charged with negligence before Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo and released on a Sh200,000 bond each or a cash bail of Sh100,000.

“This was a very painful experience for me and my family,” Margaret said of that chilly Thursday morning when Wilson Ngatia let out a blood cuddling scream only for her to race out to the kitchen to find the pack of six dogs dragging her grandson across the compound towards the fence.

She called out for help and charged at the killer dogs, but they turned menacingly at her. She hurled stones as they tore at the two year old. The child’s mother joined in to fight off the dogs.

They were rescued by a caretaker working in a neighbour’s yard who fought off the dogs.

“Human life is more important and it is a great loss that a little boy lost his life, I accept the veterinary’s decision,” said Gathara. Ngatia, the once bubbly toddler will be laid to rest at the family home in Mathira Constituency.

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