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Norway girl mauled by off-duty police dog

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Norway girl mauled by off-duty police dog
A Belgian Malinois, the same breed as the dog which attacked Naomi Funkner in September. Photo: Karsen Designs Photography|Flickr
09:09 CEST+02:00
A policeman whose off-duty police dog mauled a seven-year-old girl in Norway last year is refusing to have the dog put down and has even brought it back home, leaving the girl and her family terrified.
Seven-year.old Naomi Funkner was brutally attacked by a neighbour's police dog last September, leaving her with scars all over her body and long-term disabilities , Norway's VG newspaper reported on Sunday. 
 
However, the owner of the dog is refusing to have it put down, despite pressure from his own police force, claiming tests have shown that the dog is not a dangerous animal. 
 
"I do not know what to do anymore," May Linda Funkner, her mother, told VG newspaper. "We are not being heard and we are not taken seriously. I'm terrified it will happen again and that next time we run the risk that a life will be lost." 
 
The dog attacked after the girl fell in the yard next-door and startled it with a scream, and then began to maul her in what her neighbour Lise Kristin Aaberg Ljungreen described as "a terrible sight". 
 
"It clawed her, bit her and slung her around like a rag doll," she told the newspaper. 
 
Despite being heavily pregnant, Ljungreen felt compelled to intervene and eventually got the dog to stop its attack. 
 
Ole Vidar Dahl, the owner's boss at the Oslo police, said that dog must have thought the girl was attacking its family. 
 
"It looks as if the dog misunderstood and thought that a family member was being attacked," he said. "When a police dog lives in the home of a police officer, it also becomes part of the family. It cannot distinguish between the policeman and other family members; they are considered to be part of the herd, which the dog will defend. It is deeply regrettable that it attacked the young girl." 
 
Seven months later, Funkner is still in treatment for her badly damaged shoulder. 
 
To her horror, the dog returned to their neighbour's back garden last month, although it has since been moved back to police kennels. 
 
"It is absolutely horrible that the dog is back," May Linda Funkner told VG. "The whole neighbourhood is afraid that the dog will attack again" 
 
The police have dismissed any case against the police officer because of insufficient evidence. The dog's owner has meanwhile appealed the local police's decision to have the dog put down. 
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