Tuesday 9 April 2024

Veterinary nurse can still work after dog killed her baby

NEWS/OPINION: Karen Alcock's three-month-old daughter, Kyra King was attacked by one of her partner's 19 Siberian Husky dogs when she and her partner, Vince King, went into the woods to train them near Woodhall spa, Lincolnshire. The dogs were used for sledging competitions.

Veterinary nurse can still work after her dog killed her baby
Karen Alcock with some of her dogs. Image in the public domain.

The dog in question, escape from the back of his van and attacked Kyra. The dog, Blizzard, was described as calm and sociable. A gentle and sensitive dog who liked human contact. The attack was unprovoked. Examination of the dog after the attack revealed that she had been pregnant and was undernourished.

Karen Alcock pleaded guilty to owning a dangerous dog under the Dangerous Dogs Act and was given an eight month jail sentence suspended for two years. She was ordered to undertake 80 hours of community service.

In a subsequent legal hearing, she was told that she could continue as a veterinary nurse because the dog attack did not impinge upon the findings of the hearing. They said that the hearing which was concerned with whether she could continue as a veterinary nurse was not about "a failure to take proper charge of a dog known to be dangerously or potentially out of control" as that point had been dealt with in the criminal proceedings.

I find that argument tenuous myself but that's the finding of the tribunal. The tribunal also added that the case in question i.e. whether she should continue to be employed as a veterinary nurse, was "not a case about animal husbandry in respect of the dog in question" and was not a case about Alcock's "practice as a veterinary nurse". Therefore they allowed her to continue as a veterinary nurse.

Alcock said at the tribunal: "I do not believe what happened that night impacts my fitness to practice as a veterinary nurse and hope you will consider my conviction compassionately."

She was traumatised by the killing of her daughter Kyra. Another factor in the tribunal's decision is that she was already punished tremendously by the loss of her daughter. It was a tragic event and had been "indescribable" to her. But she hoped to return to veterinary nursing.

The bottom line is that the veterinary nursing tribunal said that she should not be struck off because her conviction did not render her unfit to practice.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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