Police seized the wrong dog in their search to locate the Pitbull that had attacked a 10-year-old girl and a 55-year-old woman and killed a small dog in Nicosia.
The incident happened when the girl, and her mum, 34, were walking along Andreas Demetriou Street in Ayios Dhometios when a stray dog bit them.
The dog allegedly bit the 10-year-old on the hand and fatally wounded the family’s small dog.
A 55-year-old woman who witnessed the scene intervened to help, resulting in her being bitten on the arm.
Following Sunday’s attack, officers located a Pitbull dog and took it into custody.
As it emerged on Friday, police officers had picked up a male Pitbull, while the woman who the animal attacked reported the dog involved was female.
Police admitted they probably had the wrong dog in custody, with the true preparator of the attack still wandering the Nicosia streets.
They said the dog owner in their custody belongs to someone who went on a trip to Greece and abandoned their pet.
According to the newly founded Animal Police, the latest attack by a stray dog has risen the total recorded this year to 22.
“This shocking number concerns only the cases reported to authorities,” head of the Animal Police Vyron Vyronos told news site Philenews.
“If you should see an unsupervised animal in the street, promptly inform the police so that measures are taken”.
In September, MPs toughened laws on dog ownership to clamp down on pet abandonment and reduce the number of strays on the streets.
Authorities took action to toughen laws after an eight-year-old boy was seriously mauled in an attack by a stray dog in Limassol.
Police said the attack could have involved up to four stray dogs, believed to have been Rottweilers.
There are thought to be around 200,000 stray dogs in Cyprus, while rescue shelters are brimming over.