A family pet, more often than not, eventually becomes family. Whether a dog or cat, animals can live in one’s home long enough to also make their way right into people’s hearts.
But if that animal ever harms or becomes a danger to loved ones, should it be immediately given away? For reality star Kim Zolciak-Biermann and her husband, NFL player Kroy Biermann, the decision wasn’t that easy.
On April 22, their dog Sinn bit their five-year-old son Kash, leaving Kash crying with blood all over him. The incident left Kash in the hospital for four days with a scratch just one millimeter from his eye.
Kim told People:
“It was a like a bad dream. Our dog Sinn is heavily, heavily trained. Kash is his favorite. It made absolutely no sense to any of us. This is nothing I ever thought I’d be dealing with in my life.”
The immediate aftermath was captured on camera because they were filming for their Bravo show, “Don’t Be Tardy,” and Kim and Kroy’s reaction is heartbreaking.
Now, in Friday’s upcoming episode, Kim and Kroy are opening up about why they chose to keep the dog.kimzolciakbiermann/Instagram
Per People, Kroy said when it happened, Kash had been playing outside with his brother, 6-year-old KJ, while Kroy was doing some yard work with a leaf blower:
“Sinn doesn’t like the blower, so he’s already in high alert. My back was to the dogs and the boys. I hear Kash be loud, and then I hear barking. And then I hear Kash screaming, he’s crying very loud. At that point I think he’s scared, but then I realize Sinn bit Kash. He’s dripping blood everywhere on his shirt. He pulls his hands down and there’s multiple lacerations, I can’t see his eye. I knew it was a very dire emergency.”
He continued, saying that he’s still reeling from the incident, but he believes it was all just a freak combination of things that led to the bite:
“It’s a process every day. Being right there, it was just wrong place, wrong time, wrong circumstances. The perfect storm. Had one thing been different, it wouldn’t have happened. You try to say, ‘What would I have done differently?’ And there are a lot of things. now, but you can’t change any of it. You just have to learn from it and grow from it.
There are no words to describe something like this. I just pray that any parent out there does not have to go through anything traumatic like it. It’s just a horrible feeling to have to go through.”
But Kim explained a major turning point in his decision whether to keep the dog — they realized one thing didn’t occur while watching the bite happen on their security cameras:
“It was not an attack — he nipped at Kash’s face in an attempt to communicate with Kash. Not that that is an excuse. But he took off running. It wasn’t as if he was attacking. Sinn knew he had done wrong.”
However, it took her and Kroy a lot of time to get to that place.kimzolciakbiermann/Instagram
“I hated Sinn. I genuinely felt a deep rage for what he had done to my son. Sinn was always a good dog, extremely obedient and protective and not at all aggressive. He’s hyper-active and hyper-sensitive but wants to work and loves to be commanded. I love my dog, and nothing like this had ever happened to me before. But it’s my son. I don’t love anything more than my flesh and blood. I thought, ‘I don’t want to see the dog — he doesn’t get a second chance.’”
Aside from realizing their dog didn’t viciously attack his son, Kim said they also paid a lot of attention to their son’s bond with the dog and how his relationships with animals might change for the worse if he develops a fear:
“Sinn and Kash have been best friends since the day we got Sinn. Kash is an absolute animal lover, and Sinn is definitely his favorite, without a shadow of a doubt. That’s why it was extra hard.”
Kroy agreed, saying despite feeling “a deep rage for what Sinn had done” to Kash, he knew his son loved the dog:
“We didn’t want him to live a life with a phobia of dogs. We wanted him to understand it wasn’t his fault.”
And when Kash was approached by a service dog in the hospital, they couldn’t help but notice how much he lit up for the four-legged friend:
“He saw a service dog in the hospital and he hopped up out of the bed. He was all over the dog, petting the dog and loving on the dog and kissing the dog with no inhibitions. It was unbelievable.”
According to Kim and Kroy, their son even asked if he could see Sinn while he was still in the hospital.
So, they decided they would keep Sinn, but on one condition:
“If Kash ever looked at me and said that he didn’t want to be around Sinn or showed any hesitation, then he wouldn’t be here. We love Sinn, he’s part of our family, but our children will always come first without a doubt.”
Of course, Kroy added, Sinn is now constantly supervised:
“Sinn had a lot of freedom before. He would sleep in the crate at night, but during the day he would roam around the house or we’d let him outside. Nobody really watched him. Now his crate is locked with a key that only Kim and I have the keys to. He’s supervised all the time when he’s out. And the only time he runs around free is in the fenced-in dog run we built for him the backyard, which gives him about 400 sq. ft. of grassed space.”
Now, they just hope others can learn from the entire nightmarish ordeal:
“We’ve taught our kids, no matter how nice dogs are, they are capable of anything and cannot communicate to us in another way than through action — be it barking, growling, biting, scratching, or running away. A child sees flurry, fluffy, fun, slobbery … they don’t see danger.
And we didn’t either, as adults who had always owned dogs but never gone through something like this. But you have to understand those triggers. Whether it’s loud noise, their tail being pulled, whatever it is, it should be on the forefront of everybody’s mind. Not as fear, but just awareness.”
Not everyone might agree with keeping a dog that bit and sufficiently injured one’s child, but Kim and Kroy are, nevertheless, going public with their decision.