Being an animal lover, there are few things I wouldn’t do for my dog.
As many pet owners probably agree, your furry little friend can feel like your child in many ways. After all, they’re completely dependent upon you for food, shelter, love, and attention. Without all four of those things, they are basically helpless.
I have so much respect for people who rescue animals in need of a good home. There are far too many dogs and cats in overcrowded shelters who just need a family to call their own. Reality star Kim Zolciak-Biermann is a vocal advocate of “adopt-don’t-shop,” and she has rescued several dogs.
But earlier this year, she faced the unthinkable when her young son was bitten by one of the family’s rescues. Now, the reality star is speaking out about the terrifying moment — and why she refused to give up her dog.
Scroll through to learn more about Kim’s story and why she’s decided to keep Sinn.
Thumbnail Photo: Instagram / Kim Zolciak-Biermann
The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum has been married to her husband, Kroy Biermann, since 2011.
The two have since had four children together, all under age 7: Kroy Jagger “KJ,” Kash Kade, and twins Kaia Rose and Kane Ren.
Kim also has two daughters from a previous relationship. They were adopted by Kroy in 2013.
In addition to their crew of six kids, Kim and Kroy also have several rescue dogs — including their ‘seventh child,’ Sinn.
According to People, Sinn (a husky-boxer mix) had been rescued three years ago when he was a puppy.
During that time, Sinn formed an “incredible bond” with one of Kim’s young sons, Kash.
“Sinn and Kash have been best friends since the day we got Sinn,” Kim revealed. “Kash is an absolute animal lover, and Sinn is definitely his favorite, without a shadow of a doubt.”
That’s why what happened to Kash was so incredibly shocking to Kim and Kroy.
The 39-year-old reality star and her husband recount the traumatic day on an upcoming episode of their show, Don’t Be Tardy.
“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.”
Kash was rushed to the hospital, and Sinn’s trainer immediately came to the house and removed the dog while the couple decided what to do.
The little boy’s bite was severe and very close to his eye — it had nearly blinded him. He was in the hospital for four days.
For Kim, it was totally unthinkable that her sweet dog could do this.
“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,” she told People.
At the time of the bite, Kim shared with her followers on social media what had happened along with updates about Kash’s recovery process.
But she’d never confirmed whether it was one of her family’s several rescue dogs who bit her son.
Thankfully, Kash recovered quickly and without any kind of lasting physical injury.
But the family still needed to decide what would be done about Sinn.
Kroy’s initial instinct was to remove the dog from their household:
“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 hyperactive and hypersensitive 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.'”
But after consulting with “nearly a dozen behavioral specialists, child psychologists, and dog-bite survivors,” Kim and Kroy realized that Kash didn’t seem traumatized and actually wanted to see Sinn while still in the hospital.
Kim also reviewed the security camera footage from the time of the attack and realized that Sinn hadn’t quite attacked Kash as they’d thought. As she puts it, he had “nipped at Kash’s face in an attempt to communicate with Kash […] not that that is an excuse.”
Kim stressed that if Kash ever told her he didn’t want to be around Sinn or felt any hesitation around him, they would rehome the dog.
“We love Sinn. He’s part of our family, but our children will always come first — without a doubt,” she said.
But seven months and several surgeries later, Kash has been slowly reintroduced to dogs again and even gifted a puppy for his birthday in August.
Sinn was also welcomed back after eight weeks away, with less freedom around the house and Kim and Kroy keeping a closer eye on him.
Now, Kroy says that the’ve taught their kids to be aware that dogs are capable of causing injury without meaning to, and to understand “triggers” that can set an otherwise loving and gentle dog off.
“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,” he explained.
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