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Graphic images: Blackburn woman calls for law change after dog attack

This article contains extremely graphic images which some readers may find distressing

A woman who was savagely and viciously attacked in the street by a large dog, leaving her with life changing injuries, said she could easily have died had she not turned her back on the canine before it pounced.

The woman, who does not want to be named, was attacked by a Bully Kutta – also known as an Indian or Pakistani Mastiff – in Preston Old Road, Feniscowles, in January while out walking her two small dogs, and is now calling for a change in the law “before someone is killed”.

Seven months on from the attack she is still recovering, having spent three weeks in hospital undergoing surgery, which included skin grafts, stitches, and intense rehab to enable her to walk again.

The dog bite, on her right thigh, was so deep it cut through several nerves and lots of muscle tissue; she still has no feeling below her knee de ella, and ella experiences pins and needles on a daily basis.

The attack also left her so scared she was unable to leave her house for months, and only very recently has she had the confidence and courage to take her dogs out again.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The woman said she has not heard from the police since the initial attack seven months ago regarding whether a prosecution is being brought against the owner.

Now she is calling for the law to be changed around dangerous dogs, and wants the police and Blackburn with Darwen Council to do more, before someone is seriously injured or worse.

The Bully Kutta is not currently on the list of banned dangerous dogs in the UK; Banned breeds are the American Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasileiro.

speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, she said: “Why are the police not doing more? Why are people still allowed to own dogs like this?

“There have been two very young children killed recently in different parts of the country because of dog attacks, and something needs to be done or else it’s going to happen again.

“I was very lucky, if I hadn’t thought to turn my back on that dog when it came racing towards me, I am in no doubt that it would have killed me.

“It grabbed onto my leg and wouldn’t let go. The only way I can describe it is to say it’s as if it had a piece of meat in its mouth and it was trying to chew its way to the bone.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The dog was seized by police three days later, and is believed to still be in police kennels, but the woman, 60, has queried why it hasn’t been destroyed and why, as a taxpayer, she is paying for the police to keep looking after an animal which has caused her such horrific pain.

She added: “What has been done with the dog? I have heard nothing from the police on whether the woman who owns the dog has been prosecuted, or whether the dog has been destroyed or is going to be able to be allowed back to its owner.

“Why should we, as taxpayers be paying to look after this animal?

“Something needs to be done. The law needs changing. The council need stricter licenses and the police need to do more.

“Just recently there was a little lad killed by a dangerous dog in Milnrow, Rochdale.

“If this dog, this Pakistani Mastiff, is allowed back to its owner, what happens when it kills another dog? Or a child?

“This attack has left me with serious physical scars, but it has been traumatizing for me. It’s affected me mentally far more than I thought it would, and it’s been terrifying.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Bully Kuttas are large dogs primarily used for hunting or guarding in the Indian subcontinent, and stand around 80cm tall, with males weighing up to 90kg.

Their temperament is described as “aggressive, intelligent, energetic, responsive, alert, and protective”, with dog information website The Smart Canine describing the breed as “enormous, aggressive, and dangerous”.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Just two days after the woman was attacked, the same dog attacked again, this time on a spaniel that was being walked in the same area by a different lady.

The woman, 52, who also did not want to be named, said the dog, which wasn’t wearing a collar, came “bounding over the bridge in Pleasington, out of nowhere, and ragged my dog”.

She said: “It was an extremely stressful time for me as I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and was going through chemo, so was very vulnerable, and that day I was congratulating myself for going on one of the longest walks I’d managed in three months.

Lancashire Telegraph:

“I was walking over the bridge and for some reason, I don’t know why, I turned around, and that’s when I saw this dog bounding towards us.

“I couldn’t really think about what was going on – the dog ran up to my dog, grabbed hold of his back leg and just ragged him.

“It was about 9.30am and there was no-one around and I was just screaming ‘help me, someone help me’.

“The dog was frenzied, that’s the only way I can describe it. It was horrible.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Luckily, the lady was eventually assisted by two off-duty police officers who happened to be driving past at the time, and a builder, who managed to contain the dog with a set of ladders, while the spaniel was freed and taken to the vets .

She continued: “It was then just left, running around Pleasington, and as I was getting into the officers’ car, the owner came over, and started screaming at me! As if it was my fault.

“She had no collar, no lead, nothing. It was chaos.”

Luckily, the spaniel is now recovering. Its owner added: “I know the other lady who was attacked, and how that dog didn’t kill her, I have no idea.

“I couldn’t get it off my dog, so how she must have been feeling, it just doesn’t bear thinking out.

“The police haven’t been in touch with me since. I did have a call from the dog warden saying it was being investigated by the police but since then I’ve heard nothing.

“I can’t believe the dog is still alive, because I had been with a toddler it would’ve killed it.

“Why have the police still got that dog? I just don’t understand it.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

In July, the dog attacks were raised at Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive board by Livesey with Pleasington Conservative Councilor Paul Marrow, who said the council do “no more than the minimum statutory duties” in relation to the collection of dogs.

He told his senior colleagues: “We need to do something before there is an attack on a child or someone gets killed.”

Borough environment boss Cllr Jim Smith promised to look at what more the council could do and said: “In terms of dog attacks on other dogs or on people, this is a police matter.

“If a dog is out of control in a public place, the owner or the person in charge of the dog is guilty of an offence.

“If the dog whilst out of control injures any person, it would be considered an aggravated offense under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.”

Lancashire Telegraph: An example of a Bully Kutta or Pakistani MastiffAn example of a Bully Kutta or Pakistani Mastiff

According to Lancashire police, the incident remains under investigation and the dog is still in police kennels.

It is not known if the RSPCA has been involved, nor is there any suggestion that the animal is going to be destroyed.

A spokesperson for Lancashire police said: “We were called by the Ambulance Service at around 10.45pm on January 12 to a report of an assault in Fensicowles.

“A woman in her 50s reported she had been bitten by a dog, suffering a serious leg injury.

“The woman was later taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital. The dog was later seized by police.

“An investigation into the attack is ongoing. A woman in her 30s voluntarily attended an interview with police in connection with the incident.”

So far this year, four children have been killed by dangerous dogs in the UK

On March 6, a three-month-old was killed in Lincolnshire; on March 21, a 17-month-old died in Merseyside; and just five days later, on March 26, a two-year-old boy was killed in Cannock in the West Midlands, during an attack which also left two other children in hospital.

And then on May 15, in Milnrow, Rochdale, a three-year-old boy was tragically mauled to death, and a 48-year-old man was arrested under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

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