Mum Calls For Law Change After Little Girl Is Savaged By Neighbour's Jack Russell

11/04/2012 12:25 | Updated 22 May 2015
Mum calls for law change after little girl is savaged by neighbour's Jack RussellRoss Parry

A mum is campaigning for a change in the law after her five-year-old daughter was savaged by a Jack Russell in a neighbour's garden.

The dog tore a gaping wound in Haley Turner's cheek after she reached down to stroke the family pet. She was rushed to hospital where doctors spent 90 minutes stitching the wound. There are fears that the little girl will be scarred for life.

The attack happened as Haley and her sister Ella, seven, were playing in the neighbour's garden.

Haley's mum, Julie, 29, said: "Ella came in screaming that Haley had been bitten. We rushed round and the dog's owner was holding a tea towel to Haley's face. The first thing she said was, 'It's a mess'."

Now Julie. from Otley, West Yorkshire, wants licences brought back for ALL dogs, and not just those perceived by the public to be dangerous, and for dogs that bite children to be put down.

The dog was not put down as it was not deemed to constitute a danger, a decision Haley's mother condemned yesterday.

"It's awful," Julie told her local paper.

"We were initially in shock but now I feel angry and upset. My little girl has changed before my eyes because of this."

She said the attack had left Haley withdrawn, shaken and no longer her "bubbly little girl".

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 it is an offence to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place, or in a private place where it is not allowed to be. But this does not apply to private land where the dog belongs.

If the animal is on its own property and bites someone, police are not required to take action unless the injury is severe or the dog is thought to be a danger to others.

In Haley's case, officers will take no further action after deciding the injury could only be classified as minor, and the incident took place on private property.

"We want dog licences brought back. We also want the law changed so it extends wherever the dog is, even if it's on its own property. Any dog who bites a child should be put down," said Julie.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "In more serious cases the law does allow for us to take more stringent action, but that does not fit with this incident."

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