A toddler had to have her lip stitched back on after being bitten by a dog while she was feeding ducks with her grandmother in a park.
But despite the girl's appalling injuries, police said they won't be taking action against the Jack Russell's owner – because it was on a lead.
Lily-May Brindley, aged 22 months, spent a night in hospital after the attack in a park in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
The girl's parents Jack Brindley and Sarah Wainwright, both 20, said she almost ended losing her bottom lip in the attack on Thursday last week and had emergency surgery to sew it back on.
Jack told the local paper: "I want the dog put down for what it did. My daughter's lip was hanging off but the police have tried to tell me that because the dog was on a lead it was under control.
"The fact that it attacked my daughter shows it clearly was not under control at all.
"Lily-May has been left shaken and traumatised by the attack. She can't sleep at night and I think she is having nightmares about it because she keeps crying out in her sleep.
"The whole incident has been very upsetting. Lily-May didn't eat for two days and she is on medication now.'
Sarah added: 'I was devastated when I saw what had happened. I couldn't look at her it was so horrible.
"The attack was so bad Lily-May almost lost her lip - it was just hanging off. She now has a massive scab and I am so worried she is going to be left with a scar.
"The owner apologised at the hospital and told us he would get the dog put down, but now he has changed his mind.
"I want to police to step in and do the right thing - but they say they can't do anything because the dog was on a lead."
The dog's owner Reg Cox, 69, said his three-year-old pet was simply acting on instinct.
He said: "It wasn't Pepper's fault. She was defending herself against the child who had bread in her hand.
"Pepper thought the girl was provoking her and acted out of instinct.
It was the little girl's fault really. I've heard she's fine anyway.
"The parents want to sue me but I'm not having it. I've had Pepper since she was a puppy and I love her. I always keep her on a lead and she's never attacked anyone before.
"It's not her fault. If you let children carry bread about in a park where dogs are walked what do you expect?"
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "A one-year-old girl had been bitten on the lip by a Jack Russell dog and this had happened at the park at Smithpool Road, Fenton.
"Patrols attended and spoke to all parties concerned, the parents, the little girl's nan, who was with her at the time, and the dog owner.
"The girl's father was inquiring with the view to press charges, but then changed his mind. The dog's owner said he was going to have the dog put down.
"Ultimately there was insufficient evidence to support an offence of having a dog out of control in a public place.
"The dog was under control, on a lead. What appears to have happened is the child stood close to the dog while holding a bag containing bread and the dog has bitten her on the mouth.
"We believe the dog was acting on natural instinct and accidentally came into contact with the child's mouth."
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