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Burton girl attacked by dog off lead while playing in Anglesey Park

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 27, 2014

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Chloe Woodhead

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A NINE-year-old girl was mauled by a dog as she played in Anglesey Community Park with her family.

Chloe Woodhead was on the swings when the Staffordshire bull terrier lurched at her and pulled her from the seat by her leg, the Mail was told.

The child, of Queen Street, Burton, was left with gashes on her knee and foot, as well as bite marks and bruises.

Her mum Nicola said: "I was terrified when I saw her. I didn't know what I was going to find. Her foot was covered in blood and she had big holes in her clothes. It looked like her toe was hanging off."

Chloe had gone to the park with her sister Katie, and older cousins Jordan and Dylan. 

They were playing when a woman went over to the park and let her dog off the lead. 

The animal went straight for Chloe, her grandmother Pam Gaskin said.

"The kids said the woman told them her dog was usually friendly, and said she would go to get some tissues and some money for treats for them, and didn't come back.

"To walk off and leave a child on the ground like that is terrible," she added.

Chloe is currently unable to walk without crutches because of her injuries, but her mum said she hoped she would be better in time to return to Anglesey Primary School for the new term, next week.

The traumatic incident has left her wary of the family dog, a German shepherd-Staffordshire bull terrier crossbreed.

Mrs Woodhead said she was bought last year to help Chloe combat her fear of dogs.

"She was doing so well, and now this.

"This woman just came from nowhere. People should always have their dog on a lead. I would never let my dog off the lead," she added.

Police have confirmed they were called out to investigate the vicious attack, which happened at the Cambridge Street park on Sunday afternoon.

A spokesman said: "The lady who was with the dog has been described as about 5ft 7ins tall, of slim build and with black hair. She was wearing a black puffa jacket, which looked quite big, and white trousers.

"The dog was a beige or brown Staffordshire bull terrier.

"Any witnesses should call PC Tom Ellington on 101, quoting incident number 407 of August 25."

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5 comments

  • tmrsprts  |  August 28 2014, 7:59AM

    There was an initiative by East Staffordshire Borough Council a while ago to create dog control orders which would make it a legal requirement to keep your dog on a lead in certain public places. Opposition to the scheme was so great from some dog owners that I believe the plan was dropped due to lack of support from some parish councils in making the orders. I do not know if the orders were ever put in place in any part of the borough, and even if they were their enforcement would have been difficult as East Staffordshire Borough Council dispensed with the services of their neighbourhood wardens in any case. There is supposed to be a Community and Civil Enforcement Team according to the ESBC website but in any event it is too late to act after a tragic event like this has already taken place. I never cease to be astonished by the selfishness of some dog owners who make it clear that they have no intention of putting their dog on a lead even when it is clear that the actions of their beloved pet are causing anxiety and distress to other amenity users. The law is clear on the matter. From gov.uk website Out of control Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it: injures someone makes someone worried that it might injure them A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if: it injures someone's animal the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal A farmer is allowed to kill your dog if it's worrying their livestock. Penalties You can be fined up to £5,000 and/or sent to prison for up to 6 months if your dog is dangerously out of control. You may not be allowed to own a dog in the future and your dog may be destroyed. If you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to 5 years and/or fined. If you deliberately use your dog to injure someone you could be charged with 'malicious wounding'.

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  • Collins  |  August 28 2014, 1:26AM

    I am an ex grounds man of Shobnal fields I still have all my ticks, I have to say in hearing about this what about the dog owner why didn't she have the dog on a lead especially being on a park in a Children's legalised playing area, also the law states you have to have your dog kept on a lead in any open green belt area, again this points to the owner' the owner should be bought up in a court of law and prosecuted ' as its her fault that the dog was off a lead and let dog get in an area where young children were playing, The woman want's naming and shaming in a Court of law 'as she's a dame right Irresponsible owner and deserves to have the book thrown at her" what sort a person dose that, plus now what sort of effect will the little Child have about any dog now, I dame well tell yer' she'll be petrified for the rest of her life, due to a Stupid Pathetic IRRESPONSIBLE dog owner that walks away and leaves an injured child on the ground that her own dog caused, WHAT SORT A PERSON DOSE THAT SHE WANTS LOOKING UP " SHE'S WORSE THAN THE DOG !!!, take it from me I've seen this happen on a day to day basic where dog owners think they can get away with it especially early in a morning where there walking there dogs letting them go over nicely kept area's like Golf Courses that are maintained regularly and kept to a high standard, and due know what the worst thing is Good dog owners are being given a bad by this woman that let here dog roam in an legalised play area where her dog should not of been, why wasn't the dog destroyed as a dangerous dog ??? again this is a failure by Staffordshire Police and the Courts, that sounds about right.

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  • darrin1964  |  August 27 2014, 6:53PM

    Springfield, MO In April 2008, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department released data to a local TV station - following the City of Springfield's adoption of a 2006 pit bull ban: "The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports that dog bites and vicious dog complaints are declining since the implementation of the Pit Bull Ordinance in the City of Springfield two years ago. In 2005 the health department fielded 18 vicious dog complaints, but only eight in 2007. Bites were down from 102 in 2005 to 87 in 2007." "The ordinance, which requires pit bull owners to register their dogs annually, has also resulted in fewer pit bull dogs being impounded at the Springfield Animal Shelter. In 2005 there were 502 pit bull and pit bull mixes impounded, compared to only 252 in 2007. According to statistics taken from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, as reported in the News-Leader March 12, for the three-year period beginning in 2004, there were 42 "vicious" animal attacks recorded in the jurisdiction covered. After passing the local ordinance banning or strictly controlling the ownership of pit bull or pit bull types, the number of attacks has dropped dramatically. For the five-year period from 2007-2011, there was a total of 14. "Because we are impounding fewer pit bulls, we've also seen overcrowding in our shelter subside," says assistant director Clay Goddard. "It is the natural tendency of pit bulls to fight, so our animal control staff are forced to segregate them in individual pens. When we have several pit bulls in the shelter simultaneously, this severely limits space for other dogs." *************************************************** Washington In 2008, the City of Wapato passed an ordinance that bans new pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiffs. Nine months after its adoption, in March 2009, Wapato Police Chief Richard Sanchez reported successful results: "Nine months into the ban and police calls about vicious dogs have been cut in half. The Wapato Police tell Action News they've gone from 18 reports in January, February and March of last year to seven so far in '09. "Seven calls in three months... that's nothing," says Chief Richard Sanchez, Wapato Police Department. Chief Sanchez credits local cooperation for the decline of dangerous dogs." *************************************************** Rhode Island When the City of Woonsocket was debating a pit bull ordinance in June 2009, the animal control supervisor in Pawtucket, John Holmes, spoke about the enormous success of Pawtucket's 2003 pit bull ban: "Holmes says he predicted that it would take two years for Pawtucket to experience the full benefit of the law after it was passed, but the results were actually apparent in half the time. "It's working absolutely fantastic," said Holmes. "We have not had a pit bull maiming in the city since December of 2004." Holmes says the law also capped the number of legal pit bulls in Pawtucket to about 70 animals." In July 2013, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien and City Council President David Moran sent a joint letter to Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee asking that he reject a statewide anti-BSL measure before him. While they agree that some pit bulls can make good pets, said Moran and Grebien, "the number and severity of pit bull attacks against people and other animals in the early 2000s required us to take the action we did." Prior to the 2004 city ordinance, Pawtucket Animal Control officers responded to many calls about serious pit bull attacks against people and animals, according to the letter. Two of the worst cases involved a nine-month pregnant woman and a child. While proponents of the bill argue that breed-specific bans don't work, said Grebien and Moran, "the results in Pawtucket dramatically prove that they do work."

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  • darrin1964  |  August 27 2014, 6:53PM

    In a discussion of the Denver ban, Assistant City Attorney Kory Nelson recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that: "Since 1989, when that city instituted a pit bull ban, 'we haven't had one serious pit bull attack,' said Kory Nelson, a Denver assistant city attorney. His city's assertion that 'pit bulls are more dangerous than other breeds of dog' has withstood legal challenges, he said. 'We were able to prove there's a difference between pit bulls and other breeds of dogs that make pit bulls more dangerous,' he said." Sources: Denver Post ************************************************* Toronto: In a November 2011, public health statistics published by Global Toronto showed that pit bull bites dropped dramatically after Ontario adopted the Dog Owners Liability Act in 2005, an act that banned pit bulls: The number of dog bites reported in Toronto has fallen since a ban on pit bulls took effect in 2005, public health statistics show. A total of 486 bites were recorded in 2005. That number fell generally in the six years following, to 379 in 2010. Provincial laws that banned 'pit bulls,' defined as pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and dogs resembling them took effect in August 2005. Existing dogs were required to be sterilized, and leashed and muzzled in public. Bites in Toronto blamed on the four affected breeds fell sharply, from 71 in 2005 to only six in 2010. This accounts for most of the reduction in total bites. *************************************************** Salina, KS Rose Base, director of the Salina Animal Shelter who lobbied for the ordinance, told the Salina Journal: The ordinance has made a difference, she said. Records at the Salina Animal Shelter indicate there were 24 reported pit bull bites in 2003 and 2004, and only five since -- none from 2009 to present. Salina has 62 registered pit bulls, Base said. Before the ordinance she guessed there were "close to 300." Since the first of this year three of the registered pit bulls have died of old age. "We definitely haven't had the severity of bites that we had in the past," Base said. "Our community has been somewhat safer because of the law that was passed *************************************************** Prince George's County, MD Prince George's County passed a pit bull ban in 1996. In August 2009, Rodney Taylor, associate director of the county's Animal Management Group, said that the number of pit bull biting incidents has fallen: "Taylor said that during the first five to seven years of the ban, animal control officials would encounter an average of 1,200 pit bulls a year but that in recent years that figure has dropped by about half. According to county statistics, 36 pit bull bites, out of 619 total dog bites, were recorded in 2008, down from 95 pit bull bites, out of a total of 853, in 1996." *************************************************** Salina KS (a second article) Note that they admit that the pit bull ban did not reduce the number of bites, but it did reduce the severity of bites reported by all breeds. Proof that when pit bull deniers find a jurisdiction that banned pit bulls, but reported no decrease in overall bites, is a moot point. Its death and dismemberment we are focusing on, not bite counts. In the monthly city newsletter, In Touch, published in September 2006, the City of Salina reported that the pit bull ban adopted in 2005 significantly reduced pit bull biting incidents in just a 12 month period. The number of pit bull bites depicted in the "Salina Pit Bull Bites Reported" graph shows 2002 with 13 pit bull bites, 2003 with 11 pit bull bites, 2004 with 15 pit bull bites and 2005 with only one bite. The newsletter notes that "animal bites reported have remained constant, but the severity of bites have decreased dramatically" since the enactment of the pit bull ban

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  • darrin1964  |  August 27 2014, 6:52PM

    But there's another root cause of the rise in pit-bull attacks, one you might not think of: Hurricane Katrina. Pit bulls are especially popular in Louisiana and Mississippi, and many of the volunteers responding to Hurricane Katrina found themselves saving stranded dogs. Most of the pit bulls they saved had been kept inside and behaved well around the rescuers, Clifton said, because they knew their survival depended on it. The dogs who were rescued were good pit bulls, he says, and "the real badasses, the ones chained outside, were drowned." Clifton said that many of the volunteers, who had very little experience with dog rescue, became attached to the breed and involved in pit bull advocacy. And that helped galvanize the pro-pit bull movement in the wake of Michael Vick's 2007 dog-fighting scandal. That movement helped encourage more people to adopt pit bulls as lack of sterilization caused the population to grow. "If you need a marker in your head for when pit bulls got out of control, it's 2007 with Michael Vick," Lynn says. Vick's high-profile trial for dogfighting and cruelty to animals roused a growing sympathy for pit-bulls, which led more people to adopt them and bring them into their homes. Dogbites dot org "We need to get used to mauling injuries, because we're going to be seeing a lot more of them." warns Lynn. "Each of us will know a mauled, disfigured child by a known dangerous breed of dog. There will be one in every school." But what can be done about the growing number of pit bulls? Some say that the best solution would be breed-specific sterilization, which would curb the pit bull population and reduce euthanizations in shelters.

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