TWO girls have had their faces savaged by dogs in separate attacks in South Lakeland and Eden.
A nine-year-old girl suffered deep gashes to her chin after a dog bit her while she was playing on grassland near her home at Sandylands, Kendal.
And a six-year-old Kendal girl was also attacked by a dog as she sat on a bench outside a Kirkby Stephen pub.
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She needed an operation and eight stitches to close the wounds – and may need further plastic surgery.
Eileen Bartlett was playing near her auntie’s house on Broad Ing Crescent, Kendal, when she was attacked by a dog that is still at large.
She needed surgery to reconstruct her face and has been left with several stitches in her chin.
“I heard her scream,” said her auntie Jennifer Klinner.
“She came running back to the house because she was in pain.
“I took a towel and applied pressure on the wound until the ambulance arrived. She was playing and the next moment a dog came up and bit her. She was traumatised and shaken.”
A statement from police described the animal as being ‘brown, medium-sized, short haired with possibly a white mark on its tail’.
Several residents of Sandylands, Kendal, claimed to have seen the dog many times walking the streets without its owner.
The second girl, Phoebe Harby-McAneny, also lives on Broad Ing Crescent, Kendal, and was attacked by a dog outside the King’s Arms Inn, Kirkby Stephen.
The dog, described as ‘a big, brown, beefy, hard-looking thing’, bit her face with so much force it caused puncture wounds so deep that they exposed her skull.
Her parents said it only stopped savaging Phoebe after a horrified onlooker kicked it several times.
The girl’s step father Chris Little, who owns the pub where the incident happened, spoke of the trauma the family had suffered since the attack.
“Phoebe has woken up in the night screaming,” said the 33-year-old.
“The dog dragged her to the floor and went for her neck but she looked up and it got her face – it could have killed her.”
Phoebe’s mum Ailsa Harby witnessed the attack from an upstairs window.
The police have not seized the dog but said that a woman, believed to be the owner, was due to appear in court in the next six weeks under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
A spokesman for police said: “Each case is taken on its merits and we are currently investigating the incident. The decision was taken on this occasion not to seize the dog at the time, but other safety measures were put in place.”
Meanwhile, Steve Pipe, 43, of Grange-over-Sands, reported to the police that his leg was bitten by a German Shepherd as he climbed Scafell Pike last Wednesday.
“As I walked past the dog it leapt at me and bit my leg,” said Mr Pipe. “It really did hurt. It got me on my muscle and I was bleeding all down my leg.”
Mr Pipe had to undergo a course of antibiotics and have a tetanus jab.
A member of staff at Kendal’s Primary Care Assessment Service (PCAS) told the Gazette that recently there had been an increase in the number of patients suf-fering from dog bites.
Inspector Paul Latham, of Kendal Police, said: “Dogs can be dangerous animals and owners need to ensure that they are buying legal breeds, and the dog is safe to be around other people and animals.
“The safety of local people in south Cumbria, particularly vulnerable people such as children, is of the utmost importance. We take any reports of dog bites very seriously and urge people to report any dogs they feel are dangerous.”
RSPCA Guidance on Dangerous Dogs
If you see a dog behaving aggressively in public then call the police.
Do not approach the dog.
Irresponsible dog owners can be fined £20,000 and face six months in prison.
A judge can ban an individual from keeping animals for life.
Dogs should be socialised with humans from a young age.
Never leave a dog alone with a child or baby.
The majority of fatal dog attacks on children happen in the family home