‘The impact of the injuries sustained will have life long, and a life changing impact on the little girl’.
Four children have last weekend (8-9 September) been attacked by their ‘family dogs’ within South Yorkshire, with the youngest just aged two.
We receive between 140 to 185 calls a month for dogs being out of control, causing injury or fear within our communities.
As incidents involving dogs continue to rise, we are urging parents to stop thinking ‘it won’t ever happen to my children’ and put measures in place to ensure your children’s safety.
Dog Legislation Officer PC Paul Jameson explains more, he said: “Nationally, and within South Yorkshire, we are seeing an increase in dangerous dog incidents and the severity of the risk they pose to members of the public.
“Sadly, last weekend we have seen innocent children at the receiving end of these dogs’ violent capabilities.
“One incident, which hospitalised a 15-year-old girl, involved an XL Bully that has been reported to have allegedly showed aggression previously and has been left unreported, without intervention.
“We are not only urging parents to think about their own dogs and their children’s behaviour around them, but to also report concerns you may have around dogs in the community, especially where vulnerable people live.
“We are not here to seize family pets, but we will intervene if the dog poses a risk and work alongside the owners, with partners and charities, to ensure the dog’s behaviour is addressed, and our recommendations are followed.”
If you have a dog and children, please ensure you follow the below steps for safe interaction.
If you do not own a dog but are planning to visit the home of someone who does, it is important to speak to your children about how they are expected to interact with the dog.
Always supervise your dog and children, and pay attention to what is happening so you can intervene at the earliest opportunity
Encourage gentle stroking, but do not allow children to pull, grab or sit on dogs
Do not allow children near your dog if it is eating, sleeping or with items that belong to him/her such as toys
If you see that your dog is becoming worried or agitated, or a child is becoming frightened, then intervene and provide a safe space for each of them to have some time alone
If you have concerns around a dog in the community, please get in touch. You can report information online, via live chat or by calling 101. Alternatively, you can stay anonymous by contacting independent charity Crimestoppers- 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org
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