Pet Spaniel bites off man's thumb as South Yorkshire dog attacks spiral

Under pressure: Police face unprecedented demand over dog attacksUnder pressure: Police face unprecedented demand over dog attacks
Under pressure: Police face unprecedented demand over dog attacks
A MEXBOROUGH man lost his thumb while trying to protect his granddaughter from a pet Spaniel which turned nasty - the latest in a spate of dog attacks gripping South Yorkshire.

Two bull-breed attacks were reported overnight from Monday, with both resulting in the need for hospital treatment.

They were two of five dog-related incidents reported in that period, which followed on from 36 over the weekend.

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The Mexborough incident happened last Friday, when a family’s seven year old Spaniel became aggressive towards a baby which was playing with toys.

When the girl’s grandfather stepped in to protect her, the dog attacked him and severed his thumb.

Both were taken to hospital and police have confirmed the man’s injuries are life-changing. The baby had a wound to her head.

The animal has since been destroyed, with the family’s agreement.

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Police warn people are more likely to be bitten by a dog known to them and at home than out in the community.

They say the force is facing “unprecedented demand” to respond to dog incidents and have urged owners to take care.

Legislation has been introduced to control XL Bully type dogs, but nationally this week a woman aged 50s was killed by two registered dogs.

So far this year, police have seized more than 300 dogs, most often because they were seen to be dangerously out of control or a suspected banned breed.

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Chief Insp Emma Cheney, who leads work on dangerous dogs, said: “This incident highlights that any dog has the ability to cause harm and injury, not matter its breed.

“Dangerous dogs are continuing to place demand on our force and we’re urging owners to take precautions to reduce risk and injury.

“Emergency calls for dangerous dogs present a financial cost for the force every time we respond, often requiring officers from multiple teams to attend, as well as contracted kennel personnel when then transport, house and care for the dogs until action is decided.

“In addition to the cost, the hours in attendance an d investigating takes valuable officers’ time away from the front line, as well as adding further pressure to our NHS colleagues.”

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