Call for law change as dog leaves girl scarred

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A MOTHER has expressed her anger after her five-year-old daughter was left scarred following an attack by a neighbour’s Jack Russell terrier.

Haley Turner was playing with her seven-year-old sister Ella in her neighbour’s garden last Thursday when the dog lunged at her face, tearing a hole in her skin.

Her mother Julie, 29, of Otley, near Leeds, said: “It’s awful. We were initially in shock but now I feel angry and upset.

“My little girl has changed before my eyes because of this.”

Haley was left withdrawn and shaken and she is no longer her “bubbly little girl”.

She recalled: “The first we knew of it was when Ella came in screaming that Haley had been bitten.

“We rushed round and the dog’s owner was holding a tea towel to Haley’s face. The first thing she said was ‘it’s a mess’.”

Haley was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary where the wound was flushed with antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.

The next day she underwent 90 minutes of plastic surgery to repair the tear in her right cheek.

Haley, now back at home with her mother, her mother’s partner Neil Choppen, 29, and sister Ella, may need skin grafts.

The couple are now calling for changes to the law on dangerous dogs, and have even got rid of their own puppy since the attack.

At the moment, if a dog is on its own property when it bites a person, police are not required to take action unless the injury is severe or the dog is thought a danger to others.

In Haley’s case, officers decided the incident was minor.

Julie said: “We want dog licences brought back. It would stop any confusion over ownership and stop dogs being handed around.

“We also want the law changed so it extends wherever the dog is, even if it’s on its own property. Any dog who bites a child should be put down.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said as the dog was on private property no further action would be taken.