As figures reveal the number of dog attacks on humans has risen more than 400% in two years, a mum has spoken of her son’s terrifying experience.
The mum of a 12-year-old from Bridlington has spoken to the Free Press a year on from when he was attacked by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier on his way home from school.
Taylor Dawson was bitten on the arm leaving deep puncture wounds while waiting at the traffic lights to cross Hilderthorpe Road.
The attack has left Taylor with permenant damage to his arm and a fear of being anywhere near ‘man’s best friend’.
Mum Caroline Makin, of Bridlington, said the wounds took around six months to heal: “He has multiple scars and permanent nerve damage in parts of his arm.”
She added: “I wouldn’t say he was petrified of all dogs now but he’s very nervous and aware. If he’s walking down the street now he’ll cross away from a dog especially if it is the same kind.”
Caroline says “accidents happen” and she never wanted the dog to be put down.
But she thinks more should be done to train dogs and pups, like the one that attack Taylor, should have to wear a muzzle until they are trained and then accessed.
For Caroline the most upsetting part was that the dog walker ran away and left Tyler on his own while his arm was “gushing with blood”.
They never got an apology or an explanation but she heard the female dog walker did go to the police after an appeal but she says nothing happened as a result.
Of the attacks recorded in Bridlington 12.5% were on children, with the youngest being just four.
Last year 310 dog attacks on humans were reported to Humberside Police Force with 16 of these in Bridlington.
Another 33 attacks do not have a reported location.
This is an increase of 416% as just 60 attacks were recorded in 2014 across the area. Out of the attacks recorded in 2016, 40 were caused by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with other 17 caused by a German Shepherd and 12 by an Alsatian. Among the other dogs included on the list are Border Collies, Huskies, Jack Russells and Shih Tzus.
Of the 16 dog attacks located in Bridlington, nine include a report of the dogs breed.
The most common is German Shepherds which were involved in three incidents.
While Staffordshire Bull Terriers were involved in two attacks, a Rottweiler, Tibetan Terrier, Bull Mastiff and Pit Bull/Stafordshire Cross were all recorded in one attack.
PC Gareth Walker, Dangerous Dogs Officer, said: “We are concerned about the results shown and would ask owners to think about the importance of training and being responsible dog owners.
“We are aware that people are buying dogs off the internet and at car boot sales and even at motorway service stations. If people buy this way they are not seeing the dog in its environment and understanding its temperament.
“If people are thinking of buying, they should see the dog with the mother, see the temperament and understand the power and the attributes of the dog.”
He added: “We are the first and only force to become official sponsors of the Yellow Dog Project which is a charity based initiative to try and reduce the number of dog attacks. The idea of the Yellow Dog Project is simple, if your dog is nervous, aggressive, in season, new to the family, unwell, grumpy, a pup in training etc, the owner ties a yellow ribbon (provided by the police if needed) to the dogs lead or collar and this gives a message to other dog owners and people meaning that that dog needs space and not to approach it.”
The number of dog attacks on humans has also risen nationally.
RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Aggression in dogs is very complex and there are different reasons why a dog might bite such as an underlying medical condition or injury, or fear of certain situations or circumstances.
“Whilst, in general, the number of dog bite incidents per year are small, they can cause significant physical and psychological trauma to the person involved.”
It is illegal to let any type of dog be dangerously out of control in a public place, private place or the owner’s home.
The law, set out in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, applies to all dogs and not just banned types.