Dog attacks on a young mum and a 91-year-old woman have sparked fresh debate over whether breeds such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers should be banned in the UK.
In the first incident, Swindon’s Charlene Mills had to have jabs and an x-ray after a terrier sunk its teeth into her arm in the local park.
The 26-year-old had been bitten on August 23, while trying to rescue her Shar Pei puppy from the animal.
In a separate incident a few weeks earlier, an elderly woman needed major surgery after being mauled by a dog while walking to her daughter’s house in Cardiff.
Iris Perkins, 91, needed specialist skin grafts after suffering “horrific” injuries to both her legs.
Although the breed of the dog hasn’t been confirmed, the family believes the animal was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Following the incident, Iris’ daughter Sue Martin told the local press that it should be illegal to own the dogs.
At present only four breeds (the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro) are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
But the rising number of attacks on people – the emergency services now receive around 100 calls a week – has put growing pressure on the Government to change legislation.
Staffies and Bull Mastiffs , which are used as “status dogs” by some street gangs, are the breeds that some believe should be added to the banned list.
Animal charities have opposed the move, arguing it is unfair to demonise specific types of dog when it is often the owner at fault.