Mother tells how she wrestled dog off her four-year-old daughter
‘I did everything I could to get it off her’ Mother of girl, four, who was mauled by American bulldog tells how she wrestled crazed animal off her daughter by ‘grabbing and twisting its ears’ during horror attack
- Amy Hobson, 32, fought an American bulldog off her four-year-old daughter
- The dog attacked Luna-Ann Forsyth at a home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire
A mother has said she had to ‘punch’ and ‘twist’ the ears of a crazed American bulldog to stop it savaging her four-year-old daughter’s face.
Amy Hobson, 32, said she and her daughter Luna-Ann Forsyth were helping a friend carry shopping inside their home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, in April this year.
But an American bulldog, who the family ‘knew’ and ‘trusted’, bounded down the stairs and ‘pushed’ Luna-Ann to the floor before ‘going’ for her face.
Ms Hobson said she had to ‘punch’, kick’ and ‘twist’ the dog’s ears to get it off her daughter, who was left covered in blood and taken to hospital where she was given 40 stitches and plastic surgery.
Ms Hobson said she had to ‘punch’, kick’ and ‘twist’ the dog’s ears to get it off her daughter (pictured), who was left covered in blood and taken to hospital where she was given 40 stitches and plastic surgery
She told Good Morning Britain: ‘I was out shopping with the owner of the dog on April 6. And then we came back from shopping.
‘I helped the owner get the shopping in the house. The dog was upstairs. He came down, I think just to see who was in his house.
‘He came to me so I fussed him. Luna put her arm out to stroke him just as she always has done.
‘And then he literally pushed her to the floor, got on top of her and just went for her face. It was an American Bulldog.’
Ms Hobson said she did ‘everything’ she could to get the crazed dog off her daughter.
She added: ‘Luckily I did get the dog. I punched him. I kicked him. I grabbed and twisted his ears. Thankfully he did let go.’
Ms Hobson (left) said she did ‘everything’ she could to get the crazed dog off her daughter
How to spot aggression in a dog – and its cause
Aggression in dogs is almost always a case of fear – using their bite as a last resort method of self-defence or to get a frightening or unpleasant experience to stop.
Such fears can arise due to early years puppy socialisation or past experiences.
Owners need to be able to recognise and establish how a dog is feeling, with many giving off warning signals before an attack.
There are several signals that your dog may give to indicate they are worried, fearful or feeling stressed and these include: yawning or licking lips, crouching with their tail between their legs, wagging tails and growling.
If a dog is showing any signs of aggression, a vet should be consulted to determine if there is a medical cause, such as pain or discomfort.
Failing that, speaking to a behavioural expert could help tame a more aggressive animal.
Source: Merseyside Dog Safety Partnership
Dr John Tulloch, a veterinary public health expert at the University of Liverpool authored a 2021 research paper that revealed a startling rise in the number of dog bite incidents over the past 20 years.
He told MailOnline that although wider research into the cause of this explosion in these attacks was limited, there had been an emergence of ‘worrying’ trends that he has witnessed in more recent dog ownership.
Possible explanations include broader changes in society, with more dogs now being bought from unregulated or overseas breeders, or the way in which people interact with their pets – fuelled by TikTok trends or videos hoping to garner likes online.
Dr Tulloch told MailOnline: ‘In the last 20 years or so there’s been a definite rise in cases of severe dog attacks, it has been creeping up and up and up and we should be calling it what it is: a growing public health problem.
‘In most cases, it’s a dog that is known to the victim as these events are occurring behind closed doors.
‘Children still account for around 25 per cent of hospital admissions due to dog bites, but we need to understand why adults are being attacked more now. It’s a striking problem.’
The rise in dog attacks in recent years, which has ballooned from around 3,300 in 2002 to more than 8,800 in 2021, has sparked some calls for a revamp of the Dangerous Dogs Act.
That 1991 law saw a blanket ban imposed on four specific ‘fighting-style’ breeds in the UK; the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasiliero.
Dog psychologist Bruce Clanford previously told MailOnline that dog attacks are undoubtedly on the rise and he shared his own fears about a lack of responsible dog owners.
He said: ‘There’s no regulation on owning dogs, or people handling them, there’s also no standard of education which means there are too many people who don’t know what they’re doing.
‘Lockdown didn’t help, many people had a knee-jerk reaction to just get a dog because it helped them get out and about while we were locked down.
‘So many dogs have now come out over the past few years that have had to be rehomed, people didn’t understand how to look after them. Personally, I’ve seen this a lot in the last two years.’
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