Aug 27 2013 by Sophie McCoid, Formby Times
DOG attacks are on the increase, according to figures from Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS trust.
Figures from the past five years illustrate how the number of children attacked by dogs has increased year on year.
In 2010/2011, there were 73 children treated at the hospital because of a dog attack. This rose to 85 children for 2011/2012 and the number of children attacked this year already stands at 82.
Last week, the Southport Visiter reported the story of nine- year-old Lucy Peters, who had the top of her ear lobe taken off in a vicious dog assault.
Her mum Karrie Peters said there should be more laws in place to protect the public against dangerous dogs.
After hearing these latest figures, she said: “It’s getting a lot worse. I think the Government really needs to crack down and get certain dogs off the street.
“I think certain types of dogs should be muzzled when they’re in public.
“The dog that attacked Lucy was a big dog and apparently it was out of character for it to attack, which shows just how unpredictable they can be.
“If the dog was muzzled, this never would have happened. More needs to be done to protect people.”
The figures issued also reveal that a large number of adults were attacked by dogs.
This year, there were 150 assaults on adults – almost three a week.
In 2011/2012, there were 172 adults assaulted, and in 2010/11 there were 176 people attacked.
Sixteen people have been killed by dangerous dogs since 2005, including 14-year-old Jade Anderson, who was savaged by four dogs – believed to be two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers – as she was visiting the home of a friend near Wigan, in March.
Liberal Democrat MP John Pugh, who has campaigned in Parliament for the issue to be addressed, said: “The problem of out-of- control and trophy dogs is one issue that I have raised repeatedly in the Commons and the Government to be fair have come up with new proposals.
“However, there is no substitute for responsible owners and no excuse for those with uncontrolled or uncontrollable dogs.
“We need support and encouragement for the former and strict penalties for the latter.
“Recent tragedies have shown how bad things can get if we get this wrong.”
What do you think? have you been affected by this issue?
Email our reporter Sophie at sophie.mccoid @trinitymirror.com