A LITTLE girl aged three was savaged by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
The tot needed emergency surgery after she was bitten to the neck and ear.
Mold Crown Court heard how the attack happened just 24 hours after The Dangerous Dogs Act was changed to include private property.
Dog owner Arthur John Tudor, 56, rushed the girl, a member of his family, to hospital and immediately had the dog put down.
He admitted a charge of owning a dog that injured a child while dangerously out of control, a charge which now carries a maximum sentence of five years.
But in the circumstances Tudor of Birch Court in Leeswood, Mold, was placed on a community order and told to carry out 60 hours unpaid work.
He was banned from owning a dog for three years – but outside court said that he never wanted to own a dog ever again.
Tudor agreed to take the dog as a family pet two weeks earlier after being assured that it was family orientated and good with children.
It interacted well with his three children and gave no sign of aggression, the court heard.
Then it nipped the little girl and Tudor kept the dog away from the family and spent the day trying to find it another home.
He rang sanctuaries and other places but could get no one to take the dog.
On the day of the incident in May the dog had been kept away from the children.
But as the dog was about to be taken for a walk, it entered the lounge just as the little girl was bending down to put her shoes on.
Prosecuting barrister Karl Scholz said that it was then that the dog in effect savaged her.
“It caused what can only be described as a horrific wound to the neck and partially severed her ear,” he said.
The defendant heard her scream, ran into the lounge and found his wife trying to prize open the dog’s jaws to release its grip.
He took the girl to Wrexham Hospital, she was transferred to Alderhey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool where the surgery was successful and she had been left with simply a fading scar on the neck.
Tudor immediately arranged for the dog to be put down.
Owen Edwards, defending, said that his client felt great guilty that he had introduced the dog into the family at all.
“He feels desperately guilty that he allowed the dog in the house at all.
Fortunately the child had made an excellent recovery.
He had no idea that the dog was dangerous, following the first bite he had tried to get rid of it but had to accept that he had not done enough.
Judge Philip Hughes said that a serious injury had been caused but fortunately she had made a good recovery.
He had pleaded guilty at an early stage, he reported the matter to the police himself, and he had no relevant previous convictions.
The maximum penalty had recently been increased from two to five years.
But the judge said that he appreciated that the defendant had suffered trauma and distress at what had happened and would feel responsible for what had happened for the rest of his life.
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