Four children have been injured by their family dogs in attacks taking place last weekend, with one just two years old.
Over the weekend of September 8 to 9, the four children were attacked by their family dogs across South Yorkshire. Now South Yorkshire Police are urging parents to take action to protect their children.
According to the police, they receive between 140 and 185 calls every month for out of control dogs causing injury or panic. These incidents are continuing to rise.
Now, South Yorkshire Police are urging parents not to think it won’t happen to your children and to put measures in place to protect them. Dog Legislation Officer PC Paul Jameson explains more, he said: “Nationally, and within South Yorkshire, we are seeing an increase in dangerous dog incidents and the severity of the risk they pose to members of the public.
“Sadly, last weekend we have seen innocent children at the receiving end of these dogs’ violent capabilities.
“One incident, which hospitalised a 15-year-old girl, involved an XL Bully that has been reported to have allegedly showed aggression previously and has been left unreported, without intervention. We are not only urging parents to think about their own dogs and their children’s behaviour around them, but to also report concerns you may have around dogs in the community, especially where vulnerable people live.
“We are not here to seize family pets, but we will intervene if the dog poses a risk and work alongside the owners, with partners and charities, to ensure the dog’s behaviour is addressed, and our recommendations are followed.”
They are urging parents to take the following steps to protect children. They are also urging anyone visiting the home of someone who does own dogs to speak to their children about how to interact with the pet.
South Yorkshire Police recommends the following steps:
Always supervise your dog and children, and pay attention to what is happening so you can intervene at the earliest opportunity
Encourage gentle stroking, but do not allow children to pull, grab or sit on dogs
Do not allow children near your dog if it is eating, sleeping or with items that belong to him/her such as toys
If you see that your dog is becoming worried or agitated, or a child is becoming frightened, then intervene and provide a safe space for each of them to have some time alone
If you have any concerns about a dog in the community you can get in touch with the police by calling 101 or reporting the information online. In addition, you can contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously at 0800 555 111 or online.