Mum calls for law change after dog bites daughter

16-month-old Kenzy Scutt, from Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove, who needed nine stitches after being bitten by a dog
16-month-old Kenzy Scutt, from Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove, who needed nine stitches after being bitten by a dog

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A TODDLER could be scarred for life after being attacked by a dog.

Mum Kelsey Scutt is calling for a change in the law after her daughter Kenzy was bitten in the face by west Highland white terrier Boots.

The 16-month-old was left bleeding and needed nine stitches.

But the dog’s owner does not face criminal prosecution – as under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 it is not a criminal offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control on its own property.

Owner Tina Jones, 45, apologised after the incident, which happened at her home in Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth.

Mum Kelsey Scutt, 19, of Wayte Street, Cosham, said: ’I asked if I could put Kenzy down next to the dog. All of a sudden it just bit her in the face. It just went for her. There was quite a lot of blood.

‘The dog just bit her and ran off.

‘She was crying for a good hour. She was screaming – it was horrible.

‘At the end of the day it could have taken her eye out.

‘What if it does it again to another child? I want to see the dog put down. I think the law needs to be changed.’

Miss Scutt took Kenzy to Queen Alexandra Hospital after the incident, which happened at about 3pm on May 21st. Kenzy later received nine stitches above her left eye. Miss Jones said: ‘He’s never done anything like this before. Unfortunately the bite mark was where he snapped at her. Nobody saw what happened – it was just a matter of seconds.

‘It’s totally got out of control. The dog can’t be put down because it was in its own territory. If he went off and bit lots of kids, obviously he would have to be muzzled or put down. He’s not a rottweiler. It was a total, one-off accident.

‘I was very apologetic when it happened. It was an unfortunate accident, it was awful.’

Hampshire police are now considering whether there are grounds for a civil complaint for an order for the control or destruction of Boots under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1871, which can apply to dogs at home. A spokesman said: ‘In this case officers met with the mother of the injured child as part of enquiries to establish the full circumstances that prompted this dog to bite a child.

‘Advice was given to the dog’s owners about checking on its whereabouts when any children are nearby.

‘There was no evidence to confirm the dog’s behaviour was usually aggressive, or that any criminal offences had been committed under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.

‘However, police are keeping an open mind and considering whether a complaint under the Dogs Act 1871 would be appropriate.’