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Leeds girl, 5, in dog attack horror EXCLUSIVE

Haley Turner pictured just after the attack.

Haley Turner pictured just after the attack.

  • by Vicki Robinson
 

A terrified five-year-old girl was left with a gaping wound in her face after being attacked by a neighbour’s dog.

Haley Tuner had to undergo reconstructive surgery and may yet still have to have skin grafts following the savage bite.

Her distraught mum Julie says the attack has left her daughter withdrawn and shaken and she is no longer her ‘bubbly little girl’.

Julie, 29, said: “It’s awful. At the time we were in a state of shock but now I feel angry and upset.

“My little girl has changed before my eyes because of this.”

The attack happened as Haley, from Athelstan Lane, Otley, was playing with her sister Ella, seven, in the garden of a neighbour on Thursday evening.

As she sat down on a step, the owner’s Jack Russell dog lunged at her face, tearing a hole the size of a 50p piece.

Julie said: “The first we knew of it was when Ella came flying into the house screaming that Haley had been bitten.

“We rushed round and the dog’s owner was holding a tea-towel to Haley’s face. The first thing she said to us was ‘it’s a mess’.”

Haley was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where the wound was flushed with antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.

The next day, Good Friday, she underwent an hour and a half of plastic surgery. She was allowed home later that day but will return to hospital today to see if further operations are needed.

Julie and her partner Neil Choppen, also 29, are now calling for changes to the law on dangerous dogs.

Presently, if a dog is on its own property when it bites a person, police are not required to take action unless the injury is considered severe or the dog is thought a danger to others.

In Haley’s case, officers decided the incident was minor.

Julie said: “We want dog licences brought back. It would stop any confusion over ownership and stop dogs being handed round.

“We also want the law changed so it extends wherever the dog is, even if it’s on its own property. Any dog who bites a child should be put down.”

Julie added that the family had got rid of its own puppy following the attack on Haley.

“We just didn’t want to take the chance,” said Julie. The dog has gone to live with another family member.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman told the YEP that, in this instance, as the victim had suffered a ‘minor puncture wound’ and the dog was on private property no further action would be taken.

“In more serious cases the law does allow for us to take more stringent action, but that does not fit with this incident,” he added.

 

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