A dog lover says she has been left a “prisoner” in her home after being savaged by a Staffordshire bull terrier as she tried to protect her own pet.
Animal rights campaigner Tina Pointon, 42, suffered horrific injuries to her arm when she was mauled as she walked her dog, Patch, in Beeston.
Despite the attack, the mother of three said she was “torn” about whether to tell police because she didn’t want the dog to be put down.
But the animal has now been seized after she reported it to protect other people.
Mrs Pointon, of Cross Flatts Street, says she is still suffering from the trauma of what happened and is calling on other dog owners to take responsibility for their animals.
“I haven’t been out of the house,” she said. “I can’t walk the streets of Beeston. There are so many Staffies around and I know they’re not all bad, but at the moment I don’t know which ones are good. I feel like a prisoner in my home.
“People need to be more responsible – know where their dog has come from, know its history and take the necessary precautions.”
Mrs Pointon – a member of Leeds Animal Protection – was walking 14-year-old Patch on Cross Flatts Drive on August 7 when the dog left a garden and charged at them.
“Something told me to pick up my dog,” she said. “I picked her up with my right hand and when I turned around I saw the dog running towards me. She took one jump and grabbed hold of my left arm.”
The dog’s bite tore through Mrs Pointon’s tricep and left her with a chunk of her upper arm missing. Despite being beaten by her owner, the dog only released its grip when they threw a bucket of water over it.
Mrs Pointon had to have plastic surgery to repair her arm and said: “It looks horrendous, it’s a horrendous scar but I’m just trying to stay positive. It could have got my face, it could have got me by the neck. Although the damage is quite extensive, I’m still here.
“My plastic surgeon said if that dog had done the same thing to a child it wouldn’t be alive today.”
Mrs Pointon says she feels no malice towards the dog and was in two minds about whether to report the incident.
“I was really torn,” she said. “I don’t want it to be put down, I didn’t want the dog labelled as dangerous. I sat on it for about a week while I thought about it, but then I thought that as a parent, and for the sake of everyone in our community, I needed to report it.
“I couldn’t have lived with myself if it had attacked someone else.”
And despite the trauma, she said she would do the same again to protect her own dog.
“To me Patch is more than just a family pet, she is a family member,” she said.
“I do not regret saving my dog’s life, and if ever put in the same situation, I’d do exactly the same thing.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “A dog has now been seized and officers from the Leeds inner south neighbourhood policing team are progressing enquires.”