“Killing machine” fighting dog savages 10-year-old Kilmarnock girl

In what is rapidly becoming an almost  daily occurrence in Scotland, a horrified dad told yesterday how a “killing machine” dog ripped his schoolgirl daughter’s face apart.

Ten-year-old Toni Clannachan needed more than 100 stitches and was scarred for life after the attack by the vicious Akita fighting dog in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. It came just days after another 10-year-old Scots girl was mauled by two rottweilers in Dundee.

Last night, as Toni lay in hospital, dad James Dixon said: “These dogs shouldn’t be with families or around kids. They are killing machines.”

Toni was playing in a friend’s garden when the family Akita, called Kruger, savaged her. The owner of the Akita, professional dog groomer Gaynor McCabe, has been involved in a previous dog attack.  Her own son Gabriel – whom Toni was playing with on Tuesday when the Akita attacked – lost part of an ear when her Staffordshire bull terrier went for him.

Toni had four hours of surgery at Crosshouse Hospital, two miles from her home in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. Her cheek had a large hole in it and her top lip was left hanging down her face after the dog took vicious bites at her head. She has been too scared to look at her wounds and nurses have covered mirrors to shield her from the shock.

The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 extends the criminal liability of an owner to all places, rather than just public ones, but the legislation does not come into effect until February. We can but hope meantime that certain dog owners will become even more aware of their animals’ potential to cause harm and that they will take steps to protect the public. 

If you or a member of your family has been injured by a dog please call us FREE on 0800 163 978 for expert legal advice and a no obligation review of your case.

Rottweiler attack on Rhianna comes after owner ignores court order

It has been reported today that 10-year-old Rhianna Kidd who was savagely mauled by two rottweillers in Dundee on Sunday was THE SECOND VICTIM of these particular dogs – named Big Boy and Pretty Girl – within the past 12 months.

37-year-old George Jamieson was mauled by the dogs in the city last September, suffering serious injuries to his arms and shoulders in the attack. The dogs’ owner, Derek Adam, was handed a court order in March this year and ordered to control the animals. Unfortunately for Rhianna the dogs were left to roam with tragic results.Rhianna’s local MP, Jim McGovern said: “If the dogs’ owner had been dealt with firmly this terrible incident may not have happened.”

The new Control of Dogs Act, which comes into force in Scotland in February 2011, is aimed at identifying, controlling and ultimately destroying dangerous and out-of-control dogs of any breed. Against the backdrop of these horrifying attacks and the reported huge increase in dog attacks in Edinburgh this year alone, it is clear that implementation of the new legislation cannot come quickly enough.

If you or a member of your family wishes to discuss the legal options following a dog attack, a member of Bonnar & Company’s experienced personal injury team would be pleased to meet with you for a no obligation review. You can call us FREE on 0800 163 978.

Dundee woman witnesses rottweiler attack on granddaughter

In the month when the number of dog attacks in Edinburgh has rocketed, there has been yet another appalling dog attack on a child in Scotland this weekend.

A Scots gran has described the terrifying moment she saw her 10-year-old granddaughter being mauled by two rottweilers.

Rhianna Kidd was attacked by the dogs while riding her bicycle in Dundee yesterday.
The primary school pupil was being treated for a fractured jaw today and has had to have plastic surgery. Irene Grady, the girls’ grandmother added: “Her jaw’s broken in two places and pins have been put in. They’ll be in for the rest of her life. She’s got bites everywhere and she’s got chunks out of her leg. She’s got bites all over her arms and she can’t open her left eye properly.”

Under the new Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act, passed earlier this year by the Scottish Parliament, councils will soon have to compile a list of potentially dangerous dogs.
Dundee West MSP Joe FitzPatrick said: “This horrific attack has shocked everyone and our sympathies go to Rhianna and her family. The new Act, which comes into force next year, has reformed the law around dangerous or out of control dogs, and will give local authorities greater powers to act.”

A Tayside Police spokesman said: “A 33-year-old woman has been charged under section three of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 for failing to keep the dogs under control and a full report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

The deeply distressing truth of the matter is that, once again, the pain, suffering and psychological damage inflicted by a terrifying dog attack could have been avoided.    

We have a very experienced team available to handle claims on behalf of dog attack victims. If you or a member of your family would like a no obligation review of your legal options following a dog attack, please call Bonnar & Company Solicitors FREE on 0800 163 978.

Dog attacks in Edinburgh hit record high

Incredibly, more than 100 dog attacks have taken place in Edinburgh during the past six months, including one where a 12-month-old baby was bitten, it was revealed today.

The shocking figure, which includes attacks against children, adults and other animals, is twice the amount recorded in the whole of 2009 and clearly highlights a growing and very serious problem. The figures show that only one of the dogs involved in the 102 attacks recorded since January 1 was on a lead and all but 36 of the incidents happened in public spaces such as on roads and pavements, in parks or in open fields

Last year 52 dog attacks were recorded by Lothian and Borders police. In 2008 around 43 attacks were reported. The attacks this year included 26 bites to children, 30 to adults and 39 to other dogs. Four cats and two swans were killed. A one-year-old was bitten and a toddler was also attacked but only around 12 people were charged for owning dangerous animals and only two of the animals were put down.

Scottish SPCA Chief Inspector Mike Flynn today said the number – which is the highest in at least five years – showed that people needed to drastically change their attitudes to owning and training dogs.

He said the new Control of Dogs Bill, set to come into force next year, was a much-needed change to the law and would ensure owners kept their pets under control. However, his use of the word ‘pet’ to describe for example a pit bull bred for fighting is a complete misnomer as these dogs are primarily status symbols used to intimidate and terrorise.     

At present, making a claim for compensation following a dog attack in Scotland can be difficult as the process is often hampered by the problem of identifying the owner and proving that the animal is dangerous.

Bonnar & Company believes that the passing of the Control of Dogs Bill in Scotland is a welcome step in helping innocent victims of dog attacks in Scotland achieve justice and financial compensation for their injuries because it means that every dog, every owner and every location, including previously ‘exempt’ private homes, will now be included in the provisions of the new Act, which will come into force next February.

If you or  a member of your family would like to discuss your legal options arisng from a dog attack, then please call us FREE on 0800 163 978 for a no obligation case review.