One year after her 81-year-old mother was bitten by an uncontrollable dog, a woman from Hertfordshire bravely shares the emotional toll it took on her family.
During a routine trip to the local shop to buy milk and bread, the Hertfordshire resident was suddenly attacked by the dog, leading to two painful bites that required hospital treatment. Now, she bears a permanent scar on her strongest arm and continues to experience lingering pain from the incident.
“Mum previously worked in a veterinary surgery and has owned dogs herself so knows not to approach an unknown dog. However, she didn’t even see the dog outside the shop before it launched at her.
“She has always been such an energetic, outgoing person, with a busy social life at her allotment and playing bowls, but after the attack, she didn’t want to leave the house or go anywhere without me.
“It has taken a year to get her confidence back, but she is still very wary of all dogs, and crosses the road to avoid them.”
In 2022 there were 10 fatal dog attacks across the UK. Previously this number had been an average of three per year. Already in 2023, there have been five fatal dog attacks across the country.
Dangerous Dog Advisor for Beds, Cambs and Herts, Peter Madden said: “Although these fatal incidents have not been in the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire or Hertfordshire area, in 2022-23 there were 1,015 reported incidents in which people were injured across the three counties.
“We are sharing this story, as we want to raise awareness of how dog attacks such as this can affect someone’s life, not only physically but mentally.”
The victim’s daughter continued: “I could have said goodbye to my mum that day if the bite had been in a different place or punctured a main artery.
“I want to encourage people who have dogs or look after a friend’s pet, to consider the huge responsibility and ask the important questions: what are their triggers? Are they socialised? Am I able to be in full control of this dog?
“I have shared Mum’s story, as I don’t want anyone else having to suffer like she has.”
For advice and support when looking after a dog use the following links to the Government website:
- Controlling your dog in public (opens in a new window)
- Code of practice for the welfare of dogs (opens in a new window)
Source: Herts Police