An attack by a rotweiller in Rawmarsh, which left a two year old girl in hospital with serious injuries is a stark reminder of the risks of letting powerful dogs near children say police.
The youngster was bitten by the dog on Thorogate, while the family pet was being walked on a lead by an older female relative.
The girl was taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital to be treated for injuries including leg wounds and a split earlobe - and the dog was put down.
Supt Paul McCurry, from South Yorkshire Police, said the child’s family had ‘expressed shock and horror’ and decided to have the dog destroyed.
“It’s a stark reminder of the issues around family pets and children and the fact that, with dogs, you just don’t know how they’re going to react,” he said.
“The dog was not dangerously out of control, it was under the control of its owner. It was the family pet, on a lead in a public place. There’s nothing we’re aware of that suggests this is how the dog would normally behave.
“Our inquiry is still at an early stage, but for whatever reason something has happened and the dog has reacted to something - what, we don’t know.”
The attack is understood to have taken place on grassland behind the shops on Thorogate.