EAST Lancashire has witnessed several horrendous dog attacks and maulings, often involving children.
And the problem has been reflected across Britain with several high profile deaths making the headlines in recent times.
Last November, four-year-old Lexi Branson was mauled to death by a pet dog despite her mother’s desperate attempts to halt the attack at a flat in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire.
And in May, Clifford Clarke, 79, was killed in a dog attack in his garden in Liverpool while two months earlier, Jade Anderson, 14, was mauled to death by four dogs while visiting her friend near Wigan.
In the past decade several children and adults across East Lancashire have been lucky to survive savage attacks from a variety of breeds.
In April, 2013, nine-year-old Owen Poole, of Delph Approach, Blackburn, was left facing facial surgery after being attacked by a Yorkshire Terrier while visiting a park with friends. The experience left him to frightened to leave his house.
In March, 2011, armed police and an expert in tranqulising lions were called to a house in Sands Road, Rishton, where 19-year-old Daniel Boardman was almost ripped apart by two giant bull mastiff-style dogs who launched a ‘ferocious’ attack on him while he was looking after them for a friend.
He was left with ‘life-changing’ injuries, with bites to his arms, legs and buttocks – some down to his bones.
In June that year five-year-old Courtney Bradshaw was playing in the bedroom of a friend’s house in Accrington when she was attacked by a bull terrier which savaged her face and head, requiring a seven-hour emergency operation and plastic surgery.
October, 2008, saw three-year-old Lucas Simpson needing eight stitches to his face after a Staffordshire Bull terrier bit him at his Hollins Grove, Darwen, home.
Eight months earlier Callum Chippendale, 10, of Gannow, Burnley, was mauled by the family pet ‘Staffie’ leaving him with facial injuries.
At the end of 2007 nine-year-old Nicola Dalby spent two months in hospital after being attacked by a bull mastiff in a garden during a party in Hapton.
And in May that year two-year-old Paige Allison needed plastic surgery after a Staffordshire bull terrier attacked her in a house in Shadsworth, Blackburn.
Terry O’Toole, reckoned only a treasured family ring saved him from losing his hand after an attack by a bull terrier in Rishton in February, 2004.
A month earlier a woman appeared in court after her bull terriers attacked 11-year-old Samina Talaty, of Dickens Street, Blackburn.
Other fatal dog attacks in the UK in recent years include South London where 71-year-old Gloria Knowles died after being attacked by a pack of dogs that she had gone to feed in November, 2012.
And in November, 2009 four-year-old John-Paul Massey was savaged by a family pet at his grandmother’s home in Liverpool.