Breeder Loses Arm After Mauling By Dog

Savage And Prolonged Attack Leaves Man In Hospital


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463
A dog breeder from County Durham has been hospitalised with serious injuries after two of the animals he had bred attacked him.

Stephen Potts was attacked in the street at Priors Grange, High Pittington, County Durham on Sunday evening (September 21st).

He was suddenly set upon by the American bulldogs, with the attack being so savage that witnesses say he was dragged down the street and his arm was almost severed. Passers-by tried to help by hitting the dogs with golf clubs, spades and even ramming them with a car, without them ceasing the attack.

Describing the events, witness Alison Metcalfe said: "They were ripping his clothes off him, biting him, they didn't appear to be aggressive, they were wagging their tails and they didn't turn on anyone else.

"He had an horrendous arm injury, some facial injuries and I believe a leg injury. He was being ripped to bits."

She believed that had the attack been on a child rather than a well-built adult man, it would have led to a fatality.

Another witness claimed one of the dogs had dragged Mr Potts along while having its jaws clamped on his head.

Police shot one of the dogs dead at the scene and took the other to the kennels, while Mr Potts was taken to hospital.

According to the BBC, surgeons at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle were unable to save his right arm. However, none of his injuries are life threatening.
The victim's father Geoffrey thanked the people who had helped his son during the incident, saying it was not clear what caused the dogs to attack. However, he said, the catalyst may have been someone setting off fireworks nearby.

He remarked: "I don't think there are many dogs that like fireworks. I think they've got a fright and wanted to escape."

Police visited the kennels where Mr Potts is a breeder and found that none of the dogs there are an illegal breed, while all the animals have been kept in good conditions.

Expert Opinion
This shocking incident is the latest in a long line of dog attacks in Britain and highlights the devastating consequences a dog attack can have for the victim and those who witness the event. In our work we have represented a number of people who have suffered severe physical injuries and long-lasting psychological issues as a result of a dog attack.

“In this case it was the dog’s owner that was attacked, but in so many others we see members of the public injured as a result of dangerous dogs owned by others being out of control. With this in mind, we would once again urge the Government to consider the introduction of compulsory licensing and insurance for owners which would ensure any victims of attacks would get justice in relation to any injuries they suffer.”
Matthew Currie, Partner