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Serious Injury Expert Says Dog Owners Must Face Up To Responsibilities

Incident And New Figures Raise Concerns Over Attacks


A serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell says owners must take responsibility for their dogs after a five-year-old boy was hospitalised following a horrific attack involving a Rottweiler in the North East.

According to reports, Karl Morson, from Washington, was playing with friends inside a safe enclosure near to his home when he was mauled by the dog in August.

The dog pinned the young boy to the ground and attacked his arms and face. Karl, who was treated at Sunderland Royal Hospital, underwent surgery for his injuries but will be scarred for life.

John Davis, a serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, said the case highlighted the life-altering effects that dog attacks can have on victims and that owners must face up to their responsibilities and take control of dangerous dogs.

Figures published in August 2011 by the NHS Information centre revealed that from May 2010 to April 2011, the North East Strategic Health Authority had the highest rate of dog bites in the country, with 58 bites per 100,000 admissions and 500 bites in total. The second highest was the North West with 51 bites per 100,000 hospital admissions.

He said: “Time and time again we see the devastating consequences caused by attacks involving dogs which are clearly extremely dangerous.

“This is a truly shocking case but it is, sadly, becoming all too common. Far too many people are now facing a lifetime of physical and emotional scarring.

“Dog attacks are extremely traumatic no matter the age of the victim but unfortunately we are seeing an alarming number of incidents, similar to this, that involve young children.

“More needs to be done by dog owners to protect people from the threat of dog attacks, and dog owners should face their responsibilities and take out full insurance for their pets. Most dog owners are responsible people who look after their dogs properly, but it is the irresponsible few whose dogs create a problem.”