Five-month-old baby in hospital after dog attack

time:2023-06-04 15:36:28 source:Al Jazeera

A five-month-old baby has been taken to hospital after a dog attack, police have said.

Emergency services were called to Penyrheol, Caerphilly county, on Saturday morning, Gwent Police said.

The baby was taken to Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales. The child's injuries are unknown but are not believed to be life-threatening.

Caerphilly MP Wayne David said he was shocked by the incident, after two recent fatal dog attacks in the area.

All three incidents have happened within a half mile (about 0.8 km) radius of each other.

The Welsh Ambulance Service confirmed it was called to a dog attack at 09:00 BST.

Caerphilly councillor, Greg Ead, said witnesses heard screams coming from the property at the time of the attack.

Local groups met on Thursday to discuss how to stop the rising numbers of attacks, with campaigners saying more needs to be done.

Gwent Police said officers seized the dog and confirmed no other animals were involved.

"We were called to an address in Penyrheol, Caerphilly at around 9.10am on Saturday 29 April, following reports of a dog attack," said the force.

"Officers attended, alongside paramedics from the Welsh Ambulance Service.

"A five-month-old baby has been taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

"The dog was seized by officers. No other animals were involved in the attack."

Chief Insp Laura Bartley said officers would be making further inquiries and would "remain at the scene as the investigation progresses".

"It is possible that you may see ongoing police activity in Caerphilly as part of this work, but please do not be alarmed.

"If you have concerns or information then please do stop and talk with us."

Penyrheol councillor, Greg Ead, said his son was staying at his girlfriend's home on the same street where they heard and shouts and screams.

Mr Ead called the attack "traumatic" for everyone on the road.

"I think another death would be absolutely devastating for this community," he said.

The incident comes after two fatal dog attacks in the area. The latest is understood to have happened at Y Cilgant in Penyrheol.

Jack Lis, 10, from Caerphilly, died after being mauled by an American or XL Bully dog - a legal breed - in November 2021.

And Shirley Patrick, 83, died in hospital after suffering a "violent and unnatural" death after being attacked by a dog in Caerphilly in December.

Jack's mum Emma Whitfield has been campaigning for changes in the law about breeding and selling dogs since his death.

"At the moment anyone can buy and sell a dog with no knowledge of where the dog has come from or who it is going to," she told BBC Wales on Sunday.

Ms Whitfield said she wanted to see more emphasis placed on breeding and selling dogs.

"With owners, I think people need to start realising that they have responsibilities.

"This problem is not going away."

In February, Welsh Labour MS Lesley Griffiths said the Welsh government had updated its animal welfare licensing regulations and closed "loopholes relating to pet sales".

She told the Senedd: "We need to make sure the public are making informed decisions when they buy a pet, but there is absolutely more we can do.

"I've asked officials to actually start to look at dog licensing again."

Details of the dog's breed involved in Saturday's attack has not yet been released by police.

Caerphilly MP Wayne David added: "There have been a number of incidents around Penyrheol.

"It shows there needs to be recognition that all dogs are potentially dangerous, particularly ones with a strong physique.

"Dogs like this need to be handled with great care and caution. They need to be trained properly.

"It's about responsible dog ownership. Children should not be able to go near them.

"The more general issue is all sorts of cross breeds being breed for the wrong reason with many not appropriate to be pets. They are bred to be violent.

"Not sure that's the case here.

"The aim is to have a different kind of approach to the issue of dogs.

"We must make sure that all owners are aware of what they are taking on when they are small puppies to make sure that people recognise that keeping a dog like this is a big undertaking."

Mr David said it was too difficult to ban certain breeds because of crossbreeding.

"So many of these breeds are now cross breeds, it's not that easy, you would have a list of thousands of breeds.

"What is happening is that the regulations are being broken, the wrong kinds of dogs are being bred."

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