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Children savaged in dog attack

THREE YOUNG children are in hospital after being repeatedly savaged by crossbreeds. One five-year-old girl was seriously ill in hospital and was transferred to a plastic surgery unit after the attack in Wolverhampton. She underwent several hours of surgery to repair her injuries.

A three-year-old, another five-year-old and an adult suffered multiple bite wounds from the two dogs - described as Bullmastiff bull terrier-crosses by police. The dogs’ owner has been identified and the dogs destroyed.

Five year-old Leah Preston was playing in her front garden at Hawksford Crescent, Low Hill, Wolverhampton when the dogs, named Kaiser and Gina, escaped from a metal pen, where they were being fed by neighbour Jean Harvey. The dogs pounced on Leah. The little girl tried to run away but was brought down by the dogs which tore chunks out of her flesh.

Leah’s screams alerted her mother, Diane Reynolds and neighbours, who managed to drag the dogs off Leah. Mrs Harvey joined in trying to pull the dogs off, both she and Miss Reynolds sustaining several injuries themselves in the process.

The dogs also turned on their owner’s children, Liam and Lauren Skeldon, aged 5 and 3 respectively, before being penned.

Sedated

Leah was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery for wounds to her legs, arms, buttocks and scalp. According to doctors, the child had lost much of the flesh on her left leg and her buttocks. As she was being sedated, Leah pleaded with her mother not to let doctors “put her down”.

The dogs were captured by police and taken to a vet, who put them to sleep that same day. Mrs Harvey, with bite marks clearly visible on her arms, broke down in tears and was unable to talk about the attack.

Police are currently conducting an investigation into the attack and considering whether to bring charges against Mrs Harvey.

In a devastating postscript to the attack, burglars ransacked Miss Reynolds’ home whilst she was staying at the hospital with her daughter, and cleared the house of virtually all its possessions.

Leah was reported to be in a stable condition after undergoing a second exploratory operation last Saturday on the bite wounds she sustained.