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Dog bites girl, 7, just weeks after attack on man in Lincolnshire village

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: April 13, 2012

Lincoln Magistrates' Court

Lincoln Magistrates' Court

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A seven-year-old girl was mauled by a rottweiler just weeks after the same dog attacked a man.

Isabel-Rose Cottrell is now permanently scarred just above her knee after she was bitten by the dog near her home in Billinghay.

Two months before, the dog attacked Philip Cash, who also lives in the village.

The owner of the rottweiler, Stephen Hornsey, 47, of Fen Road, Billinghay, appeared at Lincoln Magistrates' Court and pleaded guilty to two charges of owning a dog that was dangerously out of control in a public place.

He was given a three-month suspended prison sentence and has been banned from owning dogs for ten years.

Now, Isabel's parents, Steven and Donna Cottrell, are calling for a change in the way police respond to dog attacks.

They say the dog should have been impounded or muzzled when out in public after the first attack on Mr Cash.

Mr Cottrell said: "We wish that the police had more powers to be more responsive to dog attacks, even if that means confiscating the dog and keeping it somewhere until they find out what has happened.

"Izzy was walking home from school with her sister and Donna. They saw Mr Hornsey approach with his dogs.

"Mr Hornsey told the dogs to sit, but the rottweiler lunged at Izzy and it repeatedly latched on to her thigh. He couldn't pull the dog off her. There was no warning growl or anything. It was so silent and quick.

"She still has terrible nightmares and seriously struggles when we are out or when she comes into contact with strange dogs."

The dog, which has been rehomed, must now be muzzled at all times in public and kept in a locked garden, or face being destroyed. But Isabel's parents say they are scared someone else will have to face the same horror that they went through and that the dog should have been put down.

Mr Cottrell said: "What it did to Izzy was shocking and everyone needs to be aware of what that dog has done and what it is capable of.

"Wherever it has been rehomed to, there could be neighbours with children or grandchildren who know nothing about it."

Police can recommend that a dangerous dog be destroyed, but it is up to the courts to make the decision.

Lincolnshire Police spokesman James Newall said: "After the first report involving this dog, officers did take the appropriate action and summonsed the owner to court.

"Unfortunately, before that court date, another attack took place but officers are satisfied that they did all they could."

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  April 13 2012, 11:11PM

    How much food is available for dogs on public streets? What is the advantage of them being able to bite? Why are they not compelled to be muzzled in public?

    Rate   -3
  • Adrian1208  |  April 13 2012, 8:57PM

    I cannot see why people have to keep a dangerous dog in the first place, as soon as a dog shows any sign that he may be dangerous, it's time to have that dog distroyed, nobody should leave it for the courts to decide on the dogs future...... Enough said

    Rate   3
  • bobkippuz  |  April 13 2012, 7:29PM

    put the dog down. the powers that be are idiots

    Rate   4
  • colliebird1  |  April 13 2012, 10:25AM

    I can't believe the owner has been allowed to rehome this dog!!!! The owner is entirely at fault. Knowing his dog is a biter, he should have muzzled the dog in public and kept it on a short leash. This dog should have been put to sleep immediately, not passed on to someone else so it is free to bite again. Rottweilers are normally gentle, sociable dogs, but in the wrong hands, like any breed of dog, they are capable of aggression if they haven't been socialised and trained properly. This breed was bred for herding sheep and cattle, but unfortunately, because it is a big dog, it is now being bred to guard and as a security dog, and being owned by idiots who think it gives them a macho image! XNY556 asks: "How many more dogs like this are out there?" The question should be: "how many more idiots owning dogs are out there." The answer is, alas too many.

    Rate   20
  • certa_cito  |  April 13 2012, 10:13AM

    Dogs attacking people! Put the dogs down and severely fine the owners.

    Rate   8
  • XNY556  |  April 13 2012, 10:00AM

    There is a saying that every dog is allowed one bite - this one has had two and has been let free to have another? What about the victims - is there no justice? How many more dogs like this are out there?

    Rate   2
  • mummy91  |  April 13 2012, 9:07AM

    Any dog can be dangerous, and I don't think any dog owner can say they are truly careful enough. When I was 3 Years Old, I was walking through my grandparents living room, which I did regularly, on the opposite side of the room to the Cairn Terrier they had... The dog was in his bed so nobody thought anything of the situation. That dog attacked me, it was a family dog, that knew me, and I had been nowhere near it. I have a scar above my knee, and my dad had to physically drag the dog off me. I do not trust any dog around children, no matter how "nice" people think they are. And in my experience, bigger dogs cause more damage, but the little, yappy dogs are more likely to snap.

    Rate 0
  • ColinLincs  |  April 13 2012, 8:54AM

    I suppose now we will have the Rottweiler Society coming out to say what wonderful pets they are and that this was a rare and isolated case. The police could have done a lot more than issue a summons and they know that. This dog has tasted blood and is dangerous. What the heck were they thinking when they 'rehomed' it? The police could and should have ensured that the dog was destroyed. I am, by the way, a dog lover, but not a lover of dangerous and out of control dogs.

    Rate   5
  • AaronJewel  |  April 13 2012, 7:50AM

    All dangerous dogs should be put down. Yes, the courts should exercise restraint in cases where animals have been mistreated or provoked, but attacks like these in the middle of the street should result in the animal being destroyed without question.

    Rate   8