A woman has been awarded £15,000 dog bite injury compensation for cuts and scratches she suffered when trying to save her two small dogs from an attack by a bull terrier.
Rebecca Lambert (41) was walking her small westie and puggle dogs along a public footpath in her home town of Rotherham in South Yorkshire, when a bull terrier being walked off its lead approached her and her two dogs.
The owner of the bull terrier shouted a warning that his dog might attack, but before Rebecca could pick up her dogs for safety, the bull terrier had sunk its teeth into her puggle pup.
Rebecca tried to free her dog from the jaws of the bull terrier, and the terrier´s owner hit his dog with a stick which broke on the dog´s back. Only after 15 minutes were the owner´s able to separate the two dogs, by which time Rebecca had suffered puncture wounds, lacerations and scratches to her face, thighs and hands.
The police and an ambulance were called, and the puggle pup revived and taken to the vets for emergency surgery. The owner of the bull terrier fled with his dog, but was tracked down after a police investigation and charged with offences against the Animals Act 1971. The bull terrier was subsequently put down.
Rebecca made a claim for dog bite injury compensation against the owner of the bull terrier – alleging that he knew the dog was dangerous, but had not tried to restrain it or prevent it causing her an injury. Liability was admitted for Rebecca´s injuries, and a settlement of dog bite injury compensation was agreed to account for Rebecca´s physical injuries, her emotional trauma and the cost of restoring her puggle to full health.
After the case had been resolved, Rebecca´s solicitor commented that around 6,000 people are injured each year by dog bites, but few victims are aware that they are entitled to make a claim for dog bite injury compensation against the owner of the animal – even when the injuries have been sustained in the owner´s home.