A mum and her seven-year-old daughter were savagely attacked by a dog that saw the despairing mum desperately yank her child out of the dog’s jaws.
Out shopping at Gallagher Retail Park in Coventry, Vicky Rafferty and her daughter Evie-Louise Mannion had been to Aldi and Pets at Home when the terrifying attack took place.
35-year-old Vicky has now spoken about how they were walking along minding their own business when the German shepherd launched at them.
"We were between Aldi and Pets at Home at the Gallagher Retail Park on Monday, between 4.30pm and 5pm. We were walking along and it literally just attacked my daughter Evie-Louise.
"It pulled her to the floor. Luckily she pulled her hands up to her face but she got bites to her arms – it’s a mess,” she toldCoventry Live .
"It grabbed her by her foot and pulled her to the ground and carried on biting her from her shoulder to just past her elbow. The dog just wasn’t letting go."
Caught in a desperate scramble along with the dog’s female owner to get the dog off her daughter, Vicky said that her only concern was her daughter’s safety.
Vicky was forced to resort to extreme violence to save her little girl. "I had to boot it in the face four times and that’s when it attacked me”.
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"I was pulling my daughter by her legs, anything to get her away from that dog.
"It was a six-year-old German shepherd. The owner was trying to pull it back by the harness but had no chance."
Vicky said she was told by the owner of the dog that it had been taken to Pets at Home to get a muzzle fitted. Although it was wearing a harness at the time of the attack, it was not on a lead.
"I managed to get it off my daughter by kicking it in the face," she said. "I was screaming 'get my daughter away, get my daughter away'.
"It let go of her after four kicks to the face. Then it got hold of me. I was on the floor and it was biting me."
Vicky received puncture wounds on the top of her leg and on her hip. "I was fighting it on the floor. I had a big padded coat on and it tore through that."
Eventually getting the dog under control, its owner locked it in a car.
Vicky fainted twice after the attack. She suffers from prolapsed discs in her spine and both her and Evie-Louise were treated at the scene before they were moved to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire where they received tetanus jabs.
Evie-Louise, who was bitten seven times, had one particular wound where the fat tissue below her skin was exposed – her mum said her arm blew up “like a balloon”.
Now the pair have the difficult job of moving on from the attack.
"She’s not sleeping well and crying and shouting in her sleep at night – 'mum, mum, please, please'. She’s off school for the week, on antibiotics and still got an open wound."
West Midland police said via a spokesperson: "We were called to Gallagher Retail Park in Coventry on Monday (June 6) to reports a child had been bitten by a dog. The seven-year-old and her mother who suffered bruising were treated at the scene by paramedics.
"The dog, a German shepherd was seized under Section 3 of the Dangerous Dog Act. An investigation will now take place and the dog’s behaviour will be assessed."
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