A BEAUTICIAN wants the owners of a dog which nearly killed her terrier prosecuted under new laws before it attacks a child.
Trisha Fitzsimmons, from Grove, was out of the house on Saturday when her 14-year-old terrier Megan was attacked.
Her next-door neighbours’ young daughters were taking care of Megan in the front garden of their home on Main Street.
Mrs Fitzsimmons, 39, said the dog, a mongrel, jumped over the fence and went straight for Megan’s throat.
She said: “It basically savaged her.”
Megan, who is deaf and never heard her attacker coming, has had to have £1,750 worth of operations.
Mrs Fitzsimmons said she and husband Andrew, who live with their son Josh, eight, cannot afford that bill – let alone the care Megan will need in future.
She said the family tried to get insurance for Megan, but were told she was too old. Danetree Vets in Grove has told her to consider putting the dog down, rather than face the costs of her care.
On May 12, the Government introduced an amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act, which makes it an offence for a dog to be “dangerously out of control” on private property for the first time.
Previously the law only covered public places.
Mrs Fitzsimmons said: “This is a vicious dog. It should not be going free – it could so easily have attacked those two little girls.
“The concern is that a kid is going to be next.”
Mrs Fitzsimmons telephoned police the day of the attack.
Thames Valley Police confirmed it is investigating the attack, but has made no arrests.
RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “We don’t believe these figures will go down because the new legislation doesn’t prevent bites from happening, it merely provides a framework for a possible response to them once they have already happened.
“The number of dog bites being treated in hospital has generally increased by two to three per cent year on year.”
The charity is calling for better education for owners of aggressive dogs on how to control them.
Spokesman Andy Robbins said: “The RSPCA urges all dog owners to ensure their pets are under control at all times and are well trained and socialised.”