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‘Angel’ car driver rammed dog to stop attack on young girl now left ‘scarred for life’

An 11-year-old girl was treated in hospital after she was mauled by a dog said to be loose in her neighbourhood in Pembroke (Photograph supplied)

An “angel” car driver was forced to ram a dog in an attempt to stop it attacking an 11-year-old child who has been left “scarred for life”.

Her father, who asked for the family not to be identified, said that the attack on Sunday evening in the Middle Town neighbourhood at the edge of Hamilton would have been “a lot worse” without the rescuer.

“The lady said the dog was dragging my child.

“If she hadn’t come, there is no telling what would have happened. She was the angel that came out at the nick of time.”

He said his daughter was walking from home on Middle Town Road to a friend’s house on Middle Town Lane when the dog “just came at her” at about 6pm.

He was unsure of the breed but described a large brindle-coloured animal which he said was “just roaming around — it wasn’t outside its yard but a distance”.

The woman driving heard screams and saw the child being attacked.

“She hit it with her car and the dog came back. She told my daughter to jump in the car. She said she’d never seen anything like it.”

After the driver got the girl away from the animal, another driver took her to the hospital for stitches and staples for bites to both arms and her back.

The father added: “She’s good now pain-wise. They said she’s a strong child — she started crying in the hospital. She’s back home.”

He said he had called on the residence this morning where the dog was being kept.

“I went down there to knock and the way that dog hit the door, I had to take off down the stairs and get out of there.”

He said he had spoken today with the dog wardens who confirmed that the dog would be put down this afternoon.

The man said his daughter was “more concerned about the dog than herself”.

“She is going to have scars for life.”

A spokesman for the home affairs ministry said an animal control officer from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was summoned to the hospital emergency room upon receiving a report of a severe dog attack.

He added: “The ministry can advise that an 11-year old girl sustained multiple bite wounds to both arms, her back and buttock area due to an unprovoked attack by a pitbull-type dog.”

He said the attack occurred shortly after 7pm.

The victim was treated and released from the hospital.

“The dog owner has been co-operative with Animal Control and has also reached out to the victim's family.

“The attacking dog was illegal and known to Animal Control through previous barking complaints made in August and December 2021.

“At that time, Animal Control had no prior history of this animal that indicated a violent nature.

“The dog owner was advised how to legitimise the animal and that this option was contingent on no further incidents occurring.

“As a result of this attack, the department seeks to euthanase the dog, and we have the owner’s co-operation.

“The department maintains that a dog launching a severe unprovoked attack inflicting serious injury has no place in our society.

“Even with proper fencing, certain dog breeds represent an ongoing and unnecessary threat to public safety.”

He added: “This incident warns all dog owners, especially those with restricted breeds, to socialise their animals and keep them secure.

“Proper socialisation and security would go a long way towards preventing these types of incidents.”