TOP SECRET ANIMAL ATTACK FILES
Special Report filed by AAF
from The Electronic Telegraph
saves girl savaged by pet dog
By Auslan Cramb, Scotland Correspondent
May 25, 2000
A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD girl who was seriously injured when she was attacked by her family's pet dog might have died if a schoolboy had not rescued her.
Neighbours said Lauren McCormick, who is recovering in hospital after major surgery, owed her life to her 13-year-old friend, who distracted the Neapolitan mastiff and pulled her to safety. She had gone to fetch a toy from the back garden of her detached home in Alloa, Clacks, when the 12st dog, named Blue, attacked her. She suffered serious injuries to her face, arms and upper body.
She was in a "serious but stable" condition in Yorkhill Hospital, Glasgow, last night with her parents at her bedside. Her brother Barry, 19, said she had been talking to nurses and was going to be "all right". Her friend, who cannot be named because he is in foster care, was described as a hero for saving her from more serious injury.
Lesley Falconer, 33, the boy's foster mother, said he was hysterical when he returned home after the incident. "He said Lauren went into her back garden to get a piece of rope that they were going to use to tow each other on their skates.
"He heard her telling the dog to get away and then he heard her screaming. He ran out to see what happened and saw the dog had Lauren by the neck. He grabbed a fistful of stones from the garden path and threw them at the dog to distract it.
"If he hadn't been there she could have been killed. He was incredibly brave because the dog could have turned on him too. He said he didn't' care if it had bitten him as long as Lauren was okay."
Bob Fotheringham, a marksman from a nearby safari park, shot the dog with a tranquilliser before it was put down by a vet. Charlie McNab, 72, another neighbour, said the family kept two dogs, adding: "The mastiff was a huge dog, like the Hound of the Baskervilles."
Last summer, a four-year-old girl needed more than 200 stitches in her head and face after her uncle's Neapolitan mastiff, also called Blue, attacked her in Bristol. A spokesman for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the breed was not classified as dangerous.
But Joan Martin, of the League for the Introduction of Canine Control, said: "They were bred for fighting, so anyone who keeps one in their house is asking for trouble."
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2000
Tell a Friend about the Animal Attack Files