St Albans woman hospitalised after French Mastiff ‘drags her to the ground and bites her’
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A dog dragged a woman to the ground and bit her so severely that she had to stay overnight in hospital for an operation, St Albans Magistrates heard on Friday (7).
A French Mastiff, also known as a Dogue de Bordeaux, named Lola, attacked a young woman who was walking in St Albans in November last year, dragging her to the ground and biting her arm numerous times.
The court heard that the victim was walking her new Dalmatian puppy near Marten Gate when Lola came out of a property and jumped on top of the dog.
The victim then removed her puppy and Lola ‘dragged’ her to the ground, biting her arm. Photos were shown to the court of the scratch marks on the pavement, as well as graphic images of the young woman’s injuries.
The wounds, which amounted to various deep punctures over her arm, were so severe that she was transferred from Watford General Hospital to the Royal Free Hospital where the victim had to speak with a plastic surgeon and stay overnight.
Her arm was operated on using a local anaesthetic the following day and she had to take three days off work.
The court heard that Lola’s owner, Joanne Salter, 38, of Marten Gate, had been in the house and had not realised Lola was outside. The front door had been left open by her young daughter, who was there at the time of the incident.
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Ms Patel, defending, said that Salter was usually vigilant with the dog and kept the door shut and Lola muzzled whenever she was out in public.
She added that Salter was devastated by the incident and immediately tried to contact and visit the victim to apologise and see what she could do.
Salter had the dog put down before the trial. Ms Patel said: “It’s obviously devastating for her. It’s a dog that she had for five years, which she had raised from a puppy.
“Control measures were put in place. When it was out of the address it was always muzzled. It was a momentary lapse of control. She wasn’t present, but she does accept that it is her dog.”
Ms Patel added that Salter would never have had a dog which she believed to be dangerous due to the fact she has a young daughter.
Salter pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury. She was handed a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay compensation and court costs of £500.
She was not disqualified from owning a dog.