Pocket Bully that ‘ripped off’ part of five-year-old girl’s cheek outside a Nisa store will be put down as youngster requires further treatment for ‘horrific’ injuries
- Farrah-Leigh Nichol was given permission to stroke the dog from its owner
A Pocket Bully dog that caused devastating injuries to a five-year-old girl when it tore off part of her cheek outside a shop will be put down, police have confirmed.
Farrah-Leigh Nichol suffered shocking wounds to her face outside the Nisa store in Stockton, Teesside, on August 12, and was rushed to hospital – in scenes all too familiar amid a spate of dog attacks in recent months.
The schoolgirl still requires treatment for her wounds with a gruelling schedule of operations ahead, and was told she would need skin graft operations on her left cheek.
Mother Danielle Kemp and father Alex Nichol described the family’s ordeal as a ‘horrific nightmare’ after staying close by Farrah-Leigh’s side during her hospital stay.
To the shock of the family, who had assumed the dog would have already been put down, the male dog – a smaller variant of the American Bully – was previously being held in police kennels. It is unclear when the dog will be euthanised.
Farrah-Leigh Nichol’s face was torn open during the vicious attack, which happened after the five-year-old asked to pet the dog
She suffered shocking wounds to her face outside the Nisa store in Stockton, Teesside, on August 12
Farrah-Leigh’s mother, 32, previously told MailOnline: ‘It needs destroying. That dog needs killing as soon as possible and the owner needs to be prosecuted.
‘Justice needs to be served for my poor baby girl who is suffering the trauma of having to go into surgery.’
She added that her daughter’s injuries and screams will continue to ‘haunt’ her.
Farrah-Leigh had asked to stroke the Bully after coming out of the store with her father when the horrific attack occurred.
Her father, Mr Nicol, said: ‘We came out and I pressed the button to cross the road and she said, “Can I stroke that dog?”
‘I said, “Yes, but you will have to ask the man first.”
‘She said, “Can I stroke your dog?” and he said, “Yes, no problem.”
‘She went to stroke the dog on the head. She loves dogs. She was stroking it really gently.
‘The dog jumped and she jumped back and I thought, that was lucky.
READ MORE: Family of little girl, five, whose cheek was ‘ripped off’ by Pocket Bully outside a Nisa store are calling for the dog to be put down
‘But then the next minute I saw her curled up on the floor and she said, “Dad”.
‘She was crying and all her face was off. Her face was gone. It was just gruesome.
‘I booted it. I stamped on it. I picked my daughter up and went back to the house.’
He added his daughter ‘loves dogs’ and that the family have three at home. He told MailOnline he thinks all breeds should have to be muzzled when outside for children’s safety.
The community has rallied behind the youngster with a GoFundMe page set up to pay for a trip to Disneyland for her and her family, once she has made a recovery. It has so far raised more than £3,600.
At the time, a spokesman for Cleveland Police said: ‘Officers attended the scene within minutes of the report being called in and provided medical assistance to the girl whilst waiting for the ambulance.
The youngster is now recovering in hospital but her family has been told she has a gruelling series of operations ahead of her to repair her face
The Pocket Bully dog that allegedly attacked Farrah-Leigh will be put down, it has been confirmed
Farrah-Leigh’s dad Alex Nichol says he would happily muzzle his three dogs if it ‘saved just one child’ from being attacked
Farrah-Leigh Nichol has a long road to recovery ahead following the attack
Farrah-Leigh with her own family’s dog. Her dad, Alex Nichol, said: ‘She loves dogs’
‘The girl has suffered significant injuries to her face and is receiving treatment in hospital.
‘The owner of the dog remained at the scene following the attack and co-operated with police. The dog has been seized.
‘We would politely ask people not to post photos relating to the incident and to avoid speculating on social media whilst officers continue with their investigation.’
On Monday (September 4), Cleveland Police confirmed that the dog will be destroyed.
In an update, a spokesperson for the police force said: ‘Officers are continuing an investigation into a report that a five-year-old girl had been attacked by a dog outside of Nisa on Norton Road on Saturday 12th August at around 6.30pm.
‘The dog, which was seized at the scene, will be euthanised with the full cooperation of its owners.
‘The girl involved has now returned home from hospital to recover from her injury but will require further treatment in the future.
‘Enquiries are continuing.’
Dog attacks led to more than 1,000 surgeries on children in 2022 with 40 percent of victims aged under four.
In total, victims of all ages needed surgery after being bitten or mauled 3,473 times in 2022 – the highest number since data was first released 16 years ago.
Experts said the number of children being attacked is ‘very worrying’ but that many of the bites are ‘preventable’.
The shocking figures from NHS Digital showed that the total number of hospitalisations following dog attacks has nearly doubled from 4,699 in 2007/8 to 9,336 in 2022/3.
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