Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It Was like Being in a Horror Film - Dog Rampage Victims

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It Was like Being in a Horror Film - Dog Rampage Victims

Article excerpt

Byline: Lisa Hutchinson, Sonia Sharma, Craig Thompson Reporters lisa,hutchinson@ncjmedia.co.uk

ELEVEN children were savaged by a dog after it went on the rampage in a Northumberland park.

Terrified youngsters and their parents say it was like a scene from a horror film as they tried to fight off the Staffordshire bull terrier as it ripped through the kids' flesh as they played on Burns Avenue, Blyth, on Wednesday evening.

The children were either taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle or the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington with bite wounds after the dog went wild at around 6.30pm.

At least two of the children remain in hospital and are awaiting skin grafts.

Little Katelyn Willshire is awaiting emergency treatment. Neighbours say one child suffered serious facial wounds while Katelyn's stepdad said a chunk "the size of a Dairylea triangle" was bitten out of her leg.

The site was also likened to "a war zone" as people found youngsters lying injured in the park.

Katelyn, 10, was bitten on her right leg and is now on the emergency list for surgery at the RVI. She spent the night in hospital with mum Amy at her bedside.

Her stepdad Damien Thompson, 33, said: "What happened is absolutely shocking.

"I was at home when I got a call from Amy saying Katelyn had been hurt. When I got to the park, Katelyn was in hysterics. She does not like dogs as it is and here she was after being attacked by one.

"A chunk the size of a Dairylea triangle was taken out of her calf muscle. She was taken to the RVI and is now waiting for surgery.

"What happened is totally unbelievable. So many children were attacked by this dog. So much physical and mental damage was done to Katelyn, I don't know how she's going to cope."

Residents say that a girl was walking the dog into the park and took the muzzle off, it then it bit her and ran off. They say that was when the dog started chasing and biting children in the play park.

Brooke Nesbitt was playing in a park when the tan-coloured dog attacked her.

The 11-year-old said: "My friend has got loads of bites all over her, 12 bites all together. The first girl to be bitten is only seven and she has nine bites. The dog was chucking her around like a rag doll." After Brooke's friend was freed from the out-of-control animal, it then chased Brooke around the park and bit her leg.

She added: "I was petrified, I was screaming. People were just getting bitten; the dog was just going to one person then going to another and then to another." Dad-of-three Neil Wilkinson has been hailed a hero after he helped to save a number of children from the rampaging dog.

Neil's own son Kayden, six, was bitten on his arm, however, he managed to place at least six youngsters out of harm's way. …

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