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Monday, 10 September, 2001, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Mauled boy's father wants safeguards
Injured face
Kevin Lee needed 30 stitches after being bitten
The father of a seven-year-old boy who was attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier is calling for safer methods of introducing rescued dogs to children.

Steve Lee, 41, from Glascote wants action taken after his son Kevin was bitten on the face by a Staffordshire bull terrier in a pub car park in Burton-upon-Trent on 2 September.

The boy was taken to hospital where he had 30 stitches to close the wound.

The dog was later destroyed.

Mr Lee said he was "angry and let down" by the man who brought the dog for the family to see.

Staffordshire bull terrier
"Jake" the Staffordshire bull terrier had to be destroyed
He is now considering legal action against the man, who was with the Northern Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue Association.

The Lee's three children, including Kevin's twin sister Sophie and his 10-year-old sister Stephanie, stayed in the car at first, then jumped out to see the 18-month-old dog, Jake.

They all fed Jake some scraps of food while their father discussed details with the rescue association representative.

Kevin's grandmother Joan Booth said: "The dog leaped up and took a piece out of Kevin's face. The dog bit his lip and the right hand side of his face."

Perfectly safe

The boy spent 30 hours in hospital and had 30 stitches on the outside and inside of his face.

He missed a week of school, but has recovered well, his grandmother said.

Mr Lee wants some compensation for his son's injuries and is concerned that this sort of accident does not happen again.

Mrs Booth said the family had received a photograph of the dog and a letter that said the dog was "perfectly safe with children".

The family was looking for a dog because its pet Alsatian had died.

Out of character

They contacted the Kennel Club who put them in touch with the Cumbria-based bull terrier group.

The association was not available for comment, but Helen Williams of Barnsley, who is also with a bull terrier rescue group, said the dogs were normally loyal and loving pets.

"I have a Stafford, but she is gorgeous with kids. You have to be careful with them, as you do with all dogs," she said.

She said it was "out of character" for a Staffordshire bull terrier to attack a child.

See also:

11 Aug 00 | Scotland
Tory in dogfight to save breed
23 Dec 00 | Scotland
Girl hurt in dog attack
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