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Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK
Girl injured in dog attack
Ellie Clarkson
Ellie Clarkson: Needed 17 stitches
A four-year-old girl needed 17 stitches after she was savaged by a Rottweiler.

Ellie Clarkson, from Smithies in Barnsley, was seized and shaken by the dog before being flung against a wall as she played in a relative's neighbour's garden.

Her father Jason Clarkson said more should be done to prevent dangerous dogs after a spate of attacks on youngsters across the country.

The dog was destroyed following the incident.

Jason Clarkson
Jason Clarkson: "Stronger laws"

Mr Clarkson said: "The owner of the dog probably saved Ellie's life by fighting the dog off.

"This sort of incident should never happen and the law is not serious enough.

"There have been a few cases over the last few weeks and it's the children who are suffering.

"The owner said the dog is not normally aggressive but my daughter did not have any contact with the dog before the attack.

"She just walked into the garden and the dog saw her."

Ellie's mother Debbie said: "She has been very, very brave but I don't think it has really hit her yet and when it does she will be really upset."

Children injured

Last week, Nicki Hughes, 10, became the second girl to be attacked by a dog in Wolverhampton in less than a fortnight.

The attack followed the savaging of Leah Preston, five, by two bull mastiff cross-breeds in Wolverhampton on 16 May.

A six-year-old boy suffered serious face and neck injuries when he was savaged by a Japanese akita dog in a pub car park in the Shiregreen area of Sheffield on 27 May.

Another toddler was left in danger of losing his eye after an attack by a doberman in Eastry, Kent on the same day.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Catherine Marston
"The police have begun an investigation"

Click here for more from South Yorkshire
See also:

30 May 02 | England
28 May 02 | England
27 May 02 | England
23 May 02 | England
21 May 02 | England
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