Page last updated at 13:15 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 14:15 UK

Call to destroy dogs after attack

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Dangerous dogs are being seized by police in the capital

Two dogs that savaged a 60-year-old woman in south London, leaving her needing plastic surgery, should be destroyed, her daughters have said.

Mary Briggs was attacked by two large white dogs, on Camberwell's Wyndham and Comber estate on Saturday, which bit her arms, legs and thighs.

Her daughter Angela Smith said: "We are absolutely certain a more vulnerable person would not have survived."

Police said the dogs were seized as part of their investigation.

Mrs Briggs was returning home from shopping on Saturday morning when the two dogs ran towards her.

Pushed to ground

"At first she was not afraid, she thought they were running to her to greet her," said daughter Amanda Hall.

But the dogs jumped at Mrs Briggs, pushing her to the ground and attacking her.

The dog's owner was unable to stop them biting her arms, ankles, buttocks and thighs, she said.

"The owner said 'stop screaming, you're making it worse'," said Mrs Briggs.

"Once I took a look at my ankle I thought I was going to lose my foot."

Amanda Hall
If she was a child she would have died, there would not have been hope
Amanda Hall

Mrs Briggs was rescued by two passer-bys who put her in their car while they called an ambulance and the police.

She is being treated at King's College Hospital and has been told she will require skin grafts and plastic surgery.

The woman's family was "devastated" and "shocked" by the ferocity of the attack, Mrs Hall said.

"The nurse at the hospital said it was the worst dog attack she had ever seen," Mrs Hall added.

"If she was a child she would have died, there would not have been hope.

"The only reason my mother survived is because she is a very strong woman."

Mrs Briggs's daughters were "very upset" that the two dogs remained on the estate "without muzzles" for three days after the attack.

They want the dogs to be destroyed "to protect the community".

Police decide whether or not to seize dogs after an attack.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the owner of the dog had been interviewed as part of their ongoing investigation.


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