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BBC Wales's Melanie Doel
"Up to 140 pupils at Maerdy school are to be offered counselling after the attack"
 real 28k

Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Playground attack dog destroyed
Maerdy School
The attack took place at Maerdy infants school
An English bull terrier which attacked children in a south Wales school playground has been put down.

A six-year-old girl is recovering in hospital after she and three other children were attacked by the dog at lunchtime on Wednesday.

The dog's owner said one-year-old Badger escaped from her kennel and that her subsequent behaviour was "completely out-of-character".

Apologising to the families of injured children, he said she had been a good pet to the family's three children, one of whom attends the school.

Mike Power
Mike Power needed 13 stitches

A total of four children and a school dinner lady were injured during the incident at the 144-pupil Maerdy Infants School in the Rhondda.

Six year old Tara Smith is still recovering in hospital after surgery to her ear last night.

Six-year-old Mike Power was playing football with his friends in the school yard when the dog attacked.

He was taken to hospital and had 13 stitches above his eye and was also bitten on his elbow and the top of his leg.

Two other boys have been released from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital near Llantrisant after treatment.

School head teacher Gwyneth Maliphant said more children could have been injured if staff had not tried to stop the dog.

It got into the yard where the over-fives were being supervised, and started to bite the children - it was dreadful

School head teacher Gwyneth Maliphant
"The staff were marvellous, they put the children's safety above their own," Mrs Maliphant said.

"Apparently, the dog had been put in the garden of the owner's house and somehow got out.

"It got into the school yard, probably under the gates. It got into the yard where the over-fives were being supervised, and started to bite the children - it was dreadful.

"One dinner supervisor tried to get the dog off one child, and a nursery nurse ran to distract the dog so it would chase her."

The head teacher said a health visitor who was arriving at the school at the time also tried to shield a child from the dog during the attack.

A team of educational psychologists from Rhondda Cynon Taff Council have visited the school to offer counselling to children and staff.

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