An XL Bully which mauled its new owner before fleeing to a primary school car park had only recently been rehomed from the Dogs Trust – but the animal welfare charity still refuses to accept banning the breed.
The dog mauled a woman in her 60s in the back garden of her home in Brisley, Norfolk, on Monday afternoon, before it escaped and was found an hour later in the car park of Brisley Church of England Primary Academy.
All pupils were rushed inside the building until the dog named Denvor was tied to a post and the school was able to evacuate. Police confirmed that with permission of the owner and in the interest of public safety, the dog was destroyed.
It then emerged the six stone dog had been adopted by the victim from Dogs Trust Snetterton less than a month before the ‘vicious’ attack.
But the UK animal welfare charity still refuse to back the banning of the American XL Bully, which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to ban by the end of the year.
In a statement to MailOnline, a Dogs Trust spokeswoman said: ‘We confirm that there has been an incident involving a dog that had recently been rehomed from our Snetterton rehoming centre, and our priority at this time is to provide as much support as possible to people.
‘Public safety is paramount, but a focus on breed specific legislation is not the best way to achieve this.
‘We continue to call for a radical overhaul of dog control measures to help avoid further tragic incidents and keep members of the public safe.’
Denvor (pictured) was adopted from Dogs Trust Snetterton less than a month ago. He reportedly had ‘no history of aggression’ and was believed to have settled well in his new home
It then emerged the six stone dog had been adopted by the victim from Dogs Trust Snetterton less than a month before the ‘vicious’ attack
The dog ran to the car park of Brisley Church of England Primary Academy (stock image)
The victim was taken to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with multiple non life-threatening injuries.
Monday’s incident was the latest in a spate of attacks by the breed and came one month after the PM made his promise to ban the breed.
Last month he said in a video announcement posted to his X – formerly Twitter – account that the decision came following a ‘pattern of behaviour [that] cannot go on’.
But the Dog Control Coalition – which is made up of RSPCA, Blue Cross, Battersea, Dogs Trust, Hope Rescue, Scottish SPCA, The Kennel Club and BVA – said ‘banning the breed will sadly not stop these types of incidents recurring.’
While recognising that recent incidents have been deeply distressing and sending thoughts to all those affected, the Coalition added in a statement: ‘For 32 years, the Dangerous Dogs Act has focused on banning types of dog and yet has coincided with an increase in dog bites and the recent deaths show that this approach isn’t working.
‘The UK Government must tackle the root issue by dealing with the unscrupulous breeders, who are putting profit before welfare, and the irresponsible owners whose dogs are dangerously out of control.
‘The coalition urges the Prime Minister to work with them to fully understand the wide-reaching consequences of his decision to ban American bully XLs, which will have significant impacts on owners, the animal welfare sector, vets, law enforcement and the public.
‘It is also critical that any policy designed to protect public safety is based on robust evidence and we are deeply concerned about the lack of data behind this decision and its potential to prevent dog bites.’
Denvor was recently adopted from Dogs Trust Snetterton. Reports said the charity had believed he had settled in well to his new home and will now investigate.
Police have described it as a ‘terribly sad and distressing situation’.
Inspector Diana Woodage said officers faced a difficult situation as they arrived to find the woman being ‘viciously’ attacked by her dog. She said the victim was very clearly injured and in pain.
Norfolk Police told MailOnline in a full statement yesterday: ‘A woman who was mauled by a XL Bully dog in Brisley yesterday (16 Oct) is recovering from her injuries.
‘Officers were called to Brisley shortly before 3pm after a member of the public called police to report that a woman was being attacked by an XL Bully dog in the back garden of her property in Gately Road and was screaming for help.
‘Officers arrived at the scene to find the victim – a woman aged in her 60s and the dog’s owner – being mauled by her pet XL bully dog.
‘She received multiple injuries in the attack and was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for treatment. Her injuries were not life threatening.
Ahead of his adoption, the trust shared a photo of a ‘smiling’ Denvor as he ran in a grassy field. The post read: ‘He’s full of beans and full of smiles as he’s been reserved!’
‘The dog, which escaped from the property following the attack, was found by officers in School Road shortly after the incident. Someone had managed to secure it to a post in the car park of a local primary school. Pupils and teachers were still present and inside the main school building at the time.
‘Police contacted multiple veterinary practices for help to sedate the dog but none were able to attend. Due to the threat to the wider public, and with permission of the owners, the dog was destroyed.’
Insp Diana Woodage added: ‘This was a terribly sad and distressing situation. Officers were faced with an incredibly difficult situation when they arrived at the scene – a woman being viciously attacked by her dog and was very clearly injured and in some pain.
‘In the interests of public safety and at the request of the owner, the dog was humanely destroyed.’
After Monday’s incident, Headteacher Belinda Allen told the Eastern Daily Press: ‘Our school staff were alerted by the police that there was a dangerous dog and immediately actioned staff to clear the area.
‘There was no immediate danger to staff or children within the school area.’
Mr Sunak said he has ordered ministers to convene a panel of experts, including the police, to define the breed so it can then be outlawed.
The announcement came after a man died in a suspected XL Bully attack in Stonnall, Staffordshire, the third incident involving allegedly out-of-control dogs in the West Midlands in less than a week.
The fatality occurred just a day after a ten-year-old boy was attacked by an out-of-control dog while playing football less than three miles away.
Less than a week earlier, an XL Bully mauled an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham.
‘The American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children,’ Mr Sunak said last month.
‘I share the nation’s horror at the recent videos we’ve all seen. Yesterday we saw another suspected XL Bully dog attack, which has tragically led to a fatality.
‘It’s clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs: it’s a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on.
‘While owners already have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control, I want to reassure people that we are urgently working on ways to stop these attacks and protect the public.
‘Today, I have tasked ministers to bring together police and experts to firstly define the breed of dog behind these attacks with a view to then outlawing it.
‘It is not currently a breed defined in law so this vital first step must happen fast.
‘We will then ban the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act and new laws will be in place by the end of the year.’
Mr Sunak added: ‘These dogs are dangerous. I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe.’