Toddler badly hurt in ‘play’ attack by bull terrier

Millie Bennett is reported to be in a serious but stable condition at Yorkhill Hospital. Picture: Donald MacLeod
Millie Bennett is reported to be in a serious but stable condition at Yorkhill Hospital. Picture: Donald MacLeod
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A GRANDMOTHER last night told how she fought to pull her 18-month-old grand-daughter away from her pet Staffordshire bull terrier after it dragged her to the ground.

Toddler Milly Bennett was last night recovering in hospital after surgery on her face following the attack late on Friday night at her grandmother’s flat.

Milly was visiting the flat in Springburn in Glasgow with her mother, Jamielee, 21, just before midnight when the three-year-old dog escaped from its cage and leapt on her.

Yesterday, the girl’s grandmother, Anne Marie Gray, 44, said: “It was a terrible shock. The dogs are always kept locked up whenever my granddaughter visits, but Bullseye escaped and jumped on her.”

Ms Gray said her two Staffordshire bull terriers, Bullseye and Boulder, both aged three, were in their cage in the hall when her daughter and grand-daughter arrived.

But the latch came loose and Bullseye bounded out into the living room and leaped on to Milly’s fur-trimmed hood.

As it grabbed for the hood, Ms Gray said, the dog’s teeth scratched Milly’s forehead and eye and it dragged her to the ground.

“The dog got out at the side of the cage and came into the living room and thought the baby’s hood was a toy, and started shaking it.

“I grabbed Milly and it was a tug-of-war for about 30 seconds before we got her away.

“It was awful. We were all so shocked.

“She had blood on her face and she was screaming. We went to wash it off and put a blanket against it.”

Ms Gray phoned an ambulance, which arrived within six minutes, but as she feared that the dog would be put down she told them that her granddaughter had been attacked by a stray dog in the street.

However, when Strathclyde Police arrived she told them the truth and both dogs were taken away.

Milly was taken to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, where she had surgery on her face.

Yesterday, Ms Gray, who said she was badly shaken by the attack, said: “I know that Bullseye will be put down but I don’t know what they will do with Boulder. They said he might still be put down, as he shared the same DNA.

“I know why they have to do it, but the dog didn’t mean to attack my granddaughter, he wanted to play with the hood.”

Ms Gray insisted her granddaughter had not been savaged, as the dog caught her with its teeth as it went to grab the hood. She said Milly’s sight had not been damaged and she was expected to make a full recovery. She said: “She’s going to be fine.”

A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said the 18-month-old girl “sustained serious facial injuries after being bitten by a Staffordshire bull terrier” in the house in Hawthorn Street, Springburn.

“She was taken to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, where she is presently detained,” the spokesman said.

“Hospital staff describe her condition as serious but stable. The dog, plus one other of the same breed, has been seized by officers and inquiries continue.”

Yesterday, a neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said that the two dogs had always seemed to be well behaved.

He said: “You would hear them barking at times, but all dogs bark.

“We didn’t know anything about it until all these police arrived. It is a terrible thing to happen to a wee girl. I hope she’s all right.”