Map of Englands most horrific dog attacks – as savage maulings double

Dog attacks on people are on the rise in the UK but worryingly some areas are worst hit than others.

A map has been drawn up by Feed & Seeds to show just how badly affected pockets of England are by poorly trained pets as incidences have more than doubled since 1998.

According to figures sourced from the NHS, there has been an explosion of dog attacks year on year since 1998 with some tragically proving fatal.

Last month three-year-old Daniel John Twigg's family were left heartbroken after he died in hospital from injuries inflicted by a dog on a farm near Rochdale.

Earlier this year in March, little 17-month-old Bella-Rae Birch from St Helens, Merseyside was also mauled to death by a pet dog in what Superintendent Steve Brizell described as the "most unimaginably terrible circumstances".

The young fatalities are the very worst and devastating cases of dog attacks with dozens more people seeking hospital treatment after nasty bites from out of control dogs.

Georgia Wilson-Wheeler, 18, was left needed 25 stitches to re-attach her lip after being savaged by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier as she took out the bins in Grimsby last year.

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And an attack in Doncaster South Yorkshire left John Henry Dundas, 10, needing a zimmer frame after what "looked like he had been bitten by a shark" in 2020.

Knowsley in Merseyside has been named as the most common place to be attacked by a dog with a shocking average of 24 incidences per year.

Middlesbrough is next on the dreaded table with 21 dog attacks coming from the North Yorkshire town each year.

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In third place is the cathedral city of Wakefield, West Yorkshire where the NHS is notified of 20 attacks annually.

More than 19 dog attacks have been logged on average each year in Redcar and Cleveland, North Yorkshire and St Helens.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Sam Gaines said: "It's really worrying to see the increase in dog bites in the last 20 years but, sadly, it doesn't surprise us.

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"We fear that these incidents could continue to rise following the boom in dog ownership during lockdown, coupled with a generation of dogs who missed out on vital training and socialisation due to lockdown restrictions, and due to a general lack of understanding around dog behaviour and why dogs bite."

If the North West and North East are at one end of the scale, five London boroughs and the Isle of Wight are at the other as none tally as many as four dog attacks annually.

In 1998 for every 100,000 people in England, there were only six people complaining to medics of injuries from a dog. Ever since then there has been a gradual increase to the point that by 2019 that figure had hit 15.

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For Child Safety Week the RSPCA has helped create a guide for parents to reduce risks of a dog attack which includes never leaving kids alone with a dog, getting to know their pet and remember any dog can bite.

Dr Sam Gaines wants to see a reform to the way dogs are policed which includes scrapping targeting so-called dangerous breeds.

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She said: "We want to see an end to breed specific legislation which labels certain types of dogs as dangerous based on their appearance.

"We believe new measures are urgently needed which focus on preventing incidents, allow for early interventions, are based on scientific evidence and are proportionate.

"We also believe it's important for widespread and consistent education which promotes responsible and safe interactions with dogs, particularly those who we know from data are more likely to be bitten, such as children."

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