Alsatian faces death for biting young girls


By Michael MacLeod

A DOG that savaged two young girls could be destroyed after its owner admitted she had let a 13 year-old girl take it for a walk.
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Pamela Smith, 40, allowed the girl to take the Alsatian from her flat in Edinburgh in May.

But the youngster lost control of the animal as it ran down the common stairs and plunged its teeth into a 15 year-old girl’s thigh.

The next day, another young neighbour was attacked by the same dog after it had been left untied at the top of the stairwell of Oxgangs House.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard today (Fri) that the dog should have had a muzzle under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Sheriff Neil MacKinnon warned Smith that the dog is likely to be put down as a result of her negligence on 16 and 17 May this year.

She admitted two charges of failing to control a dangerous dog.

Fiscal Depute Alexis Armit said both girls needed medical treatment for bites on their legs.

Dogs ran down stairs

She said: “The accused Smith was in her flat and the girl left with the Alsatian and another dog, neither of which were muzzled.

“A 15 year-old girl was walking down the common stairwell of the flat and became aware of the dogs running down the stairs.

“The Alsatian bit her on the top of her right thigh.

“At 6.15pm the following day another girl was walking up the stairwell and saw both dogs at the landing above her.

“Again, neither were muzzled and they ran down the stairs and jumped onto her.

“The Alsation started growling and she felt a sharp pain on her leg.

“She went home bleeding and went to hospital.”


Both victims got medical treatment at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for similar cuts where the dog had bitten them.

When police interviewed Smith about the attacks, she fully admitted letting the young girl take the Alsatian out on her own.

On being told the dog may have to be put down, she pleaded: “He has been muzzled now and has a harness.”

But Sheriff MacKinnon told her: “Under the Dogs Act the dog has to be either destroyed or you could be banned from having them.”

Sentence was deferred until next month for background reports.

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