Girl, 4, recovering after rottweiler attack

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The Independent Online

A four-year-old girl was today recovering at home after she was savaged by her father's new dog.

Sophie Willis needed 20 stitches to her face following the attack by the Rottweiler, Kaizer, at her Cardiff home.

Her father, Rob Willis, had bought Kaizer from Cardiff Council's dogs' home, on the city's Penarth Road, after it was picked up and taken there as a stray.

The dog has now been destroyed.

A council spokesman said the dog had a good temperament and had been walked by both adults and children during its two months at the home.

He said: "We are of course extremely concerned to hear about the incident, which we understand happened when Kaizer was left alone with a young child, and wish the child a speedy recovery."

Mr Willis, 47, who previously trained as a dog handler, said he bought the dog to work alongside him in his current job as a security guard.

The dog would then return home with him to Halliard Court, in Cardiff Bay, where he lives with his wife Caroline and two daughters - Sophie, and nine-year-old Rebecca.

Mr Willis told the South Wales Echo: "Caroline and I are quite shocked by this.

"I checked on more than one occasion the animal would be OK around children. I explained that I wanted the dog for work but that I also had two children."

He said that before the attack, Kaizer appeared to be settling into the family's flat.

The council spokesman said: "Kaizer had been at the dogs' home since February this year after being brought into the kennels as a stray.

"Although he was microchipped, staff had been unable to locate his previous owners as they had apparently moved on.

"He was used to being around people and had been walked by adults and children during his time at Cardiff dogs' home. He had a good temperament and had not given staff any cause for concern.

"His new owner informed us that he was a trained dog handler who wished to use the dog for his work as a security guard but that Kaizer would also be living in his family home.

"It seemed that Kaizer would meet his requirements and his new owner said he was pleased with the dog and would take it home."

The spokesman added that if a dog brought to the home was not deemed suitable for re-homing, for example, it is aggressive or in ill health, then it will be put to sleep on the advice of kennel staff or the vet.

He said: "Anyone who wishes to re-home a dog will be questioned and information provided on the dog's background where this is known.

"Advice on caring for their new dog as well as what type of dog would best suit their home environment is offered, but it is also the responsibility of the new owner to select a dog they feel would best suit their living arrangements."

South Wales Police are currently consulting with the Crown Prosecution Service to establish what, if any, offences have been committed.