The mother of a four-year-old girl who was savaged by a pitbull terrier has hit out at the actress Brigitte Bardot, who has called for the dog's life to be saved.
The dog, which was handed over to the local council in Boulogne-sur-Mer by its owners, is due to be put down after the savage attack last month that left the child, Carmen, with injuries to her forehead, eyes and ears. Her nose was also badly damaged.
Despite the attack, Ms Bardot, who runs an animal rights foundation, has said the dog should not be killed, and has written to the town's mayor to criticise its now solitary living conditions
"We need to release this dog from hell," Ms Bardot told the French newspaper La Voix du Nord. "He's in total isolation; he sees no one."
But Ms Bardot's concerns for the dog have not gone down well with Carmen's parents. "It's unacceptable," her mother told French media. "[Ms Bardot's] just there to defend the dog and she does not have the right to play down my daughter's injuries. My daughter tells me every day that she looks like a monster."
The And God Created Woman star argues that, having ended the death penalty for humans, France should not put animals to death, adding in an appeal to the town's mayor that solitary confinement could well send the dog, known as Prince, mad or make it simply give up and die. The mayor has responded to Ms Bardot's letter by inviting her to visit Boulogne-sur-Mer to see for herself the quality of the dog-house.
The dog's owner - identified only as Johnny - and the parents of its victim, meanwhile, have started legal proceedings against the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA). They say they were not told that Prince had previous form. Last September, under his previous name, Ulk, the dog partially devoured the corpse of his owner, who had died of natural causes.
The dog's defenders have said that this was a survival instinct, and at the time, police classed him as "necrophagous by necessity".
On the SPA website, Prince was described as "a good sort, easy to get on with", although it was not advised for people with families. The SPA says it told the new owner about the previous incident, but the owner denies this.