Toddler mauled by XL Bully and left needing surgery after climbing on family dog

Family dog has now been taken into kennels while investigation continues

Holly Evans
Friday 22 March 2024 10:25 GMT
England’s “XL Bully” dog ban took effect from 1 February 2024

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Louise Thomas

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A three-year-old toddler has been left needing surgery after being mauled by an XL Bully in Doncaster.

Police were called to the family home at around 1pm on Monday after the little boy tried to climb on the dog, which led to him suffering serious injuries.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service took the boy to the hospital where he required surgery. The dog has been taken to police kennels while an investigation continues.

A toddler has been left needing surgery after being attacked by an XL bully
A toddler has been left needing surgery after being attacked by an XL bully (PA Wire)

“This family have acknowledged the change in legislation around the XL Bully and registered their dog,” chief inspector Emma Cheney of South Yorkshire Police said.

“But this doesn’t remove the danger these dogs pose and why the ban has come into place.

“All dogs can be aggressive, they are animals. But some dogs have greater capability to cause harm due to their size and strength.”

She added that children should never be left unsupervised with dogs, including family pets that parents believe would “never hurt” their children.

“A dog’s instinct to protect itself is to bite. Parents should ensure children learn to respect a dog’s space and be encouraged to have boundaries around feeding and resting times,” she said.

Chief inspector Cheney added: “An incident like this is a stark reminder that regardless of a dog’s nature, or previous interactions with children, other dogs and people, they are animals and their innate instinct is to protect themselves which can result in serious injuries and sometimes fatality. Take action now and protect your children.”

Under new laws introduced last year, it is illegal to own an XL Bully unless it has been previously registered as of 1 February. Dogs must be microchipped and neutered, and must remain on a lead with a muzzle in all public spaces.

This follows a number of high-profile incidents involving the breed, including the death of 10-year-old Jack Lis and 68-year-old Esther Martin.

On Monday evening, an XL Bully was shot dead in Battersea, south London, after injuring four people.

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