Scottish hospitals see 80% increase in dog attack victims

Sylvia Baillie Image copyright Watchtower Media
Image caption Sylvia Baillie with her brother Stevie Pursley after the attack which left her with severe facial injuries

Emergency admissions to Scottish hospitals after a dog attack rose 80% in 10 years, according to NHS figures.

There were 363 cases in 2005-2006, compared with 652 admissions in 2014-2015.

The figures emerged two days after a couple in charge of a dog which attacked two women in separate incidents were jailed.

Leeane McHugh, 35, and Patrick Maher, 46, had previously admitted separate dangerous dog charges.

The second victim of the couple's Japanese Akita was 60-year-old Sylvia Baillie, who was bitten on the cheek at her Paisley home in July 2016.

Speaking to BBC Scotland's Timeline programme, Ms Baille said the couple and their dog had been in her house after a funeral.

"I was patting it, it was fine and it was giving me its paw so I didn't feel intimidated or anything."

Seventeen stitches

But she said when she leant over the couch to pat the dog goodbye, it attacked.

"All I seen was the dog's teeth coming towards me and it grabbed me. It was from the ear right round my jaw.

"And from there I did collapse and I passed out."

Ms Baille needed 17 stitches in the left side of her face and was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

"They wouldn't show me my face. I was allowed up with my drip to go to the toilet. I seen my face in the mirror and I was just shaking like a leaf.

"It wasn't me I was looking at in the mirror - it was like the elephant man. My face was so swollen."

Ms Baille could not eat solids for 10 weeks and said she would not be able to approach a dog again.

She told the BBC she believed the dog should have been destroyed after attacking the other woman just a month earlier.

"I'd like to see a dog on a lead at all times and plus if they know it's out of control it should be muzzled," she added.

The Timeline programme also uncovered an apparent contrast in how local authorities deal with dangerous dogs.

As an example, it highlighted figures from Fife and from Glasgow.

Fife has issued 196 dog control notices since 2011, when councils were given these powers.

Glasgow, which has a larger population, issued just three notices.

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