The mother of a 5-year-old British girl claims a stranger’s dog bit her daughter in the face, leading her to receive nearly 40 stitches.
Charmaine Beresford, of Worcestershire, recently took her daughter Molly to a stranger’s home to purchase a set of bunk beds that she saw listed on Facebook. While she was looking at the furniture, the home’s owner – identified as Juliet Marsh by South West News Service (SWNS) – offered to take the young girl downstairs for a drink.
A few minutes later, however, Beresford claims she heard a scream. She rushed downstairs to see her daughter had allegedly been bitten in the face by the woman’s dog. She added that she wasn't even told there was a dog in the home.
Beresford claims Marsh was reluctant at first to call for an ambulance, but eventually did. Her daughter was transported to a local hospital where she received 36 stitches on the right side of her face.
Beresford said the doctor who treated her daughter suggested she pursue legal action against the woman.
“I wasn’t going to prosecute or anything like that. But then the surgeon who treated Molly said, ‘This is a dangerous dog. You need to prosecute,’” Beresford recalled to SWNS.
Following a hearing at Cheltenham Magistrates Court, the dog that allegedly bit Molly is now reportedly required to wear a muzzle while in public and cannot be left alone with children under the age of 17, according to SWNS. Marsh also reportedly received a fine of nearly $1,000. The dog's breed is not clear.
“Molly had had her face ripped off by the dog. We were kind enough to let her keep the dog. I just want to make other people aware," she said, adding her daughter isn’t afraid of her family’s two dogs but clings to her mother “like a leech” when she sees other dogs in public.
"It was absolutely horrendous. It was awful. My daughter gets called ‘Scarface.' She says, 'Mommy am I still beautiful?' Other than that she is coping really well. We are lucky because that dog could have taken her life that night,” she added. “Even though she is scarred we are lucky.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 1 in 5 people who are bitten by a dog require medical attention. The federal agency also offers tips on how to prevent dog bites.