A mother-of-one has been left with life-changing injuries after being bitten in a freak attack by her family dog.
Emma Birch, 36, from County Durham was bitten on her lip by her two-year-old springer spaniel cross lurcher Hobo, who she claimed was a ‘loving dog’ and acted ‘out of character’.
Hobo, who Emma got in lockdown, has had to be put down after being deemed too dangerous to be taken in by a rescue or shelter.
Emma says she couldn’t risk her dog attacking again, especially with an eighteen-month-old son, and was left to say goodbye.
She revealed she had to have surgery following the attack but still has no feeling in her top lip.
Emma Birch, 36, from County Durham was bitten on her lip by her pet dog
Two-year-old springer spaniel cross lurcher Hobo, who she claimed was a ‘loving dog’ and acted ‘out of character’
Emma pictured with her dog Hobo who she is struggling with the loss of
‘It was completely out of character for Hobo to attack, he was such a loving family dog. He was my first baby,’ Emma said.
‘I was bending down to smell Hobo and I think I must have been too close and he freaked out and snapped at me.
‘It happened so quickly. He bit through my lip and severed the nerves so I couldn’t even feel it and I had surgery on it the next day. I still have no feeling in my top lip but luckily the scars are fading.’
Emma says despite what has happened, she is still struggling to get over losing the family pet.
‘If we didn’t agree to get him put down we would have been subject to prosecution for child neglect for allowing a dog who bit a human in the house with child,’ she said.
‘It was all very stressful and people were blaming us on how we brought up the dog.
‘When Hobo was a tiny puppy, he was bitten by a French bulldog on his nose and I wonder ever since then he didn’t like things too close to his face, so when I bent down to him he didn’t give me a warning or growl, he just went for me.
‘We got him in lockdown so I also think not having much interaction with other dogs as a puppy may have affected him.’
Emma pictured before the attack – she is a mother-of-one and couldn’t risk the dog attacking again
Here she is pictured with healing stitches- she said getting rid of the dog was the ‘right thing’ to do
Emma said she desperately tried to put Hobo in a rescue home or charity, but because he now had a history of attacking a human nowhere was willing to take him, resulting in him being euthanised.
She added: ‘We rang around different shelters and charities and we tried to get help from the police for somewhere for Hobo to go, but now he has the reputation of a dog who’s bit a human, no one would take him.
‘So our only option was to euthanise.
‘There was nothing I could have done and so I did right thing. I would have never forgiven myself if it happened to my son.’
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