A toddler has been left traumatised after being bitten on the face by a dog in an unprovoked attack.
Eighteen-month-old Kelsie Male was thrown back onto the pavement after an Alsatian-cross lunged and sunk its teeth into her face – missing her eye by just millimetres.
Her mother Sophie Garth, 28, who was a few steps behind, desperately ran to her aid before the bloodied and bruised tot was rushed to hospital.
Doctors said she was lucky to have only suffered minor physical injuries – but her parents say the incident has left her deeply shaken.
The family, from Portland, Dorset, say the attack has left their youngest daughter waking up crying in the night, unhappy to be left alone and ‘jumpy’ around both people and other dogs.
Mother Sophie, also parent to Kelsie’s siblings Madison, eight, and Kayden, six, said: ‘Watching that dog go for my daughter is a sight that will sadly never leave me and I can still hear her crying when I close my eyes.
‘I was about four steps behind her on the pavement but the dog just came out of nowhere, completely unprovoked – it was bigger than her and sent her flying off the curb onto the floor.
‘It was awful seeing her in so much pain as she is such a lovely little girl with a big heart.
‘Thankfully her injuries are mainly recovered now, but the situation could have been so much different if the dog had bitten just millimetres higher on her face and got her in the eye.
‘She’s still traumatised – she wakes up in the night crying, she gets jumpy around everyone and she doesn’t want to be left alone.’
Sophie and partner Stuart Male, 33, were out for a walk with their three children when the attack took place last Saturday.
Sophie said they were walking down the pavement near to their home when the Alsatian cross appeared from nowhere and immediately lunged for Kelsie’s face.
Despite being just a handful of steps behind, Sophie couldn’t step in fast enough and the tot was thrown backwards by the force of the animal.
Police attended the scene but no arrests were made. The dog was believed to be owned by a visiting friend of one of the street’s residents.