Dog bites 18-month-old girl in the face in unprovoked attack

Dog bites 18-month-old girl in the face – missing her eye by fraction of an inch in unprovoked attack

  • Kelsie Male was thrown back onto pavement after Alsatian-cross lunged at her
  • Toddler was out for a walk with family in Portland, Dorset, when attack happened
  • Mother Sophie says Kelsie went to hospital after being left bruised and bloodied
  • Although suffering only minor injuries to her face, family say toddler Kelsie was deeply shaken by the attack, is scared to be left alone and frightened of big dogs
  • Dorset Police are investigating circumstances and that enquiries are ongoing

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.


Kelsie Male (pictured) was left traumatised after being bitten on the face by an Alsatian-cross in an unprovoked attack while she was out for a walk with her family in Portland, Dorset

‘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.

Mother Sophie and partner Stuart Male, 33, (pictured with Kelsie) were out for a walk with their three children when the attack took place and say Kelsie has been left deeply shaken

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.

As Sophie and Stuart, a scrap metal dealer, rushed their ‘hysterical’ daughter to Weymouth hospital, they said Kelsie’s face and mouth were bleeding and she had bruises all over her back from the fall – but fortunately doctors said she’d be fine.

Sophie added: ‘She had blood over one side of her face but I was so scared to touch her in case I hurt her or caused it to get infected.

‘She cried for hours without stopping – I will never be able to forget the sound of those cries.’ 

The tot, who was once an enormous ‘Paw Patrol’ fan, has also been left very wary around big dogs – and was ‘petrified’ after seeing a guide dog on the bus the following day.

Pictured: Her family say Kelsie was a ‘huge animal lover’ before being bitten by the dog

Sophie said: ‘What happened that day will never leave my memory – my beautiful little girl was bitten for no reason.

‘You never expect this kind of thing will ever happen to your child, she is such a lovely girl, she has a big heart, and she was a huge animal lover before this.

‘She’s incredibly lucky that the dog missed her eye or this could have been so much worse, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

‘We’re just praying that she will get over the trauma and go back to how she was before.

‘I just want this to be a warning to other parents to be wary letting their children near dogs you don’t know – you can never be sure what might happen and it’s not worth the risk.’

A police spokesman said: ‘Dorset Police received a report at 5.50pm on Saturday April 24 that a young child had been bitten in the face by a dog on Vindelis Way on Portland.

‘The child was taken to hospital for treatment to cuts on their face. The injuries are not believed to be serious.

‘Enquiries are underway into the incident to establish the full circumstances of what happened. No arrests have been made at this time.’

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