A two-year-old girl on a family day out was almost blinded for life when a dog she stroked tried to bite her face off.
Onlookers shouted in horror as blood streamed from deep wounds on toddler Isla Williams’ cheek and nose.
The attack – which lasted seconds – almost claimed the sight in the girl’s right eye as the dog left a bite mark millimetres away.
Isla had been standing near the dog, a Japanese Akita, as she and her family prepared to leave the Winterton Agricultural Show near Scunthorpe last Saturday.
Two-year-old Isla Williams was nearly left blind after being attacked by a Japanese Akita that left deep cuts on her cheek and nose when she attempted to stroke it
She bent forward to stroke the dog but it lunged at her and bit her face, giving her horrified mother Megan Lester no time to intervene.
‘I figured the dog would be friendly with it being at a show full of kids and surrounded by a lot of people, so I said Isla could stroke it,’ said Megan, from Powells Crescent, Scunthorpe.
‘She was only a few yards away from me.
‘Isla is very good with dogs – we have a large Labrador, so she knows what to do and what not do.’
But as Isla stroked the dog on the side of its head it opened its jaws and bit her.
‘It was obviously extremely terrifying. The dog bit Isla and she was instantly bleeding,’ she added.
The toddler had been standing near the dog, a Japanese Akita, as she and her family prepared to leave the Winterton Agricultural Show near Scunthorpe last Saturday
‘I panicked and tried to get her medical attention as soon as possible.’
The family took badly-traumatised Isla to the show’s emergency tent before heading to Scunthorpe General Hospital.
She was referred to a doctor and after assessing the wounds, they decided against stitches as they did not want them to become infected.
After five hours of treatment and bandaging, Isla was allowed to leave the hospital and her mum said she was lucky her injuries had not been worse.
‘I can’t believe how lucky she was to get off with just bandaging on her head.
‘She is a tough cookie and already thinks it’s better.
‘She’s amazing, she just takes it on the chin and carries on, but I was mortified.
‘When the Akita opened its mouth, it was as big as Isla’s head.
Japanese Akitas are said to be ‘courageous, dignified, profoundly loyal’ according to the American Kennel Club. However, there is also guidance that they can be ‘wary of strangers and often intolerant of other animals’ (stock photo)
‘If it properly latched on to her, I don’t even want to think about what could have happened.’
The family was so shocked and desperate to get medical attention for Isla, they didn’t stop to speak to the dog’s owners.
‘At first, they gave no apology to us.
‘They looked over and then just looked away and carried on doing their thing.
‘Eventually a woman came over and asked if she was all right, then someone who was with them said to my sister that Isla just appeared out of nowhere.
‘When I was in the first aid tent, I remember I saw them walking around still, but I was panicking and was concentrating on Isla.
‘Their apology just said “due to an unfortunate event I’m sorry your child got hurt”.’
Megan, and Isla’s father Danny Williams said they were furious with the perceived lack of empathy shown to the little girl by the dog’s owners.
However, Danny said ‘Isla is doing good, she’s handled it really well.
‘She is definitely lucky to only get away with minor injuries and I think it would be good to use this to raise awareness on how dangerous some dogs can be, especially to children.
‘If you have aggressive dogs, it might not be the best idea to take them to a place where hundreds of children will be.’
Nigel Ogg, chairman of show organisers the Winterton Agricultural Society, said ‘The whole of the show committee were deeply saddened to hear about the incident on Saturday involving Isla.
‘We have never had any problems in the past with any dogs at our shows.
‘We always have paramedics on the showground, and in fact were only metres away from the incident and we treated Isla immediately.
‘A full investigation into this will be looked into by ourselves so that nothing like this ever happens again.
‘We wish Isla a speedy recovery.’
The Japanese Akita is not known to be a dangerous breed of dog, and are described by the American Kennel Club as ‘courageous, dignified, profoundly loyal’.
However there is also guidance that some Akitas can be ‘wary of strangers and often intolerant of other animals’.