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COPS HUNT DEVIL DOG AFTER TOT ATTACK HORROR; Beast almost ripped off girl's arm.

Byline: Donna Watson

A TODDLER has been left scarred for life after her arm was virtually ripped off in a terrifying dog attack.

Leah Elliott - just 20 months old - was attacked as she played in the garden of her grandad's home.

Now her mum has blasted police for waiting a week to warn the public that the dog - believed to be a powerful American bull mastiff named Blade - was on the loose.

Jane Elliott, 33, is furious at the delay - especially as the dog has attacked a child before.

She said: "The police have known this dangerous dog was on the loose since last Wednesday but told me they could not go public for legal reasons.

"I dread to think what will happen the next time it attacks."

The dog pounced on helpless Leah after running away from its owner in Pollok, Glasgow, on April 14.

Mum-of-four Jane said: "The owner was chatting to some neighbours and the dog made a run for it.

"It knocked Leah to the ground then clamped its jaws round her arm and started swinging her about.

"My dad managed to grab the dog by the throat and started hitting it over the head until, eventually, it let go.

"The owner grabbed it and ran inside. That was the last we saw of it."

She claimed the owner's son later told her the dog had previously attacked another child.

Leah needed emergency surgery at Yorkhill Sick Kids' Hospital to have her arm wired into place. Jane said: "Her arm had twisted right off and out of the socket. The doctors have told us the arm will be scarred for life.

"It has affected her personality as well. She's terrified to go to sleep now because she has nightmares.

"She is very insecure and just wants cuddled all the time. I can't bear it but I'm just relieved she's still with us."

Police last night insisted they were unable to inform the public of the incident because of the status of their investigation.

But a spokeswoman added: "The whereabouts of the dog remain unclear. Inquiries suggest the dog is being sheltered by someone in the Pollok area.

"Officers fear that if this dog is not located, it could seriously injure someone else - possibly another very young child."

CAPTION(S):

SCARRED FOR LIFE: Leah, with mum Jane, nearly lost an arm in attack by devil dog, believed to be an American bull mastiff like the one above
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 22, 2010
Words:410
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