“Something must be done”

29th April 2011'Zara McGuiness, 7, was savaged by a dog at her friends home in March and had to have emergency plastic surgery at Pinderfields. The dog was not put down because it happened inside a person's home and this apparently is not covered by the law. Zara's mum, Jean, is campaigning to get the law changed.' ''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
29th April 2011'Zara McGuiness, 7, was savaged by a dog at her friends home in March and had to have emergency plastic surgery at Pinderfields. The dog was not put down because it happened inside a person's home and this apparently is not covered by the law. Zara's mum, Jean, is campaigning to get the law changed.' ''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE

A FURIOUS mum whose seven-year-old daughter was scarred for life in a terrifying dog attack is campaigning for a change in the law.

Zara McGuinness, of Lilac Avenue, Knottingley, needed emergency plastic surgery just below her eye after a Boxer dog attacked her as she played in a house after school.

Despite Zara’s horrific injuries, no action was taken towards the dog or it’s owner, because current UK law does not include dog attacks on private property.

Zara’s mum, Jean McGuinness, is now fighting for a change in the law. She said: “I’m not going to stop, I am just furious about it. I want to highlight that this law is putting other children at risk. That scar will be with Zara for the rest of her life.”

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, if a dog is out of control in a place where the general public is allowed to go or anywhere it is not supposed to be, the owner can face prison and the dog can be destroyed but because Zara was attacked at the dog’s home, nothing could be done.

Mrs McGuinness said: “Zara had asked me if she could go up and play with her friend so I took her. No more than ten minutes later, her friend’s mother brought her back covered in blood.

“The dog just went for her face. It got her face, her left arm and her right eye.

“She was hysterical. Her school shirt was saturated with blood. I put her in the car straight away and took her to Pontefract A&E. They said she needed plastic surgery and she was transferred straight away to Pinderfields.”

Mrs McGuinness said the attack has had huge consequences on Zara’s everyday life.

She said: “Before she absolutely adored dogs. Now I am having major problems just to get her to school in the morning because of coming across dogs on the way.

“We took her to a child psychologist, it has all been so traumatic for her. I have to carry her from the house to the bus stop and If there is ever a dog on the bus, she can’t get on. It is meaning she has missed a lot of school which is really worrying. It’s been a nightmare.”

The family which owned the dog have since moved away from the town.

Mrs McGuinness added: “Something must be done. I am speaking to our local MP, Yvette Cooper, about it and I am going to take it as far as I can go.

“The law needs to include every situation.”