A five-year-old girl was mauled by a dog who bit a chunk out of her cheek as she played outside her family’s home.
Little Elsie was left with life-changing injuries after her neighbour’s dog viciously pinned her to the ground and tore at her face.
She had been playing outside with her friends at the time, in New Addington, south London, when the Staffordshire bull terrier attacked her.
As a result of her injuries she has already had three surgeries and has more to come in the future, MyLondon reported.
Elsie’s mum, Kirsty, 29, said that as well as her physical injuries, Elsie has been left traumatised.
“She doesn’t want to go out, particularly on public transport because she doesn’t want people to stare at her. She hasn’t been back to school since because she doesn’t want her friends to see her like this,” Kirsty said.
The attack took place at around 5pm on September 25. Elsie and her sister Amelia, 9, were playing with friends in a secure area at the back of their block.
Kirsty was watching from inside when her neighbour’s dog was released into the area without a lead or muzzle on and charged directly at Elsie.
The kids ran to a wall and climbed to safety but Elsie fell over as they ran which allowed the dog to grab her by the face.
Kirsty said the attack only lasted minutes but it felt like a lifetime. “I can remember the feeling of panic, seeing the dog on her face. I can’t get that image out of my head,” she said.
Kirsty rushed to her daughter and put her on her shoulder so the dog couldn’t get to her. She said the dog continued to jump at Elsie until they reached the safety of another neighbour’s house.
“There was blood everywhere and a chunk of her face was wide open. A chunk of her cheek was hanging off and you could see inside her nose through the bridge of her nose,” Kirsty said.
“In the ambulance she was trying to fall asleep but the paramedics were talking to her to try to keep her conscious. She turned to me at one point and said ‘Mummy it’s ok but I’ve got to go, I’ve got to close my eyes now.'”
Elsie was rushed to St George’s Hospital where she had to undergo surgery for four hours. Since then, she has been under the knife again and her parents have been told she’ll be seeing a surgeon for the rest of her life.
Police have seized the dog and another belonging to the same owner. They remain in police kennels.
A 56-year-old woman was interviewed under caution last Tuesday (October 18) but no arrests have been made so far. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said their enquiries are ongoing.
Croydon Council are taking action to move Elsie and her family to a different house but for the time being they are met with daily reminders of the horror which took place.
Kirsty said: “It’s very hard coming in and out of our home, seeing where they used to play. Every time I open the door it’s right there. I can’t look at the place where it happened, I can’t put the bins out. The kids find it hard to come in and out, I have to carry Elsie and her older sister in every time.
“It’s been catastrophic for our whole family. My partner, my kids, everyone is in counselling. We’re all just traumatised.”