Teenager is scarred for life after dog attack

Caitlin Carroll before the dog attack
Caitlin Carroll before the dog attack

A schoolgirl has been left scarred for life after being savaged by a dog.


Caitlin Carroll, 13, was at a friend’s relative’s house when she was viciously attacked.

Caitlin Carroll's injuries

Caitlin Carroll's injuries

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The pair had been left alone in the house and were sitting on a bedroom floor when the dog suddenly pounced.

Caitlin was bitten on her face and head, as well as her hands when she used them to cover her face.

She eventually managed to escape to the safety of the bathroom, but was trapped there for 20 minutes before she could leave and run outside to her mother for help.

The animal has since been destroyed.

Police said no-one had been arrested.

Mum Rachel Carroll, who lives in Leigh, said: “As I saw her I screamed. I shouldn’t have done because it upset her.

“I rang an ambulance straight away.”

Caitlin was taken to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for treatment to her injuries.

She suffered bites to her lip, nose, close to her eye, on her head and her hands.

Miss Carroll, 32, said: “It’s absolutely made a mess of her.

“There’s no reason for him to attack. She was just sitting on the floor on her phone.”

Caitlin spent six and a half hours in surgery as doctors worked to treat her wounds.

Miss Carroll said: “They wanted to do everything they could because it’s a little girl and her face. They have done amazingly and it seems to be healing well. But she will have scars.

“She’s having a lot of flashbacks now and nightmares. She’s seeing a counsellor. She can’t sleep.”

Caitlin spent several days in hospital following the October 23 mauling and is now recovering at home.

But she will see doctors again tomorrow to check on her lip and there are concerns she has permanent damage to her finger.

Miss Carroll said: “It’s not good when she wants to be a hairdresser. Hopefully she can have physio and see how it heals.”

Miss Carroll believes the dog that attacked Caitlin was a cross between a Shar-Pei and mastiff. She says the dog was seized by the police and has been put down.

Last year a five-year-old girl was injured in a dog attack on the Trees estate in Westleigh.

And 15-year-old Jade Anderson was killed by at least two dogs at a house on Chaucer Grove, Atherton, in March 2013.

In the wake of the tragedy, changes to the law increased the maximum prison sentence for a fatal dog attack from two to 14 years.

With Caitlin expecting to be away from lessons at Westleigh High School for several weeks, a friend of Miss Carroll’s has launched a fund-raising appeal to pay for her bedroom to be revamped while she recovers.

So far £250 has been donated and her belongings are already being packed up so the work can take place.

Miss Carroll, who has two younger children, said: “I have had a lot of people locally, friends from school and people I haven’t spoken to in a long time bringing pillows and throws and bedding and other things for her. It’s been brilliant.”

Support the appeal here