An act of kindness ends in serious injury when a mum is viciously attacked by a dog she rescued and gave a loving home to…
“I was terrified and feared for my life,” said mum Nicki Barker.
I was viciously attacked by the dog I had rescued and given a loving home to just hours earlier.
I’m 30 and almost lost a thumb. I suffered serious injuries to both my hands after defending myself when the dog went crazy and attacked my face.
My son Josh, 9, and I had paid £25 to rescue the 12-stone Rottweiller cross from kennels near our home in the North East town of Middlesbrough.
But later that evening the dog, who Josh had named ‘Rocky’, turned on me as I petted it.
I was completely shocked and I froze for a moment.
One minute I was stroking it and the next it was going for my face. I put my hands up to defend myself and it just went mad.
It bit my right hand and I thought I was going to pass out with the pain. I managed to pull my hand away but it didn’t stop, it just bit my other hand instead.
I’ve been around dogs all my life and know how to handle them, but it was completely out of control. It was sinking its teeth in and flailing my hands around.
It kept trying to go for my face and at one point I thought it was going to kill me.
I’m just glad Josh had gone to bed otherwise it could have been him. He wouldn’t have stood a chance and I’m sure it would have bitten his thumb clean off.
Eventually my partner Fadique Chodury managed to drag it off me and shut it in the hall. He was so scared he called 999 and asked for an ambulance for me and the police to see to the dog.
All the noise had woken Josh up. “Stay in your room,” I shouted to him in case the dog went upstairs.
He was terrified, but he wedged his bed against the door and I got him out through the window by climbing onto the roof of the shed.
My hands were pouring with blood, I needed to go to hospital, but the only way out of the house was through the patio doors and the keys were in the kitchen.
That meant we would have had to pass the dog to get them so Fadique used a chair to break the window to let the ambulance crew in.
I was left with horrific injuries. The dog broke my right thumb bone and tore the skin up to the nail, leaving me with no feeling in that part of my hand.
The attack also severed the digital nerve in my left thumb, leaving me unable to bend it.
Doctors have told me I now face up to 18 months of painful reconstructive surgery and physiotherapy to regain the full use of my hands.
The animal was later destroyed after Fadique told police we did not want it back.
But my ordeal didn’t end there.
Just as we were getting over the initial shock of the horrific attack, we received a vet bill for £163 to have the dog put down.
I rely on benefits to support Josh and simply couldn’t afford to meet the cost of destroying the dog who left me so badly injured.
The kennels failed in its duty of care to give me information about the dog so am considering suing the kennels for the £163.
I was given the dog with no questions asked.
We’d never been to the kennels before but the young woman who dealt with us couldn’t wait to get rid of the dog.
She didn’t tell us anything about it, not even how long they’d had it or whether it had been nasty while it had been there.
She could see I had a child with me so she must have at least guessed the dog would be around kids, but she didn’t even bother to ask me a single question.
We’d got there about 15 minutes before the kennels was due to close and all she seemed interested in was getting rid of us and finishing work. She didn’t even ask my name.
The kennels have admitted the handover of the dog was so hurried there is no record of it.
The kennel manager, Mike Jordan, told me he wasn’t there at the time so I doesn’t know if normal procedures were carried out.
He told me the dog came to them as a stray from a police station and they had it for 18 days, during which it had shown no nasty tendencies.
He said that if it had been nasty while it was at the kennels there’s no way they would have re-homed it. They’d have put it down.
He went on to tell me that they tell people as much as they can about the dogs and give them a card that warns that abandoned dogs may be on the streets because of bad habits.
Maybe if I was given one of these cards none of this would have happened.