Mother says children 'lucky to be alive' after XL Bully attack in Battersea Park

An XL Bully (PA Wire)
An XL Bully (PA Wire)

A mother says her two children “are lucky to be alive” after an unmuzzled XL Bully attacked them in Battersea park.

The children, aged one and two, suffered bites after the dog jumped on them on Friday.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Express the XL Bully ‘launched itself on the pram” carrying her one-year-old daughter.

She claims the pram toppled over and the child was bitten on Latchmere Recreation Ground in the park.

The attack happened after new laws came into force banning the breed from bred, sold or being walked in public unless on a leash and muzzled.

The mother, who was also bitten, said she fought off the dog and screamed for help.

Meanwhile the dog's owner, who has not been traced, ran from the opposite side of the park and attempted to restrain the animal.

A neighbour called 999 after witnessing the attack and police were scrambled.

The mother and her children were left with bite marks but did not require hospital treatment.

She said she is “really nervous to leave the house” and says the dog involved in the attack “wanted to kill someone”.

She added: “In Battersea, there's a lot of families and a lot of dogs. There's a lot of gangs and everyone just feels scared at the moment. Everyone is nervous to leave their house.

“There's always been crime but it was largely gang related whereas now it's not the case. These dogs are so out of control and are on our doorstep. There's nothing we can do about it.”

The XL Bully breed is now illegal to own without an exemption certificate in England and Wales.

Owners could be taken to court and have their dogs seized if they are unregistered.

The National Police Chiefs' Council revealed that about 40,000 dogs had been granted exemptions by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), allowing them to remain in the community.

Members of the public have been urged to call police on 101 id they spot an XL Bully whose owner is not complying with the law.

The XL Bully breed has been blamed for a number of death, triggering the new laws.

Among them is Esther Martin, 68, who was mauled to death in a suspected XL Bully dog attack in east London on February 4.

Sargeant Steve Hales of the South West Safer Neighbourhoods Team said: "We were called at around 11:30hrs on Friday, 2 February, by a member of the public who said they had seen a dog, believed to be an XL bully, attack some children in Latchmere Recreation Ground, Burns Road, SW11.

"We attended the scene within a few minutes and found the children, who were all safe but had received some minor injuries. The dog, who was not on the lead and was not wearing a muzzle at the time of the attack, had already left the park with its owner. We understand this will be very worrying for local residents but I would like to reassure you that we are working hard to locate the dog and its owner.

"The owner of the dog is believed to be a black man aged between 25-35 years.

“He was wearing a black tracksuit, a black Canada goose jacket with a white fur hood and black, Nike trainers. The dog was grey with tan features.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 and quoting CAD 2864/2Feb.

You can also post on X @MetCC or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.