Sausage dog tore off Welsh mum's cheek and ate it in front of her

Kelly still has nightmares about what happened
Kelly still has nightmares about what happened -Credit:Handout/PA Real Life

A Welsh mum had part of her cheek ripped off when she was attacked without warning by a friend’s pet dachshund. The dog refused to loosen its grip until it had torn off a large chunk of flesh and began eating it in front of her.

Kelly Allen, 45, was left with an open wound that required five-and-a-half hours of plastic surgery and more than 40 stiches. She said her “life has been ruined” and her self-esteem “absolutely destroyed” by the scar the dog left behind.

Kelly, from Swansea, had popped to a friend’s house last month and was enjoying a few drinks. Suddenly, the friend’s “very friendly” dog suddenly changed its demeanour and latched on to her face.

READ MORE: Giant car boot sale pledges changes after 'mayhem' brought A483 to standstill

READ MORE: Reason why RNLI declined to give stricken trawler a tow to port except as last resort

The sausage dog was removed from the property by police and later put down. Kelly is now seeking compensation after learning that the dog had allegedly already attacked two people, but this could take several years.

The ordeal still haunts Kelly, who regularly wakes during the night crying. She cannot face returning to work at a contact centre for travel firm Tui due to the trauma she suffered – and because of her physical appearance.

She now struggles to leave the house without being accompanied by one of her two sons, Fletcher, 19, and Cooper, 18. She said the £350 statutory sick pay she is receiving each month is not enough to cover her bills and living costs.

“I can’t get out of bed and I’ve been crying in my sleep because I feel his teeth in me,” Kelly told PA Real Life. “I’m left with a hideous scar on my face. It’s just ruined my life, because it will never be the same now.

“I now have to buy camouflage make-up for people who have facial disfigurements – that’s something I never thought I would have to do. I’m a single mum and I can’t afford my electric and gas most weeks – it just seems so unfair.” The North Wales Live Whatsapp community for top stories and breaking news is live now - here’s how to sign up

Kelly's wound a week after the attack
Kelly's wound a week after the attack -Credit:Handout/PA Real Life

To help her stay afloat, Kelly is depending on her family. Her sister Stacey, 43, has launched a fundraiser on GoFundMe which has received more than £1,000 in donations.

Kelly had gone to a friend’s house for drinks on Friday, March 15. Her friend’s pet dachshund was showing no signs of aggression when she arrived at around 9.30pm.

“He was very friendly and didn’t show any signs of being an aggressive dog,” she said. “He was laying on his back for belly rubs, and put his head in my lap a couple of times.”

But later that evening, Kelly was sitting on the kitchen floor, leaning against one of the kitchen counters, when the dog’s demeanour suddenly changed. When she looked away for a split second, the dog pounced, sinking its teeth into her cheek.

“I turned my head towards the back door, where my friend was standing,” said Kelly. “He didn’t bark or growl, or make any noise, he just lunged and attached to my face.

“He then started ragging, shaking his head back and forward. I could feel his teeth deep inside my cheek – I still get flashbacks now.” Sign up for the North Wales Live newsletter sent twice daily to your inbox

Kelly woke up in hospital after her operation with a bandage stitched to her face
Kelly woke up in hospital after her operation with a bandage stitched to her face -Credit:Handout/PA Real Life

Kelly remembers repeatedly shouting “get him off” as blood began to poor down her face. Another friend rushed into the kitchen and grabbed the dog’s collar, but its jaws were locked and would not let go.

“The only reason he got off was because he ripped that piece of flesh off and ate it,” she said. “He didn’t release, he pulled it off and I felt the skin tear.”

As Kelly stumbled to her feet, the dog bit her again, this time on her arm. Fortunately, she was able to break free and run out of the room. “I’ve never had so much blood,” she added. “I looked in her mirror which was straight in front of me and thought ‘s**t, I’m in trouble’.”

They immediately called 999 but were told there was a considerable wait. Fearing she would “bleed to death”, Kelly called a friend who had not been drinking with them and asked for a lift to A&E at Morriston Hospital. “They numbed the area and scrubbed the wound with what looked like a Brillo pad because of all the bacteria that’s in dogs’ mouths,” she said.

“They were leaning me over a sink and scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub… it was agony. They then poured water over me for five minutes, which felt like I was being waterboarded. It was horrific.”

With her wound bandaged, Kelly was told she could return home and wait for the plastic surgery team to contact her. At 7.50am, she received a phone call from the hospital telling her to “come back immediately” as she needed to have surgery.

“I met with the plastics team who explained what they were going to do,” she said. “They were going to take a piece of skin from my neck and graft it on my face.”

Kelly was on the operating table for five-and-a-half hours before waking with a bandage stitched to her face and a seven-inch scar across her collarbone. In total, she required more than 40 stitches – 36 on her chest and six on her arm.

The ordeal has taken a heavy toll on her mental health and knocked her confidence. “My self-esteem has been absolutely destroyed and I don’t go out any more,” said Kelly.

“If it wasn’t for my close friends and family, I don’t know where I would be now. I can’t go to the shops anymore, unless my son comes with me. I just don’t live my life.”

Kelly said her self-esteem has been 'absolutely destroyed' by the scar the dog left on her face
Kelly said her self-esteem has been 'absolutely destroyed' by the scar the dog left on her face -Credit:Handout/PA Real Life

Kelly has not been able to face going back to work since the attack. “I can’t go back to work, because I can’t face people, I just can’t do it,” she said. ”I can’t concentrate and I don’t know what’s going to happen.

“My employers have been amazing and really supportive. I’m now making a legal claim but that could take up to two years and in the meantime I’ve got no income. I’m not entitled to anything else because I’m still employed and I can’t give up my job to get income support, because then I lose my job. So I’m just in a really hard place at the moment.”

It transpired that this was not the first time the dog had attacked someone. Kelly said she did not want to involve the police but they were called after staff at the hospital saw the severity of her wounds. The dog was later removed and put down after being taken to a training facility in Cardiff, according to Kelly.

“I have since found out that the dog had attacked other people,” she said. “The people around me have been amazing. It’s thanks to them that I’m still waking up every day at the moment. I don’t think anyone should be on their own going through something like this.”

  • Kelly’s GoFundMe fundraiser has already received more than £1,000 in donations. You can support it here.

Find out what's going on near you