Children of dog owners are being taken into care while parents keep their potentially dangerous pets at home, it has been revealed.
A children’s charity has called for action after it emerged that four young children were removed from their homes in just one month over fears they could be mauled by their family dogs.
Three of these children are believed to be from the same home in Walsall, West Midlands, while the fourth was a baby from Bristol.
Claude Knights from the charity Kidscape told The Sun: ‘If dogs are dangerous they should be removed, rather than taking kids from families.’
Three other children – a baby, a two-year-old and a five-year-old – were also put in care during the same month by social workers in Leicester because of the health risk posed by dog mess.
The newspaper asked three councils for figures on the number of children taken into care during January because of the dangers of dogs.
It comes after a series of tragedies this year in which young children have been killed by their family dogs.
In February, six-day-old Eliza-Mae Mullane was killed accidentally when she was grabbed from her pram by her family’s pet dog in Pontyberem, south Wales.
An inquest into Eliza-Mae’s death heard the child was left alone for just ‘a few moments’ while her mother Sharon John, 42, saw her five-year-old son off to school from the front door.
When she returned seconds later, Ms John found Eliza-Mae dead on the floor next to her pram suffering serious ‘compression injuries to the skull’ that a coroner said caused her ‘accidental death’.
Eliza-Mae Mullane, was just six days old when she was grabbed from her pram and killed by the family pet, while Lexi Branson, four, pictured right, was also killed by a bulldog which ‘suddenly turned’ on her
Earlier this year Ava-Jayne Corless also suffered horrific injuries when an American pitbull terrier apparently attacked her while she slept at her home in Blackburn, Lancashire.
The dog was found to be a banned pitbull-type breed and was destroyed by police. Paramedics took her to hospital but doctors were unable to save her life.
That same month, a judge demanded tougher sentences for people who keep dangerous dogs after hearing how a pit bill terrier maimed four-year-old Carla Cutler in the street.
The young girl was riding her scooter along the pavement and was mauled by the dog, named ‘Lucky’, outside Gospel Oak Station in Camden, north London.
Lucky’s owner Hezron Curtis, 35, of Tufnell Park, was sentenced to just over two years in jail at Blackfriars Crown Court.
Just months before the attack the pit bull had savaged another victim Douglas Curtis while he was asleep in bed.
Judge Peter Clarke QC ordered Lucky to be destroyed and banned the defendant from keeping dogs for five years.
He said: ‘The message has to go out that people who have fighting dogs… that this cannot be tolerated.’