Huge dog sunk teeth into woman on walk

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A dog called Obama which “sank its teeth” into a mum as she protected her children, will not be put down.

The animal, an Alaskan Malamute, said to stand almost six feet tall on its hind legs, had, according to prosecutors, bitten 37-year-old Stephanie Jackson’s arm as she walked along a canal towpath with her youngsters at Gannow in Burnley.

She was wearing three layers of clothing, but was left grazed, bruised and bleeding and had to be prescribed antibiotics by her doctor, the town’s magistrates heard.

The five-year-old family pet, which owner Tony Tran (60) has had since it was three weeks old, is now under a contingent destruction order, which means it will be spared if Tran meets all the conditions.

The bench ordered the dog must always be muzzled and on a lead in public and it must be neutered within 14 days. The animal was seized by police after the incident and has been in kennels.

The defendant, of Cog Lane, Burnley, admitted being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control, causing injury, on June 10th.

Tran, who is on benefits, was fined £120 and must pay the victim £200 compensation. He has no previous convictions and, the hearing was told, police had received no previous reports about the dog.

Prosecutor Mr Andrew Robinson told the court Tran was walking the dog on a lead in the opposite direction to the victim and her children when the animal dragged him towards them.

The dog jumped straight up, rested its two front legs on her and bit her right bicep. She was wearing a padded jacket, fleece jumper and long-sleeved top underneath, but felt a sharp pain straight away.

Mr Robinson said Tran was spoken to by the police and said the animal had never been aggressive before. He added: “He conceded it was strong and sometimes he was pulled by it. He says be bought a muzzle the day after the incident.”

Mr Geoff Ireland (defending) described the Malamute as “huge”.

He said: “It’s a kind of large, mammoth husky dog.”

He told the court the animal, which Tran said was very affectionate and obedient, had moved very suddenly without any warning.

The solicitor added: “It was a huge shock that his dog had done that. To his credit, the following day he went out and got a muzzle for the dog, he was so upset and shocked.

“He was shouting and waving the stick and telling the dog to sit, which it did.

“He has come to court with a huge amount of trepidation, particularly about what will happen to the dog.”