A woman was rushed to hospital with serious injuries after she was attacked by a bulldog in a Scottish town. The incident happened on Friday morning in the Silvertrees area of Bothwell, where the woman was walking her puppy. The bulldog, which was on a lead, reportedly bit the woman’s face and arm as she tried to protect her pet from being mauled.
Police shoot the dog dead after it tries to attack an officer
Police Scotland confirmed that they were investigating the incident and that the dog had been shot dead by armed officers. The dog was described as a “large bulldog-type” and it is not clear if it was an XL Bully, a banned breed in Scotland. The dog had also attacked another man shortly before the incident in Tinto View, who suffered minor injuries and was taken to Hairmyres Hospital.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Around 10.05am on Friday, 9 February, 2024, police were called to a report of a large bulldog type dog attacking a woman in the Silvertrees area of Bothwell. Officers and the Scottish Ambulance Service attended and the woman was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for treatment for serious injuries. Armed officers also attended due to the dog being dangerously out of control. The dog attempted to attack an officer and was shot dead by armed police.”
Eyewitnesses describe the scene as “horrific” and “traumatic”
Eyewitnesses who saw the attack said it was a “horrific” and “traumatic” scene, as the woman was covered in blood and screaming for help. One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “I heard a commotion outside and saw the woman lying on the ground with the dog on top of her. She was bleeding from her face and arm and the dog was biting her. She was shouting ‘help me, help me, it’s going to kill me’. It was awful to see.”
Another neighbour, who also wished to remain anonymous, said: “I ran out with a bucket of water and threw it at the dog, hoping it would let go. It did for a moment, but then it turned on its owner and started attacking him. He was trying to fend it off, but it was too strong. The police arrived and told us to get back inside. Then we heard gunshots and the dog was dead.”
Local post office warns customers about the dog
The local post office in Bothwell issued a notice on its Facebook page, warning customers about the dog and its owner. The notice said that the dog had attacked a puppy before attacking the puppy’s owner, and that the owner was known to be aggressive and abusive. The post office urged customers to be careful and report any incidents to the police.
The notice read: “We are sorry to inform you that there has been a serious incident involving a dog and its owner in the Silvertrees area of Bothwell this morning. The dog, which is a large bulldog type, attacked a puppy and then attacked the puppy’s owner, causing serious injuries. The owner of the dog is also known to be very aggressive and abusive towards people and animals. We have had several complaints about him and his dog in the past. Please be careful and avoid this area if possible. If you see him or his dog, please call the police immediately.”
The breed of the dog is under investigation
Police Scotland said that they were working to establish the breed of the dog involved in the attack, and that the circumstances of the incident would be referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC). The Scottish government banned XL Bully dogs in 2023, following a series of attacks and deaths caused by the breed. XL Bully dogs are a cross between American Pit Bull Terriers and Mastiffs, and can weigh up to 90kg and have a bite force of 450 pounds per square inch. Vets who have been euthanising XL Bully dogs after the ban have faced abuse and threats from some owners.