Mum of boy mauled to death by dog fighting for tighter breeding laws
Mother of boy, 10, who was mauled to death by 7st XL Bully dog named ‘Beast’ is taking her fight for tighter breeding laws to Parliament
- Jack Lis suffered ‘unsurvivable injuries’ after being bitten by a XL Bully last year
- Emma Whitfield is to visit Westminster tomorrow to lobby MPs
The devastated mother of a boy who was killed by a dog will take her fight for tighter breeding laws to Parliament.
Jack Lis, 10, suffered ‘unsurvivable injuries’ in the mauling by a seven stone XL Bully after going to a house to play in South Wales on November 8, 2022.
Neighbours rushed to help and tackle the vicious dog but it was not enough as tragically, Jack died at the scene.
His heartbroken mother, Emma Whitfield, is to visit Westminster this week to lobby MPs so no other parents suffer in the same way she has.
She will be joined at the event tomorrow by representatives from the RSPCA and the Dogs Trust.
Emma Whitfield, the mother of Jack Lis leaves Cardiff Crown Court in May 2022. She said: ‘I close my eyes and I see the animal and its teeth. I hear the barking. I have severe panic attacks and I have horrifying flashbacks’
Jack Lis was attacked by the XL bully dog while playing with a friend at a house after school in Pentwyn last year
Little Jack Lis suffered ‘severe injuries to the head and neck’ when he was set upon by the seven stone XL Bully while playing at his friend’s home
The visit was arranged by her local MP, Wayne David.
In speaking about it, Emma said: ‘I am pleased to be visiting Parliament to speak with MPs and raise awareness about the problems with the current dangerous dog laws.’
‘I want to make sure that what happened to my son Jack can never happen again.’
Mr David added: ‘I believe there is a potential political agreement on how the law on dangerous dogs could be radically changed for the better. All political parties need to make this a priority.
‘Emma is incredibly brave to be coming to London to do this. It obviously means a lot to her, and I am sure that Parliamentarians will listen closely to what she has to say.
‘Emma is also speaking at a large event in Parliament in June on the issue of dog bites.’
Ms Whitfield continued to say that the images of her son’s last moments constantly play in her mind, saying: ‘Every time I shut my eyes I try and tell myself that’s not the last image I’ve got of him.
‘I try and tell myself it was when he shut the door with his skateboard in his hands but that’s not true.
‘They kept saying they’re working on him, they’re working on him and then the paramedic came back with a blanket and I knew.’
Talking to BBC Panorama, mum Emma said the images were horrible.
Jack Lis, pictured, was tragically pronounced dead at the scene. The dog was shot dead by firearms officers
Although two people were jailed in relation to Jack’s death Emma has blasted the sentences as ‘an insult’
Brandon Hayden, 19, was jailed for four years and six months at Cardiff Crown Court. His friend Amy Salter was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Both were banned from owning a dog indefinitely
CCTV footage shows Brandon Hayden and Amy Salter with the dog Beast in Caerphilly on the first day of attacks
She said: ‘I can’t say out loud what else I saw because I don’t want other people to have to picture it either.’
Although two people were jailed in relation to Jack’s death Emma has blasted the sentences as ‘an insult.’
What is the Dangerous Dogs Act? Which dogs are banned? And why is it controversial?
WHAT IS THE DANGEROUS DOGS ACT?
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 bans or restricts certain types of dogs and makes it an offence to allow a dog of any breed to be dangerously out of control.
It was introduced 30 years ago by Home Secretary Kenneth Baker ‘to rid the country of the menace of these fighting dogs’ after a string of attacks.
WHICH DOGS ARE BANNED IN THE UK?
It is illegal to own four breeds of dogs without an exemption from a court. They are:
- American pitbull terriers
- Japanese tosas
- Dogo Argentinos
- Fila Brazileiro
The law also criminalises cross-breeds of the above four types of dog – meaning that whether a dog is prohibited will depend on a judgement about its physical characteristics and whether they match the description of a prohibited ‘type’.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE’S A DOG ATTACK?
You can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months if your dog is dangerously out of control.
You may not be allowed to own a dog in the future and your dog may be destroyed.
If you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to five years or fined. If you deliberately use your dog to injure someone you could be charged with ‘malicious wounding’.
And if you allow your dog to kill someone you can be sent to prison for up to 14 years or get an unlimited fine.
WHY IS THE ACT CONTROVERSIAL?
Both the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the British Veterinary Association have protested against the ban, insisting there is no scientific evidence that all individuals of a breed are dangerous.
However, Met Police data suggests that in incidents involving ‘dangerously out of control dogs’, banned breeds account for about a fifth of offences.
Amy Salter, 29, and Brandon Hayden, 19, were in charge of the raging animal when it attacked Jack after school inside a property near Hayden’s home in Penyrheol, Caerphilly.
Jack had been playing with a friend when they went to the house where Beast, the ‘muscular’ animal, was roaming around downstairs and then bit his face, head and neck.
Cardiff Crown Court heard last year that a friend of Jack’s parents’ ran to neighbour Kirk Wiegold’s home in a desperate attempt to get help.
Mr Wiegold tried to get inside but could only open the door ‘a fraction’ and was met by the horrific scene.
Emergency services rushed to the address in Caerphilly, South Wales, but Jack was tragically pronounced dead.
The court heard his parents were waiting outside when they were told their son had been attacked.
Hayden was jailed for four years and six months while Salter was handed three years at Cardiff Crown Court.
Now, Jack’s mother has called for tougher sentences for dangerous dog owners.
She explained: ‘For them to get as little as they did, that’s nowhere near close to where it should be.
‘No parent needs to go through losing a child and then to go through losing a child at the hands of somebody else for their wrongdoings is something I can’t put into words.
‘To this day I’ve not received an apology. I’ve not even got the hint that they have any kind of remorse.’
Hayden had bought the dog just five days before the attack having seen it advertised on Facebook and asked Amy Salter if it could live in her home.
It was advertised ‘for free’ on Facebook with a warning that it was ‘not good with other dogs.’
The court heard last year that the pair were looking after Beast for just days before it attacked and killed Jack on November 8 last year.
Hayden, of Penyrheol, Caerphilly, and Salter, of Trethomas, Caerphilly, admitted owning or being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog.
The dog named Beast, was shot dead by armed police officers following the attack on Jack.
After Beast’s death it was later found to be an 115lb American Bully or XL Bully, which are not on the banned breed list.
CCTV footage shown in Cardiff Crown Court last year revealed the animal attacked shoppers and lunged at children outside the local shop.
One incident was 24 hours before Jack died, and showed the owners laughing.
Another clip showed the animal lunging at terrified children while Hayden fails to pull him back – with one boy dropping his scooter and running to hide behind a wall.
The dog also attacked shopper Sian Sullivan when he ripped her hoodie and left her with injuries to her chest.
The string of attacks took place between November 4 and 7 last year – just days before Jack’s death.
Fatal dog attacks in the UK in 2022:
10 people died from dog attacks in the UK last year. They are:
John William Jones
John William Jones, 68, known as William, was found dead at his country cottage in Lampeter, West Wales, on Jan 10. Police sedated three bulldogs Milo, Tia and Abbie after arriving at the scene.
Kyra Leanne King
Three-month-old Kyra Leanne King died on March 6, at Ostler’s Plantation, near Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire.
A 40-year-old woman and a 54-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of being in charge of an out-of-control husky and remain under investigation.
Bella-Rae Birch was just 17 months old when an American Bully XL mauled her to death at her home in Blackbrook, St Helen’s on March 21.
The dog had been bought by her father ‘for buttons’ just one week earlier and was ‘humanely destroyed’ following the shocking attack, Merseyside Police said.
Two-year-old Lawson Bond was savaged at home in the village of Egdon, Worcestershire, on March 28. Lawson suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of his horrific injuries and died two days later on March 30.
Three-year-old Daniel Twigg was mauled to death in a dog attack on a farm on May 15. Paramedics rushed to the area in Rochdale shortly after 1pm on Sunday to reports the youngster had been injured. Daniel was taken by ambulance to hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead.
Ms Robinson, 43, was killed by an American bully XL in West Melton, South Yorkshire, on July 15.
34-year-old dog trainer Ian Symes was attacked in a park in Portsmouth on August 10. He died from his injuries after being bitten by an American bully XL.
62-year-old Mr Jones died after being mauled by a dog at a house in Wales.
Police were called to a property on Holt Road, Wrexham, north Wales, at 11.44am on Monday, May 23.
The Welsh Ambulance Service said Mr Jones was having a heart attack after being bitten by the dog, but died at the scene despite efforts of paramedics.
Ann Dunn, 65, became the ninth victim of a fatal dog attack on October 3 after being mauled by multiple American bulldogs. Her body was found after she did not arrive to collect her grandson from school, neighbours say.
Pensioner Shirley Patrick, 83, died from her injuries two weeks after being attacked by an American Bully XL breed in Caerphilly, South Wales.
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