MORE than 50 patients were treated at Barnsley Hospital for dog bite wounds in the last year - an increase on the previous year’s figures.

NHS data shows there were about 55 instances of patients being treated in hospital for dog bites in Barnsley in the year to March 2023 - up from 50 the year before.

These figures are rounded and are not a count of people, as one person could be seen more than once within the year.

Nationally, there has been a rising number of episodes of people in hospital because of a dog bite with a provisional 9,300 recorded in 2022/23.

The Dogs Trust said trusting basic dog training is ‘not enough’ in preventing pets from biting as the number of dog bite wounds treated in hospitals across England continues to rise.

It is an increase from 8,800 the year prior and the highest number since at least 2011.

Owen Sharp, chief executive, said most dogs live harmoniously within families, but most bites happen within the home.

“Basic training of dogs is not enough - close supervision of children and dogs while interacting is the most effective way of preventing incidents,” he said.

“Unfortunately, when the worst does happen, not only are children injured, but it can also have a devastating impact on the family pet, with some dogs handed over to organisations like ours for rehoming, or in some cases, euthanised.”

Separate data shows 1,700 children were admitted to hospital in the last year because of a dog bite incident.

Dr Samantha Gaines, head of companion animals at the RSPCA, said: “We don’t ever expect our own dogs to bite, but all dogs can - it doesn’t matter what size or breed they are.

“Parents and guardians naturally love the idea of their child having a close bond with the family dog, and in many cases, they do, but having a close bond doesn’t mean that the dog will never bite.”

She added a small amount of research by pet owners on dog body language would prevent countless accidents.

Dangerous dogs have been deemed an issue by police in Barnsley, who have been forced to seize - and in some cases destroy - dogs who are ‘out of control’.

More than 30 dogs deemed to be dangerous were seized by police in Barnsley last year.

Barnsley was South Yorkshire’s least-affected area with 31, compared to Rotherham’s 38, Doncaster’s 67 and Sheffield’s 79.

Rachael Attwell, South Yorkshire Police’s dog legislation officer, said: “Our priority will always be to protect the public from harm.

“Where there is an ongoing risk to public safety, we will seize the dog and assess whether it can be rehabilitated and rehomed.

“The decision to destroy a dog is not one taken lightly and will always be the last resort.”